Farrugia flags ‘doubtful encroachment’ made close to March elections

Parliamentary secretary for lands says encroachment agreements issued to ‘individuals close to previous administration’.

According to parliamentary secretary for lands Michael Farrugia, a number of encroachment agreements were signed "days close to the general elections".

According to Farrugia, these agreements were also signed with "individuals close to ministers who served under the previous administration".

Addressing parliament, the parliamentary secretary announced that, due to space constraints, the administration was also looking at the possible relocation of the Lands Department.

Turning to the issue of the Australia Hall, Farrugia said that in 1997, the Labour Party had signed an agreement with the government so that Freedom Press - then Labour's property - would be passed on to government to develop the shipbuilding.

"The shipbuilding development required the Freedom Press and the land around it. The agreement stipulated that property in Pembroke would be returned to the party," he said.

Farrugia added that it was only today that one understood the real value of the Freedom Press land.

In 1998, a second agreement was made so that the shipbuilding would pay the government directly. According to Farrugia, the shipbuilding had to pay the party €250,000 who in turn had to pay the government.

He went on to table in parliament a copy of the agreement signed between the government and the Labour Party in 1998.

Reacting to criticism by the Opposition that a Labour government had taken public land for its own private use, Farrugia said the PN should talk about properties in Sliema, Sta Lucija and Rahal Gdid. He insisted that, on the eve of the general election, the previous administration had extended a property contract despite knowing that the health centre had requested the land for expansion.

On a Ta' Xbiex property, Farrugia said a tender had been issued, the PN submitted a bid but after placing last, the Nationalist government had stopped the tender and went on to reopen the calls after having amended the specifications. The tender was won by the PN and a party club developed.

At one point, Farrugia accused the Nationalist administration of having given "seven transfers" to Roderick Galdes - now parliamentary secretary - because he was a Labourite.

IL-QAHBA MILLI JKOLLHA TTIK. Our forefathers knew exactly the value of these sayings for the PN is the one who has bled the country dry, plus sent it into the red to the tune of € 6 billion, and has given its pimps property deals unimaginable, from OUR MONEY, the people's money. AND THEN IT HAS THE GALL TO CRITICISE. The Godfather Simon is now accountable and responsible for the crimes committed by his Party in Government.