The Opposition is objecting to the negotiations made by Prime Minister Robert Abela on a deal to swap public land given to AUM in Zonqor, Marsascala, to a larger plot of public land in Kalkara’s Smart City, with better conditions.
The Shift revealed earlier today that Abela 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 deal was discussed today by parliament’s National Audit Office Accounts Committee where two PN members, Darren Carabott and Rebekah Cilia, voted against two separate resolutions presented by the government.
They said the Opposition cannot support a half-baked deal in which the government continued to do business with the owners of a failed university that did not meet its contractual obligations.
The resolutions were not approved and will have to be discussed during a parliamentary session in the plenary, where the government would only need a simple majority to proceed.
During the discussion, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri confirmed the revelations by The Shift that the government will now be selling public land to the Jordanian investors at just €0.47c per square metre.
He insisted that this was due to the Smart City contract enacted 15 years ago and never implemented. Yet the government’s negotiations depart from the terms of the original 2015 AUM contract, which only gave the Jordanian construction company temporary emphyteusis for 99 years.
Through a new clause inserted by the prime minister, some €31,500 square metres of land will now be lost forever for less than €15,000. The government did not even revise the price of the land to reflect current market prices.
The market price of the land to be sold by the government has a market value of at least €63 million, according to experienced agents consulted by The Shift.
The PN MPs declared their stand was consistent with the Party’s original position against the granting of Zonqor land to the AUM by the Labour. Party.