The Malta Independent 23 February 2019, Saturday

Vitals contract was ‘made to fail’ – Adrian Delia

Albert Galea Sunday, 20 January 2019, 13:08 Last update: about 2 months ago

The contract signed between the government and Vitals Global Healthcare was “made to fail”, Opposition Leader Adrian Delia said in his customary Sunday address, before noting that the government had signed away three hospitals to a company with no experience whatsoever in the medical sector.

Addressing an event at the PN club in Birkirkara, Delia said that the contract was signed so that the company could give the shares away to another entity for just €1, despite the contract having €200 million worth of government investment in it.  “Your taxes were used to subsidise another company – Technoline”, he said.

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The Shift News throughout the course of last week said that hidden owners of Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) funded the €5 million purchase of Technoline and then awarded themselves exclusivity of supply.  The Shift reported that through a secret agreement, Steward Healthcase acquired VGH for only €1 and that for that price, Steward got a concession worth €70 million per year, or €188,000 per day, from Maltese taxpayers for potentially 99 years and €7 billion in revenue.

Delia added that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat does not even want to defend himself on this matter, and has lodged a request with the court that he is not part of a court case which focuses on this very contract.

He said that the deal had exposed that in reality there is not one government but two.  He said that on one hand there was Konrad Mizzi, who was Health Minister when the VGH contract was signed, who allowed the situation to unfold, and on the hand there is Deputy Prime Minister and current Health Minister Chris Fearne who wants to tear the contract up.  He questioned Joseph Muscat; “Who are you going to side with?  Who will you remove? Konrad Mizzi or Chris Fearne?” and added that he knew for a fact that there were a number of Cabinet minister who were uncomfortable with how the deal had been signed.

He said that this contract was seeing that more profit was received by one country, whilst pensioners have to do weekly calculations to make sure that they can afford their pills and at the same time be able to make ends meet.  “The government is throwing away millions whilst our pensioners suffer in silence at home”, Delia said.

Delia made brief mention of the deal the government had made with Corinthia, saying that the PN had convened a parliamentary group meeting on December 27 last year to discuss this matter, a matter which he described as the government wanting to give 30,000 square metres of public land to one company with no tender and for a measly price.  “Your land is being given to someone else for their profit; that’s what the government was doing over the holidays”, he said.

Delia said that hundreds of millions being lost in corruption through deals such as that with VGH and that with Electrogas was represented in over 3,000 families who are looking for a roof over their heads, and he reiterated that the PN in government would guarantee that no Maltese or Gozitan would ever end up without a roof over their heads. 

Delia comments on migrants, agriculture, and 'the fight ahead'

Delia also commented on the recent news that 117 migrants had perished in the Mediterranean Sea, saying that everything must be done to make sure that not a single person loses their life in the Mediterranean and that it is unacceptable that the government does only the bare minimum to help those most vulnerable.

He meanwhile accused the Labour Party and its media houses for conducting a “character assassination” on a person who, they said, is close to him and who, they alleged, was the cause of a confrontation which occurred in the studio audience on Xarabank last Friday.  Delia called these allegations an outright lie and said that the video footage shared by the party’s media was edited and did not show that it was exponents of the Labour party who had in fact caused the commotion through a barrage of insults.

He noted that the party had submitted their first set of proposals on Saturday which related to a sector which the government had called insignificant for the country; agriculture.  He said that the PN cares about the agricultural sector and guaranteed that with serious and concrete proposals, most of which can be subsidised by the European Union, a PN government can improve the lives of those within this sector.

Reminiscing on the days of Eddie Fenech Adami and his early days in politics inside the PN Club he was addressing, Delia said that politics was so relevant in the past because “we believed that we had a big fight ahead of us”.  He said that today we have been alienated, but that despite this the people were facing the same fight.

He noted that the call back then was based on three notions; work, justice and freedom.  In the case of the first, he said that the work available today was not paying enough for the country’s youth to be able to afford a roof over their heads.  In the case of the second, he said that justice was not just that in court, but also social justice where there are thousands who try as they may cannot make ends meet, justice on the workplace for those who miss promotions due to partisan politics, and justice for businesses who find no level playing field.  In the case of the third, he said that that while the situation is not as it was in the past when armed police used to chase people through the streets, liberty was also having institutions that work correctly and which are not influenced by the government and having strong independent media.

He concluded by speaking about the upcoming MEP elections, saying that his message was clear: “anybody who thinks that this government is corrupt but does not vote is voting for Joseph Muscat and is giving their consent to Konrad Mizzi”.  He added that those who do not vote thinking that they would be sending a message, will instead be allowing the extension of the contract of corruption that this government represents.

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