The Malta Independent 15 August 2018, Wednesday

Moviment Graffiti hits out at ‘long list of privatisation rip-offs’

Saturday, 20 January 2018, 10:43 Last update: about 8 months ago

Moviment Graffitti has expressed alarm at how the country's public assets and public land are being "handed over to private companies through deals that constitute a rip-off for the public."

"These shady privatisation deals are jeopardising our right for transparency with regards to publicly-owned property, workers' rights, decent health services and the quality of our environment."

Moviment Graffiti, In a statement,raffitti said: "It is now clear that the Labour administration has followed the Nationalist Party's footsteps with regards to dodgy agreements with the private sector that sell off some of Malta's most important assets. Among the assets given by the PN administration, under very suspicious deals, we find Mid-Med Bank, the Enemalta Petroleum Division, Maltacom and the shipyards, as well as land in Kalkara given for SmartCity, Manoel Island and Tigne Point, Portomaso, and Fort Chambray. In continuity with this pattern, the Labour administration has during the past few years conducted a number of senseless privatisation processes."

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"The so-called 'American University of Malta' (AUM) has been given prime sites, including natural land in Żonqor, in the name of enhancing the educational sector, even though this is a private University for the exclusive use of the global rich. It is being developed by a company with no experience in education and is not even managing to attract students."

"The ITS site has been transferred to Silvio Debono for a pittance - €15 million. On this site, a monstrous project which will have a deleterious impact on residents living in surrounding areas, is now being proposed. From the sale of apartments alone, Silvio Debono is expected to rake in over €200 million."

"Particularly worrying is the privatisation of our public health sector. Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH), a shifty company with no experience in healthcare, has been given three hospitals through a contract that is not available for public scrutiny. Government is expected to pay billions of euros to this company, in return for some investment. The question is - why couldn't Government carry out this investment itself, instead of paying billions to a private company? Moreover, it is now transpiring that this contract is a veritable scam. The company has not even carried out the investments it was obliged to, and Government will have to pay €80 million to take back two of the hospitals if it does not renew the contract after 30 years. St. Luke's hospital is theirs for the full 99 years."

"These privatisation deals are symptomatic of long-standing politics in our country that disregard public interest and the common good in order to please the wealthy few. It is unacceptable that private companies get rich off public resources. Moreover, widespread privatisation poses a huge risk to our social and economic structures since private companies are primarily concerned with increasing profits, not the public wellbeing. Moviment Graffitti states that we urgently need a different kind of politics - politics that put the people's wellbeing, and not the wealthy elite, as its foremost concern. This privatisation-at-all-costs policy must stop. Deals currently in force should be investigated and, possibly, reversed."

 

 


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