The Malta Independent 29 February 2020, Saturday

Alfred Sant 'blocked EP resolution' on Egrant 15 days before last election

Saturday, 23 March 2019, 09:39 Last update: about 12 months ago

Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant blocked a proposal to discuss the unfounded Egrant allegations against the Prime Minister and his wife two weeks before the 2017 general elections in Malta at the European Parliament.

This discussion would have strengthened the resolute of certain individuals in Malta who were orchestrating this campaign, a statement issued by the Labour MEP's office today said.

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Great efforts were unleashed to discuss this resolution before the general elections but Alfred Sant managed to postpone the discussion after the election resulted in a landslide victory for the Labour Party, the statement added.

The Maltese MEP said that most of his political activity in Malta and at the European Parliament were not aimed for media consumption, when asked by journalist Saviour Balzan on XTRA which was his best contribution as an MEP.

Much of my political work in Malta and at the European Parliament was meant to provide services underground. This was deliberate. With regards to Malta and the Labour Party, my best input occurred two years ago when Egrant allegations were prevalent during Malta’s election campaign and the Egrant issue was very much alive and hot.

Moves were made to put Egrant on the agenda of the European Parliament on the eve of the general elections in Malta. This could have badly affected Labour’s political campaign. I took certain initiatives to ensure that discussion of the issue in Plenary would be postponed till after the general elections.  And that is what actually happened.”

Quizzed about this, Alfred Sant said he has full confidence in the Prime Minister’s integrity.

I didn’t feel the need to contact the Prime Minister on the Egrant allegations. I recognized immediately he wasn’t involved .... because I have full confidence in him, I have full confidence in his integrity. He may have committed mistakes. But I have never had any doubts about his integrity. So I didn’t have a problem on this.”

Alfred Sant said that he expected that certain institutions in Malta would have been more transparent on the way they treated the Egrant story.

“In my opinion some didn’t treat the Egrant story in a transparent way.”

Alfred Sant spoke on his political contributions and achievements at the European Parliament. He said that every year there is a political and economic discussion among EU member states about the state of economic policy mainly in the eurozone.

“In 2015 I was Shadow Rapporteur on behalf of the European Social and Democrats (S&D) of the annual European Parliament Report on future economic directions. Political forces from the right opposed all proposals to include a social dimension in the final text. So I manoeuved to engineer a breakup of the coalition between the Socialists and the EPP on the file and the report was not approved in Plenary.”

The Maltese MEP said that during the following year, in 2016, he was Rapporteur on that year’s report and led discussions on the report on behalf of S&D.

“We insisted to include Europe’s social dimension in the report, the need for social measures to compensate for the austerity measures which had effected negatively workers across Europe. That Report passed through Plenary. First we blocked the procedure and then we opened it.”

Alfred Sant said he was always loyal to the Labour Party, he was always loyal to all the Labour leaders and that he was always loyal to Malta.

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