Government has sworn to destroy agriculture, Adrian Delia says

PN leader Adrian Delia accuses government of failing completely to manage waste and making farmers pay for its shortcomings

PN leader Adrian Delia addressed a party event in Gozo on Sunday
PN leader Adrian Delia addressed a party event in Gozo on Sunday

Adrian Delia has accused the government of “failing completely” to manage waste and now making farmers pay for its shortcomings by taking their land.

The Nationalist Party leader said that for years, the government had done nothing about waste management. Referring to the large fire at the Sant’Antnin waste recycling plant in 2017, Delia said “there may have been many reasons behind it,” but that the consequences of it was that there are now no facilities to separate waste.

“This is hurtful. Who will pay for the government’s failures? According to the government, the farmers will pay. Almost 250 tumoli of land will be taken to pay for the government’s sins and shortcomings,” he said, as he warned that this “won’t be enough” and that more farmers’ land would be taken, to the detriment of the local agricultural product.

Delia was speaking during a PN event in Imġarr, Gozo on Sunday.

His comments come after twenty-five farmers and their families whose livelihoods depend on fields in the Magħtab area staged a sit-in outside the Wasteserv waste disposal facility yesterday morning in protest at government plans to take over their lands.

“[Finance Minister Edward Scicluna had said farming in our Malta is worth nothing, because it doesn’t contribute anything to the country’s GDP. And this is what the government is doing… it said it will now take care of the environment… after six years of not doing so… and we’ve seen what taking care of the environment means for the government,” he said.

“The farmers’ protest was their cry before dying. The government had sworn to destroy agriculture. That is what it wants, and this is what it will do.”

Robert Abela knows hospitals concession has robbed the people

When it came to the controversial concession given to Steward Health Care, and Vitals Global Healthcare before it, to run three of Malta’s hospitals, Delia said that the Maltese people had paid €240 million over six years, over and above what they used to pay before.

Vitals, he said, had been required to put in a €178 million investment before the government started paying them, but that such an investment hadn’t materialised.

“They didn’t make the investment they had to, and the government is forcing us to keep paying. This is worse than corruption because, when there is corruption, work is given to those who don’t deserve it for people to pocket money. But in this case, the work is not even being done. The millions are being stolen from the people but we are not getting anything in return,” Delia said.

“Robert Abela knows they stolen from the people for six years. And he know they are still stealing from us, and will keep stealing from us for the remainder of the 30-year concession,” the PN leader said, and he underlined that the Prime Minister was now in a position to make decisions on the concession.

“What is Robert Abela waiting for to stop this theft which is taking place, so we can then see what can be done with the money,” Delia asked.

Failing to meeting Moneyval recommendations will mean trouble

Delia also spoke about the financial services and iGaming industry, saying that if Malta doesn’t, by July, meet the recommendations from Moneyval on implementing anti-money laundering measures, the country could be grey-listed by the Financial Action Taskforce, which would have very serious consequences on the sector.

“I ask: when it comes to the financial sector, are we back to normality, or not? Wwho will shoulder the responsibility of what has to be done by July? Will our country remain one with which business can be done, or will be on a list of countries which investors cannot do business with?” he queried.

Marthese Portelli can still contribute to PN

Delia said that while he thanked Marthese Portelli for the work she had done within the party, he was also sad that she had decided to resign this week.

I don’t want to go further than what she wrote publicly, I don’t want to put words in anyone else’s mouth,” he said, “[…] “e encourage her to keep contributing in Maltese politics and within the PN.”