Malta went through “some difficulties” in the last few years where good governance was concerned – but it has “learnt a lot”, Prime Minister Robert Abela told European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders.
“Some difficulties” means giving a concession worth €4 billion in a fraudulent deal through collusion with a bunch of businessmen who didn’t have an ounce of experience in health.
“Some difficulties” means choosing ElectroGas by having the managing partner of Nexia BT, the company that set up the minister’s secret offshore company to oversee the competing bids.
“Some difficulties” means providing an “irregular” €432 million guarantee to ElectroGas using taxpayer’s money.
“Some difficulties” means distorting the tendering process with the late inclusion of a security of supply agreement to ensure that Joseph Muscat’s friend Yorgen Fenech got the deal.
“Some difficulties” means allowing Pilatus to continue to bank the unbankable without any oversight whatsoever – and when a magisterial inquiry recommended criminal prosecution of its officials, the police and AG conspired to exonerate them.
“Some difficulties” means awarding a quarter of a billion euros illegally to a DB consortium.
“Some difficulties” means Enemalta forking out €10 million for shares in a wind farm worth only €2.9 million. €4.6 million euro of that money ended up in 17 Black, the company owned by the Prime Minister’s friend.
But the EU Commissioner needn’t worry. Robert Abela has “learnt a lot”. To prove how much he’s learnt Abela “highlighted our continuous reforms”.
The prime minister told Commissioner Reynders that he “looked forward” to “game-changing” legislation protecting journalists.
Abela tried fooling the commissioner. It’s been almost two years since the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry concluded. Abela hasn’t properly implemented a single one of those recommendations.
He stuffed his committee of experts with Saviour Balzan, Saviour Formosa and Carmen Sammut. It’s been over five years since Labour’s arch-critic was murdered. It’s been three years since Abela became prime minister and he hasn’t lifted a finger to protect journalists. Instead, he’s actively attacked them publicly.
His own justice minister attacked Robert Aquilina at a press conference. Aquilina was forced to plead with the police and prime minister to afford him protection in an open letter. But neither the police commissioner nor the prime minister has replied.
Abela’s party and its stations continue to target Aquilina.
Robert Abela’s government and its entities are engaged in a campaign to bring The Shift to its knees through 40 separate freedom of information legal challenges. Abela’s government has already lost 11 of those challenges. He’s ignored pleas from international media freedom organisations who consider those cases as SLAPPs to drop those cases.
But Abela stubbornly persists in squandering our money to fund an army of lawyers to harass an independent newsroom – out of pure spite. The only thing Abela is looking forward to is seeing the newsroom fold.
Abela was the first to attack Mark Camilleri for publishing chats between Rosianne Cutajar and Yorgen Fenech. He called him cruel and misogynistic. When Jacob Borg from the Times asked him about his dodgy deal with Christian Borg, he launched into a tirade and accused his editor of conspiring with the chief Nationalist Party strategist at Costa Coffee and refused to answer questions.
“We mean business in tackling organised and financial crime”. That was the biggest joke Abela shared with Commissioner Reynders.
Just days earlier it was revealed that Abela’s friend Christian Borg, facing charges of abduction and investigations into narcotics smuggling, had been depositing hundreds of thousands of euros in cash with no questions asked.
Borg had signed cheques worth €75,000 for Abela and his wife. Borg’s companies were awarded contracts worth hundreds of thousands of euros by Transport Malta and LESA after Robert Abela became prime minister.
Another contract worth €3 million awarded to Borg’s company was cancelled only after members of the judiciary complained.
While Borg’s company ran up over €22 million in debts, he was enjoying a lavish holiday in Las Vegas with the tax commissioner. Robert Abela contacted the same commissioner to discuss the opposition leader. Although Borg claimed only €1.1 million in earnings, he had acquired property worth over €2 million without taking out a bank loan. He amassed a fleet of 1,670 cars.
Meanwhile Konrad Mizzi, the subject of a damning FIAU report, continues to enjoy his freedom. Keith Schembri, facing money laundering charges, continues to get government contracts.
Joseph Muscat received tens of thousands of euros from Accutor AG which received millions of euros from Steward on the day it took over the concession.
Commissioner Reynders isn’t blind. He’s no fool. And Abela didn’t impress him much.
“It is important to find a way forward to transform discussion into effective legislation,” Reynders commented politely. He meant what the hell are you waiting for? Stop the useless drivel and do something, was his message.
But the bright spark Edward Zammit Lewis thanked the Commissioner for his “fairness” towards Malta by acknowledging “the progress the country has made in issues of rule of law and media pluralism”.
