Energy Minister Miriam Dalli, currently under pressure after a summer of unprecedented power outages across the island, refuses to divulge how much money was spent on emergency direct orders to provide temporary power during the Zurrieq village feast.
Through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, The Shift asked Enemalta for a list of direct orders for hiring generators during July, when the peak of power outages occurred.
The Shift also asked Enemalta to declare the amount of money spent on each generator, the location where it was deployed, and the number of days it was used.
Despite the very specific requests related to a short span of days, Enemalta said that it could not supply the information, adding that the information will eventually be published in the Government Gazette.
The entity did not give any information on time frame.
Enemalta sources told The Shift that Dalli does not want to publish the information as most of the generators were ordered and deployed under instructions from her ministry. Furthermore, most of them were placed inside her constituency of Zurrieq to keep the electorate’s favour.
Zurrieq, the heart of Dalli’s constituency, saw days of darkness amid its Tal-Karmnu feast. Sources told The Shift that Dalli ordered Enemalta to lease the generators from Nexos Lighting & Video, used during the filming of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel, to be deployed urgently in the town.
The expensive machinery was then used to light up a few roads in Zurrieq, allowing band clubs to keep the celebration going.
This led the band clubs to issue public notices that announced new routes to their band marches, concentrated in the few generator-powered streets.
The sources told The Shift that, luckily for the minister, the generators had just become available as their use on the film’s Ricasoli set had abruptly stopped as Hollywood actors went on a long strike.
Enemalta sources told The Shift that Minister Dalli’s generosity to her constituents while many other citizens languished without power cost the state entity and taxpayers dearly.