The Malta Independent 15 August 2022, Monday

‘France uses EU funding for offshore windfarms while Malta’s government sponsors shady deals’ - PN

Tuesday, 2 August 2022, 12:15 Last update: about 12 days ago

Mediterranean countries are using European funds to invest in clean solar and wind energy, to provide price stability to their people while reducing dependency on fossil fuels from third countries, PN spokesperson Peter Agius and PN MP Mark Anthony Sammut have said.

“Meanwhile in Malta, the Labour government is refusing to come clean on the shady deal in Montenegro, while piling up debt on Enemalta.”

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“Instead of investing in clean energy in our country, with a sound, sustainable and efficient action plan, the Labour government opted for a scandalous investment in a windfarm in Montenegro, paying three times as much as the original price with our money,” they said.

Agius said that the European Union has just announced the financing of three floating offshore wind farm projects worth over €135 million close to Marseille in France.

‘’This is the way to go for Malta! Public private partnerships like these can chart the way for sustainable energy and end Malta's controversial dependence on the Electrogas deal. Floating offshore wind farms would also avoid the spiny issue of where to place the windfarms on land in Malta. Let us make full use of Malta's potential through EU opportunities.’’ said Peter Agius

“Despite the loads of rhetoric, the Labour government leaves our families and businesses highly dependent on international gas prices. Even though it subsidises the consumer prices, the subsidies are still being paid by the taxpayer,” said Mark Anthony Sammut.

The European Investment Bank has announced a Fund with the participation of the European Commission to enable France to invest in three floating offshore windfarms in the Mediterranean Sea.

“Despite the many Labour pledges without a plan, nothing is being said about the investments needed in clean offshore wind energy generation,” Agius said.

“The only thing we know so far is that the Labour government bought a scandalous share of a windfarm in Montenegro and paid three times as much, instead of making a wise investment in our country,” added Peter Agius.

‘’To add insult to injury, the government’s own roadmap still claims that floating offshore windfarms are not a ‘viable’ option and are not included as a ‘viable renewable technology option contributing to Malta’s renewable energy objectives for the EU’s 2030 target’, contradicting statements made by Energy Minister Miriam Dalli. The Minister instead keeps following the steps of former Minister Konrad Mizzi, hiding an important report on the malpractices behind Enemalta’s purchase of this windfarm in Montenegro from the public and the media,” said Mark Anthony Sammut.

Sammut said this illustrates the lack of vision of the Labour in the field of energy, so that it will now have to tighten the belt elsewhere to offset the sharp increases in gas, petrol and diesel prices.

“The Nationalist Party has been claiming for many years that for corruption and the lack of vision of the Labour government and Robert Abela, our families and businesses will end up having to pay a high price,” Sammut said.

The spokespersons emphasise that Malta needs to seize the financing opportunities and the investment potential the European Union is offering to invest in clean energy with the French investment serving as a blueprint for several other countries in the Mediterranean.

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