Do you know whether the prime minister owns the luxury yacht he uses? Do you know whether he’s renting it? If he’s not renting it, who’s paying for it? Nobody knows because Robert Abela won’t tell us.
Why won’t he? Because he thinks it’s none of our business? Or maybe he’s got something to hide.
An Azimut 50 that Abela uses costs around €1.7 million. Chartering one for just a week costs €15,000.
The whole country knows Abela spends more time than he should on that yacht. Everybody knows that during the Covid-19 pandemic, Abela still managed to get away to the Marina di Ragusa to spend time on the Baloo III. Yet Abela defiantly refuses to answer legitimate questions about the vessel.
Why does he keep evading questions?
The point is not his yacht. The point is accountability. He is our prime minister. He has a responsibility to be transparent about his wealth and the benefits, graces or gifts he’s receiving.
The country ought to know if one of his multi-millionaire business partners, perhaps the construction magnates, is paying for his yacht. That would clearly be a shocking conflict of interest.
It might well explain his inaction on construction regulation, his failure to release the Miriam Pace report on time or his rejection of a public inquiry on the Jean Paul Sofia case.
This is speculation. But it’s speculation fuelled by the prime minister’s arrogant refusal to answer legitimate questions.
When Abela took office, he took a pledge to uphold the interests of citizens. He took on the added responsibility of being transparent about his own income, wealth and taxes. He promised complete transparency on all government contracts. The country put its trust in him. He owes the country openness and honesty.
Abela hasn’t grasped one single principle. He is the prime minister elected to serve the country, and not to be served by the country. He feels his financial situation is none of our business.
Sadly, it is.
Abela promised he’ll work harder after his ratings plummeted. No amount of work will change his attitude of arrogance, entitlement and privilege. He’s asked his party loyalists not to let “anybody raise his head”. Yet his head is constantly raised.
If he wants to change things for the better, he should start by setting an example. Openness, honesty and transparency are the fundamentals of trust. And trust is the basis of democracy. But Abela just doesn’t get democracy. He’ll keep concealing key information.
He failed to list his income in one of his parliamentary declarations. He didn’t include the rental income from his Zejtun property in another. He didn’t tell us about his small Zabbar plot of land. He won’t tell us whether he owns the yacht. He’s refused to tell us how much money his business partners, Bonnici Brothers, were paid by Malta Enterprise.
He’s wasting taxpayers’ money pursuing 40 cases against The Shift to keep Saviour Balzan’s remuneration secret – he’s already lost some of them. He knows he’ll lose the rest. But he keeps at it. Because he feels we shouldn’t know? Or maybe because he knows that if we knew we’d trust him even less. Or just out of spite.
Abela’s surprised that his government is in this mess. But his ministers and MPs are simply emulating him.
Silvio Schembri hasn’t made any statement about his district offices. He refused to answer Rebekah Borg’s questions in parliament. He even mocked her. Those questions are critical. How is Schembri using offices which don’t belong to him? Why won’t he tell us whether he’s paying rent? Who’s paying for those offices? Schembri is the epitome of arrogance, contempt and scorn for the public.
He feels no obligation to inform his constituents and the country. That is pure arrogance.
That land in Mellieha that Schembri’s giving away to construction magnates belongs to us. It’s not his to give away in return for personal favours.
We own that land, and it’s our right to know what Schembri’s doing with it. Schembri was trusted with our property, our wealth yet he refuses to let us, the owners, know what he’s done with it.
And what has Robert Abela done about it? Has he chastised Schembri? Has he forced him to reply to questions? Has he investigated him? No, he just let him mock us with his arrogance and his smirk.
Abela did the same with Anton Refalo. Refalo repeatedly refused to answer questions about our historical artefact which he keeps in his poolside garden. Refalo stole part of our national heritage. Yet he just laughed in our faces when we asked him about it. Did Abela do anything? Yes. He rewarded him with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Ian Borg continued work on his swimming pool even while proceedings challenging the legality of its permit were ongoing. Now that permit has been declared illegal. Borg made no statement. He hasn’t declared whether he intends to restore the land to its former state. And Abela has defended Borg, saying “he should be treated like any other citizen”.
When Rosianne Cutajar was found guilty of ethics breaches and condemned by the Council of Europe, she never apologised. Abela protected her. He let her run on the party ticket. He invited her to speak at his party’s election event. He appointed her chair of the parliamentary health committee. She had herself appointed a consultant at ITS, despite her manifest ignorance and incompetence in the field, purely for personal gain.
She didn’t bother listing it in her parliamentary declaration of assets. Cutajar never made any kind of statement.
All Abela’s done is condemn the man who revealed the truth. Abela hasn’t bothered speaking to Cutajar.
Abela cannot expect his ministers to be transparent. Because he’s the worst offender. He believes he’s not accountable to anybody. He’s convinced he needn’t answer questions. And he doesn’t. Answering questions should not be some royal favour bestowed on the peasants when the Leader pleases. Answering questions is his duty. Instead, all questions are met with silence.
That deafening silence is the sound of Robert Abela’s arrogance.
Your absolutely right Kevin as ever, however this is Mafialand and he is the Don you can’t expect anything less, Omerta is inbred in these Bandits so we will never know unless a whistleblower pops up or Karl Cini coughs.
The Baloo III tends to do quite a bit of hopping around the Med when our Junior PM is here at home, often in the Balearic islands. I rather think he may be chartering it out for that 15k a week, knowing his love for money.
Maybe a look at his tax declarations would confirm that??? Or maybe not.
The BalooIII has the habit of switching off it’s satellite tracking responder for days when in the Balearic. Seems the PM hides those who he meets on the high seas. What is he hiding?
No self-respecting persons could possibly hold any respect for the current PM.
The contrast of how a government and its head the PM should be and act accordingly to the feudal reality of the PL regime that acts as if Malta is their possession and everything is their property.
The silence of the present PM on all the questions and matters raised in this article is also the inaudible sound of his own suppressed conscience. Given that he hasn’t lost it already.
Ma tahsbux li qed titolbu hafna biex tkunu tafu ta min hu l jott? Bertu l faust ghandu dritt ghal hajja privata miskin u mhux sewwa toqodu idejquh ghax jaqbad u jitlaq! Veru gabulna pajjizna tal mickey mouse.
https://www.yachtcharterfleet.com/luxury-charter-yacht-54600/baloo-iii.htm. According to this link Baloo III charters for almost EUR 80,000 per week in high season when our dear PM was spotted driving it – fully suited, open shirted and with designer shades
Robert Abela has to understand that accountability doesn’t start from the day he became prime minister. If he acquired considerable wealth or property before he became prime minister, we also have the right to know how he obtained it.