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Enemalta inspectors’ ‘surprise visit’ probed for political retribution

Successful businessman whose comments on ‘positive economy’ were given exaggerated attention by Labour media, targeted by trade inspectors

Matthew Vella
6 December 2016, 12:11pm
Still from One News footage that aired Simon Busuttil's meeting with Swieqi businessmen
Still from One News footage that aired Simon Busuttil's meeting with Swieqi businessmen
An entrepreneur whose positive comments on the economy earned him the spotlight on Labour television channel One TV, ended up attracting the wrong kind of attention when Enemalta inspectors carried out an on-the-spot visit to his outlet, the economy minister said in parliament Monday.

Chris Cardona said in the House that the businessman, who was filmed making his comments to a delegation led by PN leader Simon Busuttil, received “a visit by inspectors” the day after his comments were aired on TV.

Busuttil was on a tour of Swieqi small businesses to present the PN’s latest proposals for SMEs. One TV pounced on the comment made by the businessman to Busuttil, when pointing out the success of his enterprise as a sign that “not everything can be said to be negative.”

While the comment provided Labour propagandists with a field day, the businessman suffered the consequences with an unexpected inspection from various government offices. MaltaToday is informed that three Enemalta inspectors and a police officer made a surprise visit to his outlet, to inspect his energy meters. Other trade officers were said to have also carried out other inspections.

According to Cardona, speaking in the House, the visits were irregular and suggested that they were motivated by political retribution.

On its part, the PN said Cardona’s claim that it was “the party that had sent the inspectors” was an invention. “Cardona has been the responsible minister for the economy for four years... Cardona is trying to deflect his own government’s wrongdoing onto others.”

Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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