EXCLUSIVE: Scandalous deal as Robert Abela hands AUM public land at 47c per square metre

Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti hawn.

The government has secretly granted the American University of Malta (AUM) the right to buy some 31,500 square metres of public land at Smart City for a ridiculous price of €0.47c per square metre.

The draft deed for the AUM to swap public land given to it in  Zonqor, Marsascala, to Smart City, which was presented in parliament last week, includes a catch that will mean millions in profit for the Jordanian construction company behind the AUM project.

The original 2015 deed, through which the government passed 31,000 square metres of pristine land in Marsascala to the AUM on a temporary emphyteusis for 99 years, includes a clause that specifies that the Zonqor land “may not, under any circumstances, be converted to a perpetual emphyteusis”.

The 2015 deed clearly states the land cannot be converted to a perpetual emphyteusis.

Prime Minister Robert Abela is now overturning this condition, to permit Sadeen Education Investment Ltd to convert the title of the land from temporary to perpetual emphyteusis for just €0.47c per square metre.

The Jordanian owner can now convert the newly acquired land as ‘freehold’ for the ridiculous sum of €14,827.

Property market experts told The Shift that conservative estimates show that the land being given to the AUM to be used for commercial purposes has a minimum market value of over €63 million.

“This agreement is shameless and it means that the government is giving out public Maltese land for free to a Jordanian businessman,” an experienced property agent told The Shift.

The 2022 deed permits the AUM to buy the land for €0.47c per square metre.

From ICT city to real estate sold cheap

According to the draft deed, which now needs the approval of parliament, the government also agreed to let the AUM keep its current Bormla campus, which has attracted less than 200 students in four years and build a new campus in Smart City instead of Marsascala.

To reach this settlement, intended to placate public opposition in Malta’s most pro-Labour districts, Robert Abela has held secret talks with both the AUM and the Dubai Sheiks owning Smart City to find a ‘solution’ to the problem.

While the AUM did not meet its obligations in the 2015 deed, as it never managed to attract the number of students promised, it will still be acquiring 31,500 square metres of public land to build its promised campus. It will now be making additional tens of millions through Abela’s concession.

The new deed presented to parliament does not exclude the possibility that the Jordanians can eventually sell the land or use the buildings they are supposed to build for other purposes, such as tourism.

The new deed also removed a clause obliging the AUM to have 4,000 students by its tenth year of operations.

At the same time, the owner of the Smart City project – the government of Dubai – also made a killing out of the prime minister’s negotiations.

The Dubai government has breached all its obligations in a 2007 contract – the land at Kalkara was given to them at a low cost because it was intended to be used for an ICT city and not for real estate and residential purposes.

The 2007 contract for Smart City signed by a Nationalist government gives the government the right to take back the land and stop the deal. But instead of imposing multi-million-euro fines on the Smart City owners for breach of contract, the government is now agreeing to change the parameters of the project through a new Master Plan.

While the government has not yet presented the agreement it made with Smart City to parliament, The Shift has already revealed that the Masterplan will shift towards more real estate and less ICT.

All this is going to be permitted by the prime minister with the excuse that the government has taken back two plots from Smart City to use them for a new ITS campus and the other to sell to the AUM.

According to the 2007 deal, the ICT Smart City project had to be completed by 2022 and employ some 5,600 in ICT-related jobs.

Nothing has been achieved except for the construction of an office building, mostly leased out to government entities, and the selling of a plot for a retail and residential building known as The Shoreline.

During a parliamentary committee meeting on the issue, Opposition MPs objected to the land swap negotiated by Robert Abela.

                           
                               
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carlo
carlo
1 month ago

Instead pf helping the workers we help the fraudsters – shame on this mafia government, it would be interesting to know who had benefitted from this deal. The workers definitely not.

They use the workers and the illiterate to fill their and their corrupt lot’s pockets.

When are the Maltese waking up to this blatant pilferage of our island?

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 month ago

ROBBER Abela!

I can’t imagine that this deal can be legitimate.
If necessary, ROBBER Alba and his “mafia team” will be liable with all their private property. The property of the PL may also have to be involved.

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 month ago
Reply to  KLAUS

If I extrapolate the amount to the total area of Malta and Gozo, it does not even amount to a lousy €150 million.

From this we have to subtract what the PL is handing out to each other, such as Joseph Muscat’s house rights packages near Valletta, which are secret.

Perhaps the government has long since sold Malta and Malta has long since become an Arab Emirate?
We don’t know the secret contracts of the mafia government.

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
1 month ago

Obviously, Joseph Muscat must have made a killing in Dubai, and Robert Abela is trying to beat JM, in making an even better killing, in Dubai as well.
And the taxpayers and those many who are increasing the numbers of persons below the poverty line, keep being fucked by their nouveau riche gangster politicians.
Please, do keep uploading, ‘ad nauseam’, that ‘famous’ video clip of the AUM/Zonqor Point
signing ceremony, where the body language of the Sadeem representative, showed very clearly the government’s objectives, of giving us all, their middle finger.

Ninu l-Għafrid
Ninu l-Għafrid
1 month ago

where can I see it?

cikku
cikku
1 month ago

it would be very interesting to see what the maltese lawyer involved in representing the sadeem group and also holding circa 10% of the Shoreline apartment complex, and who is also involved the The Convenience Stores business, would be earning from all this. call me sour grapes, but in my eyes this is national theft.

Paul Pullicino
Paul Pullicino
1 month ago

In a short time, it won’t take long, Sadeen will be selling to Maltese couple apartment buyers freehold floor space at more than 1,000 euro a square meter – space he was given by Abela for 47 cents per square meter – when both Sadeen and Abela, like Muscat before him, fooled us into thinking that this was actually about a university.

Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

The PL thinks that public land is their own, absolutely no care that public land is public. This land should have been sold at market value. This is a typical case of wasting public funds, much needed to give a financial boost to our economy and not to foreign sharks.
They failed to attract students to the Bormla campus (which they will keep) so the logical conclusion should have been. Bye bye and never set foot in Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Sadeen and the Dubai sheikhs should be given the boot all the way to the plane!!!
Well done Bobby and Co. for this very well thought out corrupt deal.
SHAME. This deal would probably make Dom Mintoff roll in his grave. RIP

Last edited 1 month ago by Francis Said
joe tedesco
joe tedesco
1 month ago

NEVER, EVER TRUST THE PL GOVERNMENT.
IT THRIVES ON HYPOCRISY AND DECEIT.

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
1 month ago

We have been told that Providence blesses and rewards a generous giver – so do others in this world, presumably.

By the way, what has the Taxman to say about the matter – seeing the vast discrepancy of the value of the land in question and the measly price at which it was handed over?

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