Abela humiliates Malta – Kevin Cassar

“We took decisive action to step up our fight against money laundering and corruption”, Robert Abela told the Summit for Democracy in a recorded message.

Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak, Ursula von der Leyen, Mark Rutte and another 70 leaders who participated in the US government event must have almost died laughing at Abela’s theatrics.

The man overseeing Malta’s grand corruption was posing and play-acting on the world stage. If you want a good laugh, watch the video.

Whose idea was it to get Abela to put on such a pantomime? What an embarrassment.

Abela should stop making a fool of himself, and stop shaming our country. Is there nobody in Castille who could have gone through the short three-minute speech with Abela? Was there nobody to tell him his overacting was ridiculous, his delivery was appalling.

This was a summit of world leaders, not a primary school show-and-tell class. At least somebody should have pointed out that “spearhead” is not pronounced “spare head”.  And “determined” isn’t pronounced “debt ermined”.

Abela’s dreadfully dire delivery is hardly the worst of our problems. It’s the content that was unnervingly ghastly.

“The ongoing aggression against Ukraine is a blatant violation of the core values of democracy,” Abela kicked off. “Together we stand with Ukraine”.

What hypocrisy! Abela has just been lambasted by EU Commissioner Didier Reynders for the miserly amount of Russian money Malta has frozen – just €220,000. That’s small change, mere pocket money.

Abela mouths platitudes about standing with Ukraine but circumvents international sanctions to protect Russian interests.

Reynders didn’t mince his words.  He’ll be following up on Malta to ensure anti-Russian sanctions are implemented.

He threatened he would be proposing the criminalisation of any attempt to circumvent those sanctions.

Abela’s hot air at the Summit didn’t convince anybody.

But there was worse. Far worse.

“Another priority is reinforcing media as one of the main pillars of democracy,” Abela bluffed.

He went on to brag about his “committee of media experts” which he “established”. What he didn’t tell the Summit for Democracy was that he handpicked the members of that committee himself.

He surely didn’t tell them that he put Saviour Balzan on that committee.  He certainly didn’t tell them that Balzan was being paid by the Justice Ministry. Or that Balzan received millions of euros from various government ministries and entities.

He didn’t bother to mention that his government has been harassing The Shift with 40 different legal battles to deprive it of its right to know how much money Abela’s government lavished on Balzan.

Abela should have told them how he was condemned by the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatović.

Instead, he lied through his teeth.

“We are working to deliver improved access to information”. What a conman.

Robert Abela has singlehandedly withheld information about everything and anything from the public.  He hasn’t even declared how much money he earned in his latest declaration of assets.

He refused to publish details of his predecessor’s termination agreement. He’s refused to tell us which magistrate he complained to about sentencing. His office claims that they kept no record of the Prime Minister’s conversation or meeting with the unidentified female magistrate.

His government certainly holds one record – the highest proportion of rejections of Freedom of Information requests on the planet.

Abela uses every excuse to conceal information from the public – we don’t have the information, the document doesn’t exist, it would take too many resources to answer your question.

Or he just gets his Office to lie.  “The OPM and the Prime minister never had a Facebook page financed through public resources”, or “The resources required to locate and collate the requested information would substantially divert the resources of the public authority from its other operations”.

What other operations would those be?

Lying to world leaders at the Summit for Democracy? Or thinking up new contracts to enrich his friend Chris Borg?

Abela told the Summit for Democracy that he aims to “provide the highest level of protection to journalists in Malta”. But he ordered his MPs to vote against an anti-SLAPP amendment in parliament.

He hasn’t implemented a single recommendation from the Daphne Caruana Galizia public inquiry which was concluded almost two years ago.

He personally and publicly attacked Mark Camilleri accusing him of being misogynistic and cruel.

His own Justice Minister denounced Robert Aquilina at a press conference. Justice Minister Jonathan Attard didn’t even bother to turn up for his own public consultation exercise. He was invited to attend and address the event but he didn’t even send a representative in his stead.

