The epitome of champagne socialism – Joe Azzopardi

Reacting to criticism by former Malta Labour Party and Partit Laburista heavyweights about  ‘blatant corruption’, ‘fraud and money laundering’, ‘massive deception’ and ‘social injustices’, Robert Abela solemnly declared that he is a Socialist and censored the claim that his party is ‘representing first and foremost the interests of big business’.

Socialism is a social and economic doctrine that calls for property and natural resources to be publicly, rather than privately, owned. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but cooperate with one another.

Furthermore, everything that people produce is, in some sense, a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.

This conviction puts socialism in opposition to capitalism, which is based on the private ownership of the means of production and allows individual choices in a free market to determine how goods and services are distributed.

Socialists complain that capitalism necessarily leads to unfair and exploitative concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of the relative few who emerge victorious from the free-market competition — people who then use their wealth and power to reinforce their social dominance.

Because such people are rich, they may choose where and how to live, and their choices, in turn, limit the options of the poor. As a result, terms such as ‘individual freedom’ and ‘equality of opportunity’ may be meaningful for capitalists. Still, they can only ring hollow for working people, who must do the capitalists’ bidding to survive.

Our premier’s lifestyle is far from socialist. Here are some examples:

In 2017, Robert Abela and his wife bought a villa in Żejtun, named Ċinja, after the previous owner secured a regularisation permit. The property was acquired for €600,000 just a few months after it was regularised by the Planning Authority and freed from restrictions for its sale due to several illegal alterations, including the doubling of its size.

The agreement with the previous owner stipulated that the Abelas would only purchase the property if and when all illegalities were sanctioned.  The Planning Authority sanctioned all illegalities and gave the green light in July 2017 against the payment of a small fine. The sprawling fully-detached 2,270 square metre property includes endless gardens, a pool, and a large property built in an Outside Development Zone. Robert Abela was counsel to the PA at the time.

The property Prime Minister Robert Abela and his wife acquired for the dubious price of €600,000.

Investigations carried out by The Shift News confirmed that the Abelas paid only €30,000 in tax as there was no inspection carried out by Inland Revenue architects to assess if the Abelas had under-declared the value of the property.

This could be a case of tax evasion. No agent fees were paid because the Abelas purchased the property directly from the owners.

In July 2022, the Abelas applied for permission to demolish the existing villa and animal enclosures and construct a new villa having a basement garage and an overlying residence, a pool and landscaping on the more than 2,200 square metre property.

Robert Abela is the proud owner of a luxury yacht, an Azimuth 50 Fly, a prestigious brand estimated to have a value of between €300,000 and €900,000. He keeps the Baloo III at Marina Ragusa in Sicily. The yacht costs up to €20,000 a year to maintain, including berthing, maintenance and upkeep.

Robert Abela’s yacht requires tens of thousands of euros a year to maintain and operate.

Such a boat usually consumes some 200 litres of fuel per hour of use. It is a mystery why our prime minister chose not to berth his yacht in Malta and travel with the catamaran whenever he felt like an ice cream.

More examples of a champagne socialist?

Prime Minister Robert Abela and his wife Lydia recently filed an application with the Planning Authority to convert their farmhouse in Xewkija into a large residence with seven double bedrooms, a pool, wine cellar, spa and gym facilities.

The Abelas’ Xewkija farmhouse that is being converted into a seven-bedroom ‘residence’ with an internal pool, spa and gym.

When, not if, the Planning Authority issues the permit, the Abelas will construct an underground gym, wine cellar and pool and additional rooms so that every bedroom will have an en suite bathroom. Not a family summer retreat, more like a boutique hotel.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy.”


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Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

Hear hear. Excellently pointed out. The PM is as socialist as Donald Trump!!!

1 month ago
Reply to  Francis Said

Yes, just that Trump never claimed to be a socialist himself. Quite the opposite and he was always showing it off to everybody.

1 month ago

Brilliant Article but ending with that quote as a conclusion defeats the whole point. You are criticising Abela for being a capitalist masked as a socialist and end the article by quoting a person who was a great military leader but who disregarded others as inferior just as capitalists do.

1 month ago

Winston Churchill was a very wise man, and spot on in this case.

