The Malta Independent 22 May 2019, Wednesday

'Prime Minister has a standard for himself, and another for those around him' - Delia

Albert Galea Friday, 16 November 2018, 22:47 Last update: about 6 months ago

In saying that he would resign if any proof connecting him to the company 17 Black was found, the Prime Minister has proven that he has a standard for himself, and another standard for those around him, PN leader Adrian Delia said on Xarabank on Friday.

Reacting to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's comments on 17 Black on Friday morning, wherein he said that he would resign if any connection between him and 17 Black was found, Delia questioned that if any connection with 17 Black was enough to instigate Muscat into resigning, then why had he not demanded the resignations of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi due to their proven links with the company.


It was recently reported that director and CEO of the Tumas Group Yorgen Fenech, who is a director and shareholder in the Electrogas consortium, is the owner of 17 Black -which was listed as one of the possible payers for Tillgate and Hearnville, the Panama companies belonging to Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. Electrogas runs the gas power station. 

Delia noted that five years ago, the Prime Minister had a different rhetoric; one wherein he said that if the government of the day is faced with facts, then political responsibility had to be shouldered.  And yet, he said, now faced with facts - wherein two prominent people close to him had set up companies to receive €5,000 every day from a director of the consortium of the power station - the Prime Minister had not taken action.

"No wonder the government was so ready to open negotiations in the energy sector", Delia exclaimed.


'Allegations not facts'

Asked about the allegations levelled against him by journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Delia said that the difference here was that these were allegations, not facts.  However, he said, both he and the rest of the PN MPs had supported and voted in favour of the setting up of an ad-hoc independent committee to investigate what Caruana Galizia had written.  It was the government who had voted against this committee, Delia said.

When asked whether he would call for such an investigation into the allegations himself, Delia exclaimed; "Call for an investigation?  Don't we have a Police Commissioner to do this himself?", essentially saying that the police commissioner should be perfectly capable of opening an investigation himself if he saw fit.

His stance was similar when asked on allegations surrounding MEP David Casa.  Asked whether he would demand the resignation of David Casa if OLAF decides to open an investigation into the MEP, Delia once again said that what was being said about Casa were allegations and not facts and that he would base himself and his actions on facts.


'Steps taken' against Jason Azzopardi

Asked about how his party could maintain credibility when there were PN MPs such as Jason Azzopardi making allegations based on the Prime Minister's children, Delia said that he totally condemned such remarks and added that steps had been taken on the matter and that he hoped that this type of discourse does not happen again.

Azzopardi had questioned how the Prime Minister could afford “€70,000 annual tuition fees for his kids” on a salary of €65,000 a year, going on to also mention the PM’s “€12,000 one-week jaunt in Dubai”. Azzopardi went further by saying this is proof of “a corrupt Prime Minister receiving kickbacks”. Azzopardi uploaded this comment after posts on the social media said that the Prime Minister’s children were attending Stonyhurst College in Lancashire.

The claim was dismissed as "another dirty lie" by the office of the Prime Minister.


Delia stands his ground on Egrant and Immigration, addresses domestic violence and IVF bills

Delia stood his ground on the subject of Egrant and immigration during the programme.

The Opposition leader said that he accepted the magistrate's conclusion in the case of Egrant, but he reiterated how the Attorney General, in his decision to not grant the full report of the Egrant case to the Opposition, was creating a political imbalance and said that he was committed to keep fighting this matter until the Maltese knew the full truth.

Asked directly by an audience member whether he agreed with Simon Busuttil's recent assertions that he believes that Egrant is indeed of the Prime Minister; Delia once again said that he agreed with what the magistrate had found in his inquiry.

On immigration meanwhile, Delia once again said that the government had no long-term vision for any sector in the country that mattered to the people and said that economic growth had to come through opening new sectors wherein immigrants can come to Malta and learn hand-in-hand with the Maltese.

Asked about the fact that the PN had voted against a recent domestic violence act and whether the PN would apologise to victims of domestic violence for voting against a law that would have strengthened them, Delia said that the PN is totally against domestic violence and had encouraged the government to give focus to this matter.

The party's message was that there was the need for more strength to those suffering in silence at home - but that the protection of the weakest of them all, the unborn child, should not be removed.   He said that the PN will re-introduce this part of the law into being if elected into government.

On the PN's vote against the recent IVF law,  Delia said that he wanted to help everyone as much as possible, but said that there is one line that the PN cannot cross; the line to take life - to kill what aren't simply 8 cells; they are humans. He said that the PN would be the voice of the voiceless.

Finally, Delia once again reiterated that he would not resign even if the result that the PN receives in the upcoming MEP elections is worse than that received in the last general election.



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