The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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Possible EU pipeline funding has brought about an EU ‘moral emergency’ – Caruana Galizia

Shona Berger Wednesday, 8 December 2021, 15:31 Last update: about 3 years ago

Matthew Caruana Galiza has said that the issue concerning EU funding of a proposed gas pipeline connecting Malta and Sicily has brought about a "moral emergency" for the EU.

Daphne Caruana Galizia's family has joined forces with two MEPs, Claudia Gamon and Marie Toussaint, urging the EU not to fund the proposed gas pipeline project, saying that public funds should not be spent on a project which is "linked to murder and corruption."

The Caruana Galizia family recently penned a letter to the Slovenian presidency of the EU, calling for the removal of a derogation that allows the EU to fund Malta's gas pipeline project.

During a press conference, Matthew Caruana Galizia said that the Slovenian presidency replied earlier this morning, but highlighted that he was very dissapointed with the reply.

"The Slovenian presidency has taken up a very passive attitude, showing a complete lack of leadership," Caruana Galizia said.

"We expect the French presidency to take a different approach and hopefully show political and moral leadership. The abusive power of EU funds needs to end. We call on the French presidency to take a different approach to that of the Slovenian presidency," Caruana Galizia added.

The Maltese government is exploring the possibility of having hydrogen and blends of other renewable fuels, including bio-methane, delivered to Malta through a gas pipeline from Gela in Sicily from 2030 onwards.

The Caruana Galizia family said that the public funds for the €400 million Melita pipeline project would also be flowing to the owners of a "corrupt project."

Malta's implementation of a gas pipeline would also set off a €100 million pay-out to Electrogas, they said.

Caruana Galizia spoke about his mother's work, saying that during her assassination she was investigating the Electrogas company in Malta. Throughout this entire time, the government has maneuvered to get EU funds for this pipeline, he said.

"This situation is completely intolerable. This is not why my family voted to be in the EU and it's not why my mother sacrificed her life. This is a project which not only is in the private interest of the few people who are behind it, but it goes against any principles of morality and justice."

It is unaccapetable that public funds are used for such a project, which not only will be environmentally damaging but it will also reward people who are accused for serious crimes," Caruana Galizia said.

Meanwhile, MEP Claudia Gamon described this situation as "unbelievable and scandalous."

The EU parliament has a moral responsibility to decide where the public funds flow. but it should not flow into a pipeline tied to such acts, Gamon said.

"My focus is on making sure that the EU member states reverse the decision," Gamon added.

Gamon expects the French presidency to take a stand on this issue. She noted that the question on whether this can be stopped is a question of political will.

For her part, MEP Marie Toussaint, also urged putting a stop to giving public funds to such a project surrounded by such allegations.

Toussaint said that the Melita gas pipeline project will only benefit a few people and will not be implemented in the public interest. It would also reward people who are accused of murder, she said with reference to Yorgen Fenech, saying that it is completely "absurd."





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