Joe Camilleri
Joe Camilleri
1 month ago

A useful comment, apart from the the parting shot. Quoting Winston Churchill doesn’t automatically make one right. Far from it, besides his unarguably excellent qualities Churchill’s equally objectionable opinions are well documented. This was one of them, as the people of the UK showed him in the post-World War II UK general election, which Labour — still a socialist-leaning party — won by a landslide.

1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Camilleri

It’s good to see someone who also knows the background of Churchill’s personality well and has the sense and knowledge to distinct one part from another in this complex character that he was.

Btw, there is a saying that Clement Attlee was admiring Churchill as well. I am no Conservative myself, but for some time in the past, I found myself to be one of them ‘Churchillians’. That has changed because I found nothing much of a sense in this, but I still ackowledge the multiple talents this man had, but also being aware of what sort of a difficult person he must have been to those close to him. That is also well documented.

As a result of experiences like from this one, I don’t admire any politicians anymore, respecting them for their life achievements is enough for me. I dropped the ‘Churchillian’ label because it is more suited for admirers, it didn’t suited me in the end. There is often too much collectivism running around great personalities or political ideologies. Such collectivism is not quite my cuppa.

Last edited 1 month ago by Thomas
Carmelo Borg
1 month ago

Ma tarax sejjer ikecci lil IAN BORG hekk imissu JAGHMEL Jekk qed JAGHMEL Ghar MINNU. Dan u il kapo tal hnizriet.Fuq daqsehekk ghanda RAGUN ROSIANNE CUTAJAR meta QALET lil qeghdin jaraw?

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
1 month ago

I can understand the intention of the author here, which is that to show us that Robert Abela is far from a socialist but only a rich fellow, which in truth and reality, cannot be the leader of a socialist political party due to his lack of complementarity.
But who told you that this Labour Party in the vest of a movement created by Joseph Muscat has ever been loyal to the socialist doctrine? So, it is not only Robert Abela, but the whole lot part of this filthy and unscrupulous political party in Government.
The difference between Joseph Muscat and Robert Abela (with his close allies) is that the latter is an elitist per excellence!

1 month ago

Whatever the partisan or ideological label, the upper class of any such leanings has it always lavishly and comfortable, often at the expense of the many to serve the greed of the few.

There is no cure for human greed and the worst examples just put on an ideology like others like to put on a sticker.

Thanks to the author to quote Sir Winston S. Churchill, a man of various talents. In all respect to him, one shouldn’t forget that he was himself a born member of the British upper class and also keen on lavish lifestyle, maybe not so much like in the old days of his parents, but nevertheless, he had his home at Chartwell and his flat in London. Such things needs to be financed and the staff he employed at his home had to be paid as well.

But Churchill wasn’t just a politician and a man with affinity to the military, he was also a journalist and in private a painter. He also speculated on the financial markets which, with the Black Friday of 1929 nearly ruined him financially. If I remember it correctly, the salary for MPs in the HoC at his time weren’t that much and they had to see to it for themselves how to ‘make ends meet’. Isn’t there some similarity in regards to the present situation in Malta where MPs don’t get the salary of a fulltime job and thus take on other jobs to keep with with what their lifestyle demands in order to be financed? I think that this would go for all the MPs on a cross-party level.

For another countless time again, I have to point out the publication by Repubblika ‘Reforming Malta’s Parliament’ because what is suggested in there, would solve many problems people still complain about. If they would just give this publication a reading and discuss it in public. One wouldn’t have just to rely on the ranking of who is the more and who is the worst of the champagne socialists.

When it comes to the publication by Repubblika, I often see myself in a similar situation like Churchill, being in the political wilderness, where he found himself for ten years. Hardly anybody was listening to him, but he was proven right in the end when his time came. Ignore this publication and stick with the status quo, or give this publication a go and see where reforms can be achieved. Nothing comes from nothing.

Churchill phrased his attitude himself, and I just like to repeat it: K.B.O. (means keep buggering on). Even a politically centre-left leaning person like myself can be in agreement with Churchill, it just depends on the matter concerned. The ‘upper class PLers’ have discredited themselves by their greed and corruption. Where is the alternative? Repubblika has it and maybe Repubblika is it. One just has to think about it to start with.

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