The Malta Independent 25 June 2024, Tuesday
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The PM has 'no remorse' for 'corrupt' hospitals deal, Bernard Grech says

Marc Galdes Tuesday, 28 February 2023, 17:06 Last update: about 2 years ago

Leader of the opposition Bernard Grech called out Prime Minister Robert Abela for not apologising for the "corrupt" hospitals deal.

"He has no remorse for defending this corrupt deal," Grech said.

Grech was addressing the press outside St Luke's Hospital on Tuesday, following a heated parliamentary debate the day before on the controversial hospitals concession, which was annulled by a court last Friday.

Adrian Delia had filed the court case when he was Opposition Leader in 2018 in a bid to cancel the 99-year emphyteutical concession agreement that had originally been awarded to Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH).

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Delia argued that Vitals Global Healthcare, and their heirs in title Steward Healthcare, had not fulfilled the contractual obligations tied to the deal.

St Luke's hospital was listed in this agreement, along with Karin Grech Hospital and Gozo General Hospital.

Grech said that during the 40 minutes when Abela spoke in parliament, he never apologised to the Maltese people even though he was a legal consultant to disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

"Instead of choosing the Maltese people, he chose the fraudulent and the corrupt," Grech said.

He said that not only did Abela have no remorse for the deal, but he continued to defend the deal in court, and pay Steward millions each year. Some of that money ended up at certain people for "pretend" consultancy work, Grech said, insinuating the €60,000 Muscat received from the firm Accutor AG.

"He stooped down to the lowest level," Grech said when referring to Abela's speech. Grech said that instead of taking responsibility, he resorted to bullying tactics.

Grech also said that Abela is still afraid to mention Muscat, former Health minister Konrad Mizzi, and former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.

Delia was also present and said: "We are at the doors of the largest monument of corruption in our country."

Delia brought up Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa who he said should have at least launched investigations following the judgement on Friday, but, Delia added, he has still done nothing.

Delia added that during parliament, Abela admitted to everything that the PN said, but he chose to blame others without mentioning their name because he was too afraid. "He must apologise now," he insisted.

When discussing the court case, Delia said that the court noted that all the money received by Steward Health Care and Vitals Global Healthcare which amounted to around €300 million, was "unjustified enrichment." He said that now the Prime Minister's obligation should be to give the €300 million back to the Maltese people.

PN spokesperson for health Stephen Spiteri pointed out how the abandoned St Luke's Hospital was supposed to be a "state of the art" hospital, however, instead, it is "falling to bits".

Spiteri brought up how the health system is also overloaded, but said this would not have been the case if Steward carried out its contractual obligations.

He said that St Luke's could have improved the health service, Karin Grech could have been used for rehabilitation, and Gozo General Hospital could have taken care of its people immediately to prevent tragedies.

He added that the workers of Steward were also paid less than those paid in the public sector and said that they prevented the workers from advancing in their careers.

When Grech was asked whether this win is a turning point for the PN, considering Grech's leadership has been questioned, he said "this is a turning point for all Maltese. For the country."


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