The Malta Independent 25 May 2020, Monday

Government must take full legal, political, criminal responsibility of Steward deal - Delia

Thursday, 2 April 2020, 14:41 Last update: about 3 months ago

The government must take full legal, political and criminal responsibility of the Steward deal which led to the privatisation of three public hospitals, as what is happening is illegal and immoral, Opposition leader Adrian Delia said today.

The people are angry at what is happening, and the government has an obligation to take action and explain why medical resources at these hospitals are not available in a time of crisis and, at the same time, Steward is getting millions of euros in taxpayer money.

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He said money wasted on the Steward deal could have been spent on better tackling the Coronavirus pandemic. “As a country we have been pumping money to Steward to convert and modernise these hospitals, but we see that nothing has happened.” He said that this is the time when every bed and ventilator counts.

He said that the Nationalist Party will continue to do its part in the prevailing crisis, and will continue to discuss with the government, stakeholders and the public in these challenging times. “We want our hospitals back,” Delia said.

Shadow Health Minister Stephen Spiteri said that the government must continue to work on the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the country. “The government must anticipate any situation and learn from other countries. Isolation, quarantine and other measures are all essential and we are seeing that the country is containing the infection, and we must continue such enforcements.” He said that it is also important to look into adopting measures for public transport and factories, where there are more than three people in a group, to ensure their safety too.

Shadow finance Minister Mario de Marco said that Finance Minister Edward Scicluna should take responsibility of the Steward deal. “His role is not to just collect taxes, but also to ensure that those taxes are used efficiently. If he did his job, the contract would not have taken place and he would have protected the Maltese.”

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