A company fully owned by former Labour Party minister Louis Grech’s three children was allocated €450,000 in EU funds to finance a new boutique hotel project in central Sliema.
Following last week’s news that a company owned by Agriculture Minister Anton Refalo and his wife was given some €270,000 in EU funds to turn an ODZ residence in Qala into a boutique hotel specialising in meditation and yoga, further investigations by The Shift show that €450,000 was allocated to the children of Labour’s former Deputy Prime Minister and former MEP.
The allocation of EU funds for Sliema BH Ltd was finalised in 2017, just a few weeks after Grech retired from his number two position in disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s Cabinet.
When the application was made, Grech had been serving as EU Affairs Minister and was directly responsible for EU funds.
Sliema BH Ltd is fully owned by LFX 1999 Ltd and was registered in 2017 at Grech’s Swieqi residence.
Its three shareholders and directors are Grech’s children – Xandru Grech, Louisa Grech and Francesca Berger. Francesca is married to Christophe Berger, who was recruited a few years ago as a director at the Malta Tourism Authority, which regulates and licences accommodation establishments.
The substantial amount of EU funding was awarded under a scheme controlled by the Maltese government and is expected to cover 80 per cent of the project’s costs.
The Shift is informed that the hotel has not opened yet for business and that work on the site is ongoing.
This is not the first time that members of the Grech family have been associated with the allocation of public funds.
According to information submitted in Parliament, when disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi was responsible for the MTA in 2018, Xandru Grech acted as the representative of Super League Holding PTE Ltd – which received €2 million over three years to organise an international triathlon in Malta.
He was also recently acting as a consultant to the government’s sports agency, SportMalta, and his gym businesses have also benefitted from direct orders.
The Grech siblings are involved in many other commercial entities including G Studio Ltd, Move Smart Fitness Club Ltd, SG Catering Limited, Street Lights Holding Ltd and Streetwise Billboards Ltd.