[WATCH] ‘Malta’s political parties still funded from big business’, PN candidate David Stellini

Nationalist MEP candidate David Stellini: ‘Unless any EP resolution mentions nine other EU member states for their own shortcomings on banking fraud and crime, I would never vote against Malta’

Gozo MP David Stellini is running for MEP, but could be expected to resign his seat as MP
Gozo MP David Stellini is running for MEP, but could be expected to resign his seat as MP
‘Malta’s political parties still funded from big business’ - David Stellini

Maltese political parties are still dependant on funds from big business, the Nationalist MP and MEP candidate David Stellini has told MaltaToday in an interview in which he calls out the divisive partisanship of Maltese politics.

Stellini, a former spokesperson for the European People’s Party who ran for MP in 2017 and was elected in a casual election, said that unless political parties severe the tether of big business, people’s aspirations for a better environment and considerate development cannot be fulfilled.

“I wish to see a discussion on state funding of political parties. Our parties are sourcing their funds from big businesses. We cannot speak of development and environment if we don’t address this,” Stellini said.

Stellini also called for a system of full-time MPs to stop members of the House having to be employed with government boards – where their allegiance is owed to ministers and the prime minister rather than constituents – or with the private sector in the form of retainers from big business.

“At a subconscious level, the Maltese electorate understands this: you cannot have MPs close to big business. The situation [right now] is indeed serious,” Stellini said.

The MP refused to confirm reports that he has been approached by rival factions in the PN – those close to embattled party leader Adrian Delia and those opposing him – to condition Stellini on the timing of his possible resignation from the House.

Stellini will reportedly return to his posting with the EPP in Brussels, opening up a co-option in which rival factions are seeking to place their own allies: such as former MP Jean Pierre Debono, who resigned his seat for Delia’s co-option to the House, or the PN’s frontrunner in Europe, the MEP Roberta Metsola.

But Stellini said that if he is elected as an MEP in Brussels he would work “hand in hand” with Malta’s other five MEPs, with his priority being the use of EU funds to solve Malta’s mass transport issues and Gozo’s accessibility, as well as to create direct housing subsidies for young couples to purchase property from a government foundation.

“The people I meet say they want their politicians focused on their needs and aspirations, the what people believe is theirs by right; politicians have to give people such as low-income earners, a voice. These people want us to talk about their issues. And this is what I want to do on a European level,” he said.

Indeed, Stellini went as far as saying he would never vote on an EP resolution targeting Malta unless it mentioned some other nine states – all of them from the northern hemisphere of the EU – for their egregious shortcomings.

“There are other European countries that have not been mentioned, countries implicated in banking scandals, and human, drugs and arms trafficking,” he said, without mentioning banks such as Deutsche Bank, ABLV in Latvia, Danske, Swedbank, as well as the City of London and the Dutch ports facilitating entry-points for drugs.

“I am not ready to accept any resolution unless there are at least nine other countries mentioned: and they are not Mediterranean, but indeed northern and Scandinavian. If these countries are not mentioned, I will not vote against Malta. The EU has no proper measure for all countries – until that equal rule exists for everyone, I will not vote against Malta.”

Stellini also said that he had taken up his mission as MP in a bid to work towards “a politics of unity”, and help young people get on the property ladder or businesses whose trade was hampered by Malta’s transport and parking problems.

“Politics is about people… mine has been a campaign focused on home visits. People want us to work hand-in-hand in Europe… my politics is consensual, and partisanship does not even pass through the corridors of my mind.

“But there are candidates who want to destroy other candidates, simply because they think they will steal their votes. I will build on what the Labour government, and before that the Nationalist government, had done. I want to learn from the mistakes, and positives, of both parties. I have a positive attitude… politics needs a breath of fresh air from people like me.”

More in Europe 2019