The Malta Independent 22 October 2016, Saturday

Cafe Premier scandal: Muscat was personally involved in transaction – PN deputy leader

Friday, 27 February 2015, 10:27 Last update: about 3 years ago

The Nationalist Party this morning said that the Cafe Premier scandal is a serious matter but, what is worse, is the attempt to give the impression that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was not involved in it.

Dr Muscat cannot continue to hide; he must answer to his responsibilities, the PN said.

In a press conference at PN headquarters, deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami said that for a Prime Minister to lie to save his face is also scandalous.

Dr Fenech Adami said that Dr Joseph Muscat had met the director of Cafe Premier before the election. “Nobody believes that the meeting did not include a discussion on the Cafe Premier future,” Dr Fenech Adami said.

He then gave a list of what he said were facts that give the lie to what Dr Muscat has said following the auditor general’s report lambasting the way the government had acted in the situation.

Dr Fenech Adami said Cafe Premier did not open as from the day after the election victory, with Dr Muscat meeting the Cafe Premier Director just days after becoming Prime Minister.

Dr Muscat has also been personally involved in the negotiations for the debts of a private company, and it was he who negotiated a €4.2 million sum to be paid to the operators, Dr Fenech Adami said.

All these facts point to an agreement for taxpayers’ money to be used to cover a private company’s debt reached before the last election, he added.

It is also a lie for Dr Muscat to say that he was never involved in the discussions, and this is also evident in the auditor general’s report.

The report says that Dr Muscat met the outlet’s director several times, that he gave the order for the payment to be made and that the sum should be €4.2 million.

Spokesman Ryan Callus said that the Prime Minister had acted in a strange way, one without a precedent. The auditor general had said so when his report states that there had been a lack of transparency and bad governance.

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