Disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat is providing ‘consultancy’ on the breeding of exotic birds and organic produce. And for his expertise in bird excrement, Muscat is receiving €141,600 a year.
Or at least that’s what he’d like you to believe.
Within three months of being kicked out of Castille, Muscat started receiving over €10,000 per month from Organicum Ltd. But the company was not a thriving enterprise making millions. It was losing hundreds of thousands of euros.
In 2020, the year in which Muscat was recruited, Organicum lost €153,964. Muscat’s consultancy services were so effective that, one year later, Organicum’s losses increased by 24% to €190,741.
Only idiots and fools would believe Muscat when he claims he’s paid €140,000 a year to provide consultancy to an exotic bird company when that company is practically bankrupt.
Where is the business sense in recruiting somebody who knows nothing about macaws, toco toucans and palm cockatoos and paying him tens of thousands of euros per month? Especially when the company is drowning in losses.
And especially when Muscat was so busy with so many other consultancies – Accutor AG, SpringX Media, Fortina, Stivala.
Muscat isn’t providing consultancy on exotic birds. Everybody knows that. He knows it more than anybody else – which explains his increasingly hysterical defence.
Organicum Ltd belongs to Johann Schembri, the co-owner of the Dragonara Casino. Muscat extended the casino’s lease by 64 years and reduced its fees from €1.2 million to just €500,000 annually. Alfred Degiorgio, Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murderer, gambled €570,000 alone in casinos.
That gives some idea of how cheaply Muscat gave our land away to Johann Schembri. Even ex-Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar described Muscat’s Dragonara deal as “disgraceful” and estimated that Muscat saved Schembri and his co-owner €13 million.
Schembri had a huge obligation towards the Kink. Sure enough, within months of Muscat’s generosity, Schembri started paying Muscat over €10,000 per month.
There’s no conclusive evidence, no proof of corruption Muscat insists. His bleating sheep repeat his hollow excuses. How things change.
At a press conference on 13 May 2010, the then-leader of the opposition Joseph Muscat firmly denounced the BWSC scandal.
“What we’ve heard is that since there was no ‘conclusive evidence’ of corruption, nothing happens. This is the typical attitude of those who are not interested in fighting corruption,” Muscat shouted.
“We must speak up and not close our eyes”, Muscat incited. “We’re not going to let this happen in our country – the truth is that whoever does not fight corruption is corrupt.”
“Today, there are some who warn me not to speak about corruption,” Muscat had declared.
“Why are we speaking about political corruption? Because we are jealous of the corrupt? Because we’ve been out of power for so long that we don’t get a bite of the cake? We speak against corruption because corruption destroys the economy, raises prices and reduces opportunities. Corruption steals from the poor, the middle classes and even the rich who are honest, who work and pay taxes so that those who want to get rich quick benefit”.
Muscat version 2010 was right.
“Corruption is a tax that you and your family pay for – with your health and your money,” Muscat insisted. “Corruption is a weight around the neck of hardworking, honest families.
“With a stroke of the pen, they (the corrupt) earn what many Maltese and Gozitans would need to work 300 years to earn,” Muscat noted.
With his own stroke of the pen, Muscat signed that Dragonara deal and soon started pocketing hundreds of thousands of euros. With his stroke of the pen, Muscat gave away half of our health service to a gang of crooks and soon after started pocketing tens of thousands of euros per month.
For years, Muscat denounced the Nationalist Party for failing to notice that an Enemalta procurement committee member was allegedly receiving kickbacks.
On 20 January 2013, Muscat bellowed, “I challenge [prime minister Lawrence] Gonzi to say whether he or his advisors knew at any point of this corruption.”
That committee member, Dr Frank Sammut, has still not been convicted of any crime after 10 years of Labour. Yet Muscat was crying foul and accusing Gonzi of corruption.
At that meeting, Muscat’s warm-up act was young lawyer Robert Abela.
“The Labour Party has acknowledged and paid for its past mistakes and is committed never to repeat them,” Abela promised.
And here we are. Those mistakes are multiplying so fast that nobody can keep up.
Just days later Muscat was again declaiming PN’s corruption. On 28 January 2013 Muscat accused the Nationalist Party of not having the “political will to tackle corruption”.
But he, Joseph Muscat, Mr Clean himself would sort the country out.
He promised the PL would “give the people what they deserve”.
He promised to implement 15 measures to rid the country of corruption. Among them he promised that the “PL will strengthen the Auditor General’s office to give it more power to investigate those who refuse to collaborate with his office”. Did he have Konrad Mizzi in mind? Was he thinking of Keith Schembri? Or maybe his sidekick Kurt Farrugia?
“Whistleblowers,” he promised, “will be encouraged to bring their concerns forward.”
But when Philip Rizzo went to him with a bulky dossier on Evarist Bartolo’s shady canvasser, Muscat tried to silence him and attempted to bribe him with a better job.
“The PL will introduce transparency and improve procedures for awarding government contracts and follow the Auditor General’s recommendations,” he said.
And that “The Freedom of Information Act will be fully implemented for the sake of government transparency”.
“Permanent secretaries and chairpersons of government entities will be held personally responsible should files and documents required by investigators go missing”.
“A Labour government will become party to legal proceedings to get politicians who enriched themselves to pay back what they had taken”.
Joseph Muscat version 2023 better start saving up.
“We are living in a country where no politician ever carried any responsibility for, let alone was convicted of corruption,” Muscat lamented in 2010.
Well, his prayers may yet be answered.