The Malta Independent 21 March 2023, Tuesday
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Prime Minister Robert Abela accuses Delia of lying over hospitals deal

Marc Galdes Thursday, 16 March 2023, 19:53 Last update: about 4 days ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela attacked the Opposition during a heated Parliamentary debate surrounding the hospitals deal, taking particular aim at PN MP Adrian Delia. Abela also spent a portion of his speech listing the investments that had been made by Steward Health Care.

Speaker Anglu Farrugia had to, at one point, suspend the sitting after the House erupted in reaction to Abela saying that Adrian Delia lied.

On Thursday a parliamentary sitting took place on a PN motion calling on Parliament to condemn the hospitals deal and demand that Prime Minister Robert Abela take all necessary actions including but not limited to, instituting legal proceedings, so that the Government of Malta recovers any amount it improperly paid to Steward and Vitals Global Healthcare and/or their subsidiaries.


Abela began his speech by saying that this is the first time he had been able to reply to "all the lies the Opposition has been spreading," as he did not want to say anything before the appeals were filed or the period elapsed out of fear that his words could benefit others.

Abela, on the day marking 65 months since the brutal assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, referred to what Caruana Galizia wrote back in 2017, where she said that Delia lied to the court, the media and the people. Abela said that just like Caruana Galizia said six years ago, Delia remained a liar.

This caused an uproar from the opposition and Delia called a point of order and asked Abela to give substance to this claim.

Delia called multiple point of order and challenged Abela to substantiate or repeat the claim or repeat it outside of parliament, where he was no immunity, saying that Abela said that Delia lied in court.

Eventually, Abela said that "Delia refrained from telling the truth," when misquoting the court judgement.

Abela resumed his speech by referring to the appeal Steward said it was filing on Wednesday and said that Steward argued that the contractual obligations were in favour of the government and financially burdened Steward. He said that the appeal also confirmed that Abela also demanded that Steward carry out its obligations.

Abela said that it was not right to say that Steward took €400 million without carrying out any work, contrary to what the PN has been saying. He later said that he shall be sending a formal letter to the Auditor General to investigate Delia's allegation that Steward took €400 million and gave nothing in return.

He added that Steward made infrastructural investments and supported Karin Grech Hospital and the Gozo General Hospital, "contrary to what the PN said." He said that the idea that Steward only built a toilet was completely false.

Abela admitted that he wasn't happy with the full concession, particularly with the abandoned state of St Luke's hospital.

Following more shouts from the opposition benches, Abela attacked Delia's relationship with the party and told him not to trust PN MP Karol Aquilina who was sitting next to him.

Continuing, he mentioned the €36,000 loan Steward took from BOV and said that Steward did not steal the money, but is paying the loan back and it used the money to invest in the Barts school, which he described as "state of the art."

To further recognise the work Steward did, he read out statistics for both Gozo General Hospital and Karin Grech Hospital, which showed that thousands of patients were taken care of and treated between 2019 and 2022.

Speaking about infrastructural investments, he said that Gozo General Hospital got a dental clinic, a stroke unit, and an orthopaedic centre. He added that there were also investments in new ambulances and a helicopter. Abela said that when Steward filed the appeal it also confirmed that they were obliged to a €200 million investment in infrastructure.

To further attack Delia, he brought up the controversial Mater Dei Skanska deal. He said that Skanska stole from the Maltese government for 10 years and whilst it was doing this, Delia was the legal consultant, and he accused Delia of writing up a waiver which absolved Skanska from any wrongdoing.

Delia again called a point of order stating that he had no involvement at all in this waiver.

Abela then accused Delia of being double-faced as he had previously scrutinised Abela for being a legal consultant to the cabinet when the Vitals deal was signed, but now Delia is defending his position as a legal consultant for Skanska.

Delia called another point of order and stated that the difference was that he was working privately at the time and not in politics, unlike Abela.

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