The Malta Independent 14 July 2020, Tuesday

Defiant Mizzi says he disagrees with PM's request to resign from PL Parliamentary Group

Tuesday, 23 June 2020, 17:31 Last update: about 20 days ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela has asked Konrad Mizzi to resign from the PL Parliamentary Group, but the former energy minister said he does not agree.

Mizzi, who is under fire again after the recent Montenegro scandal revelations, was the one who announced that the PM had asked him to go. While he said he does not agree with the PM's request, Mizzi was unclear about his intentions and hinted that he could stay on as an independent MP.

The Malta Independent is informed that the Labour Party's executive committee will be deciding about Mizzi's future at a meeting scheduled to start at 7pm.

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Konrad Mizzi was involved in a flurry of scandals since coming to office in 2013, including the Panama Papers scandal and the Vitals deal.

"While I respect him and the work he is doing for the country, I didn't agree that I should be made to move aside on allegations and speculation pushed forward by adversaries of the PL."

"The Prime Minister recently said that if someone did something bad in the Montenegro project, that person needs to be cast aside. On my part, I categorically denied every allegation of personal interest in the project."

Last week, Times of Malta and Reuters reported that 17 Black - the Dubai company belonging to Yorgen Fenech - made a profit of €4.6 million from Enemalta's purchase of the windfarm project. The project was first acquired, for €2.9 million, by Seychelles-based company Cifidex, which later sold it to Enemalta for €10.3 million. Cifidex borrowed money the €2.9 million from 17 Black. It eventually repaid the €3 million to 17 Black, plus a €4.6 million 'profit share.'

In his post, Mizzi said: "I don't agree, therefore, that a person is to be removed without being heard and being given the opportunity to defend him or herself. The democratic and modern PL credentials demand a better process than that."

The lack of personal interest needs to become more clear through the investigations by the authorities. I agree that an investigation takes place, and quickly, and I insist that Enemalta publicly declare all the project's details. Till today they haven't done it."

He said he will defend himself, as "I have every right to do as a citizen of a democratic country."

He said he remains loyal to the Labour Party and to his constituents who urged him to go into political service. "Through my service, I pushed forward the Labour government's economic policy and energy policy under former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Through our efforts, we reduced energy bills and from a bankrupt company, Enemalta began investing in international projects. The Montenegro project is the first Enemalta project outside of the country, that will give us a guaranteed income of at least 9.4%.

"In light of these latest development, I will still be loyal to the PL, and through my vote in Parliament, I will continue stressing the government's work. I will continue contributing in politics, where I will continue to be a voice for my constituents."

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