Zammit Lewis completely missed the thrashing the Commissioner had just delivered the Labour government. The man who called his supporters “gahan” (idiots) should take a long hard look at himself.
The Commissioner had more tough words for Labour. He expressed his “surprise” that Malta had only frozen €220,000 in Russian-owned assets. And parted with a stern warning: “I will be following up with the Maltese government to understand why the figure was so low”.
Did Zammit Lewis thank him for that too?
The media was only invited to follow the first 20 minutes of Robert Abela’s meeting with Commissioner Reynders. The rest was held behind closed doors. If Reynders was so blunt in public, he must have been even blunter in private.
In 2021 Reynders voiced the “conviction of the European Commission of the importance of using all the instruments at its disposal to defend the rule of law”.
Let us hope Reynders keeps his word.
Abela keeps playing games and theatre, hoping that all this bad stuff will eventually go away. It won’t.
As long as the PL is in government and Abela is PM, of course nothing will change for the better and nothing will go away, unless they are voted out of power.
The not anymore striking point in all this is that PM Abela has become that used his thinking, that everyone is stupid and can be fooled, but not himself. Well, I wonder what instructions he has received from the master at Sa Maison days before.
Malta reminds me of a child who declares to his parents he has no idea what happened to the chocolate bar while sporting chocolate all over his face and hands.
A fine and witty sense of humour is a gift which not many possess. Some people are easily taken by it – others are not.
Is M. Didier Reynders among the former? A few may think so. Many others do not!!
The power of the EU Commission has its limits. But it also has its measures to bring upon a member state who does not play by the rules. One word: Sanctions. But that would hit all in Malta. Probably not so hard those who have made a furtune for themselves by the ‘make money while you can’ policy of the PL, which applies for ‘Club Members & Chums’ only.
That is in fact what Robert Abela has learnt, either by his own observations, or if that wasn’t enough, his mentor at Sa Maison made sure to feed him the right information. Let’s see what the mentor has to give him as directives to act upon when Malta becomes a problem member of the Eurozone. It is all just a matter of time and then it is game over for them.
During the first Eurocrisis, there were not less voices calling for an exit of Greece from the Eurozone for considerations that the bail out of Greece would destabilise the Euro. Others argued that the exit of Greece would have just that unwanted effect. Eitherway, Greece stayed in the Eurozone and had to impose austerity policies on its people. That is about how a future after the PL big spending party might look like. They neither think nor care about that. But the power of the ECB and the IMF is beyond the comprehension of the Gahans and neither of this government. The Casino Maltese runs until the lights go out. That is when the aforementioned institutions close the Bank and say ‘rien ne va plus’.
“Some difficulties” means we don’t know how to get out of the mess we created concerning state aid violations and dodging sanctions against the Iran and Venezuelan regimes.
“Some difficulties” means that we are ignorant and mentality challenge when it comes to solving major problems affecting our governance and judice system.
“Some difficulties” means that several officials act like smelly pigs and whores.
“Some difficulties” means that we still act like peasants who have no values and principles.
“Some difficulties” means that we have no class remaining from our ‘culture of crime’ and sell everything like merchants including identity/passports and ‘your Mama’.
Patriotism is far from the PL’s way of doing things. Quo Vadis Malta.
Patriots up hold all liberties and every person’s dignity and rights in democracy. Patriotism .Pietas in Latin and Greek meaning love of God , neighbor and love of country. These are not present today
The will of the majority should be the custodian of the minority people’s rights and not to squash them as PL does when they do anything to force their will on others Our creator has given us the right to liberty, life and property. When the Gov ignores there rights things will start going the wrong way and this is why we are in a mess today.
I was for a couple of times (not trying too hard, but genuine enough) to talk with PLers about ‘constitutional patriotism’. It was to no avail because they didn’t understand what I meant, even when I explained that to them.
All they understand is patriotism in form of nationalism and partisanism. That is all and it doesn’t match with what you said, despite the fact that you are right, but it isn’t what they are used to hear and read and neither have the slightest inclination to think about anything else than the PL propaganda lines. That is because one doesn’t have to think, just swallow and be happy with it. Like taking placebos to calm the nerves, without side effects other than self-delusion.
Quo Vadis Malta? O Tempora O Mores! Sic Gloria Mundi.
Stopping EU funding only makes them stop.And are EU funds being used to fund Labour s Mafia benefactors such as unneccessary roadworks.
The island is heading for a REVOLUTION, the milking of the populace for the benefit of the anointed few CAN NO LONGER PERSIST!