Galdes and Schembri both have unexplained offices linked to developer

Neither minister is explaining if they own, lease or make free use of their Siġġiewi constituency offices located in the same block that was built by the proposed Villa Rosa developer


Social Housing Minister Roderick Galdes has been making use of a constituency office in Siġġiewi in the same apartment block that Lands and Economy Minister Silvio Schembri also has a constituency office built by the developer behind the contentious Villa Rosa project.

The office is not listed in Galdes’ ministerial declaration of assets for 2021 leading to questions on whether the office has been bought since then, leased or its use given for free by the mega-developer.

The complex was built by Anton Camilleri’s Garnet Investments which is also behind the highly controversial Villa Rosa development in St George’s Bay.

Like Schembri, Galdes has ignored The Shift’s questions about whether he owns or leases the building, or whether he makes use of it for free.

Galdes has also ignored questions on whether he makes use of ministerial staff to administer the office, a practice for which Schembri has come under fire in parliament.

In his ministerial declaration of assets for 2021, Galdes noted ownership of a residential home and two offices (in San Ġorġ and San Bastjan) in Qormi, a residential home in Luqa, an unfurnished house in Gozo, a studio apartment in Middlesex, UK, a house and agricultural land in Sicily and an unconverted house in Siġġiewi.

The latter property could not refer to the Siġġiewi office given it is not a residential house.

A render of the proposed Villa Rosa towers

The developer behind the Siġġiewi property, Anton Camilleri’s Garnet Investments, is back in the public eye for the proposed Villa Rosa development in St George’s Bay, St Julian’s.

The development consists of two 27-storey towers, a third 34-storey tower and a luxury hotel, all abutting the bay. NGOs have decried the project, with opposition members from the 10th district calling for a redrawn Paceville master plan before any additional projects are permitted.

Garnet Investments has claimed that the development will add much-needed open space to the area through the inclusion of a public piazza and will bring a “new level of quality tourism” to the area.

Anton Camilleri’s original permit for the Siggiewi block that now hosts both the Lands and Social Housing ministers’ constituency offices.

The apartment block was built by Garnet Investments in 2012, but it is unclear how long both Galdes and Schembri have made use of offices there.

The Shift has also revealed that Schembri makes use of a second office in Luqa, built by Paul Attard’s GAP Developments.

Attard is the same developer eyeing a large tract of public land in Mellieha issued for sale by the Lands Authority, which Schembri administers, at much lower than current market rates and under unusual circumstances.

While the close link between property developers and politics is public knowledge in Malta,  Schembri and Galdes’ links to major developers add detail to an already disturbing picture that is rife with conflicts of interest.


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Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

In the UK it was common that Britannia rules the waves.
In Malta it is well known that Developers rule.

G Mizzi
G Mizzi
1 month ago

Borrowing the phrase from Vito Corleone in The Godfather: Developers have the politicians in their pockets.

Paul Pullicino
Paul Pullicino
1 month ago

The rental value of an office would supersede the “gift” of 9,000 paid to the person who has just been sacked from the Labour Parliamentary Group by a Prime Minister who claims to have raised the bar of integrity. These two flunkies are taking bribes from business people if the premises used by them are rent free. As bad as Rosianne, it seems that Robert Abela treats his male friends better than his lady friends. Who’s the misogynist now?

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