The European Federation of Journalists General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez was “amazed by the government’s lack of protectiveness”.

The Summit for Democracy aimed to “combat and prevent corruption”.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted a full day at that Summit. It recommended breaking up monopolies and digitising ownership registries in order to dekleptify states.

But Robert Abela has done the opposite.

He’s created a monopolistic cartel of friendly developers and businessmen who call the shots and get what they want – public land, direct orders and contracts and exclusive deals.

And he’s made the Malta Business registry practically top secret. Access to the Register of Beneficial Owners has been closed down, making it impossible for journalists to find out who’s behind Labour’s dirtiest deals.

Transparency International’s Maíra Martini said access to beneficial ownership data is vital to identifying – and stopping – corruption and dirty money.

That’s precisely why Abela’s government has shut down access.

“Democratic values are and will remain at the heart of our policies,” Robert Abela declared to the Summit for Democracy.  That’s an absurd falsehood.

The reality is that Abela’s Malta has reached the lowest ranking ever on the Global Press Freedom Index  – just one place above Guinea where a military coup d’état deposed President Alpha Condé  in September 2021.

Robert Abela should do himself a big favour and stop humiliating himself, and Malta.


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Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
21 days ago

One presumes that it was a very ‘appreciated’ moment of laughter among those discussing real world problems, not jokes, empty words or frivolities.

Every dog has its day, it is said. Was this the case, here?

21 days ago

What an effing liar and a clown. Somebody should have warned him that he’s not addressing Gahan!

11 days ago
Reply to  Joseph


21 days ago

I rather see it that way that PM Abela is humiliating himself because the others mentioned in that round know him well enough and I would rather trust them to distingiush between him and Malta. Even in the light that he is the PM of Malta.

As a side note, the UK PM Mr Sunak has currently other matters back home to attend to. His party suffered a heavy loss in last week’s local council elections in England. The English went with the Tory politics for long enough and as it appears, they aren’t to be fooled any longer. The similarities between Malta and the UK are there, not one to one, but previous UK govts also had their scandals, allegations of corruption included.

Maybe this was some sort of amusement for the UK PM, but maybe he also missed the chance to reflect on how his own country is faring, since it exited the EU. Therefore, the problems of Malta are of less concern to him, as they might also be for the US President Biden, for both countries might rather benefit from a future Eurocrisis that would be sparked by the present PL govt when Malta has to be bailed out. It is therefore certainly of concern for Mr Rutte and Ms von der Leyen, because of the stability within the Eurozone.

In case of the last corruption scandal within the EP, if it wasn’t for Ms Metsola as President of the EP, I wonder how the EP and the EU Commission in particular had acted. In light of that, but also in a wider perspective, Ms Metsola is of more merit to Malta in Brussels than she might be back home. If she gets the chance to succeed Ms von der Leyen as President of the EU Commission, she would have the means to put more and direct pressure on the present Maltese govt which is to stay in power until 2027.

21 days ago

The man has now achieved international stardom surely?

Until now he has been waiting for his big break on an international stage to finally demonstrate what a duplicitous and mendacious character he is.

This should win him an Oscar for his performance for playing the role to perfection!

21 days ago

That’s Manuel The Waiter From Barthelona

Michael Borg
19 days ago

Hearing him speak, I thought that I was back at Junior school listing to a pupil trying hard to speak English, as it is spoken in Malta.

Anthony Briffa
Anthony Briffa
18 days ago

He is so cut off, and he has so much yes men around him, that he is believing his own words and assumptions. He still thinks, that, we are still not living in an age when news took weeks to travel. His father said that he is his own man, and that is why he drove himself, gas down into a concrete wall.

Rupert Pease
Rupert Pease
10 days ago

Although I wouldn’t expect the Maltese Prime Minister to speak English without an accent, one would have expected better. Not only did he sound bad, but his message was completely idiotic and meaningless. Malta should, must, do better.

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