The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

PM accumulates €500,000 bill for private jet use since beginning 2017

Thursday, 14 February 2019, 11:02 Last update: about 7 months ago

The bill accumulated by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for the use of a private since the beginning of 2017 to date rose to €489,464 total, with €79,600 being spent specifically for the Tour de Capitales during the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Prime Minister gave the details in Parliament when answering a question tabled by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi.

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Azzopardi asked questions pertaining to the use of private jets, specifically on the private jet bill for the Tour des Capitales, and the private jet bill for general use between 2017 and 2019 of the Prime Minister, Minister for Education Evarist Bartolo, and Minister for Economy Chris Cardona.

Focusing on the Tour des Capitales, Muscat said that the €79,600 total came from a series of eight flights between the 28th February 2017 and the 2nd March 2017.

The flights made were from Malta to Stockholm, Stockholm to Prague, Prague to Budapest, Budapest to Athens, Athens to Malta, Malta to Nicosia, Nicosia to Rome, and finally Rome to Malta. The flights were made to meet with the Prime Ministers of Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Italy, and the President of Cyprus.

“It would not have been possible to conduct these trips in two days without the use of the private jet. This method also substantially reduced the costs on hotels for the members of the delegation.”

The Prime Minister then says that the average amount spent on each of the 34 flights with the private jet was of €14,396.

It was also noted that the “absolute majority” of the 34 flights were related to meeting with the EU through which the Maltese Government was given a substantial refund.

The destinations visited were Belgium, Italy, Spain, France, Estonia, Greece, Sweden, Ivory Coast, Portugal, Austria, Slovakia, Cyprus, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

Minister Cardona said that he never used a private jet in 2017, 2018, or 2019, and Minister Bartolo only used it once on accompanying the Prime Minister to Brussels for the Tripartite Social Summit.

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