The Malta Independent 4 August 2020, Tuesday

TMID Editorial: This is only the beginning - Everyone must go and every deal must be investigated

Wednesday, 27 November 2019, 09:58 Last update: about 9 months ago

The madness of the last week and the heads of Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri rolling out of Cabinet yesterday, along with the suspension of Chris Cardona, is only the beginning of the end of this whole sordid story that has been played out on the national stage over the past years.

What comes next is the unravelling of the entire convoluted mess that has been concocted by people in positions of power to maximise their own personal gains off the back of the taxpayer.

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Or so it is being alleged at least.

This is not a question of political stripe, this is not a time to entrench oneself behind red or blue barricades.  This is a time for justice to be served, for prices to be paid and for the nation to begin extracting itself from the quagmire it has been stuck in since Mizzi and Schembri were first exposed in the Panama Papers.

We have been calling for Mizzi and Schembri to resign, to just go, or for the Prime Minister to do what was required for years now.  But yesterday’s resignations provide little solace in this respect.  At least, out of power, these three can do no more damage to the country, at least not on the level on which they have been.

But no one must be let off the hook here simply because they have resigned or because people around them have done so. Prosecutions must inevitably follow yesterday’s events.  There are no ifs, ands or buts about it, no one must be allowed to wriggle out of this one.  And when we say no one, we mean no one – from the top to the bottom.  This cannot be simply a have been a game of smoke and mirrors aimed to placate the ever-growing mobs gathering outside of Parliament. 

It is simply not enough for the people around the Prime Minister to begin dropping like flies.

The Prime Minister himself must also face his own day of reckoning.  That is because when we say that everyone must go, everyone must go. 

This applies to those complicit in the corruption and those who turned a blind eye to it for the sake of political convenience, or other reasons.

This, of course, also includes the Prime Minister himself.  We do not see any way in which he could be able to slip and slide out of this one because, as said, the gross inaction and dereliction of duty in not removing Schembri and Mizzi immediately or at any other point (yesterday they both resigned, they were not fired) shows either complicity or extremely poor judgement.  It is, after all, one or the other and of that that there is no question.

And that is something that we can ill afford from the man leading the country, especially not at the most delicate juncture.

That is because each and every shady deal that this government has drummed up for nefarious purposes needs to be investigated and investigated thoroughly.  These include the ElectroGas Delimara power station, which appears to have been the genesis of it all, and the Vitals Global Healthcare deals – two cases of state robbery that were overseen by none other than Mizzi and, most likely, with the connivance of Schembri.

We are not convinced, judging by his past reticence to act that these will be investigated to the full extent by the current administration, which is nothing but knee-deep in this business.

And removing further hope that this business will be tackled conclusively by the current administration is the fact that the Prime Minister yesterday actually thanked Schembri for his service?  Come again? This was nothing short of a slap in the face of the country.  Thank him for what, exactly?  We hope that was merely a formality, a platitude for a departing colleague.

If not, then we have even more serious cause for concern.

These people resigning have inexplicably been protected by the Prime Minister for years, they have dragged the nation through the mud and all for the sale of what, exactly?  That question is best left to be answered by the Prime Minister himself, but answer it he must.

And if does not answer, rest assured that we will never stop asking.

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