[WATCH] ‘Everyone responsible for own actions’ – Scicluna on Electrogas tax exemption

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna says everyone will be responsible for their own actions, referring to €40m excise tax exemption for Electrogas

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
‘Everyone responsible for own actions’ – Scicluna on Electrogas tax exemption

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has shrugged off concerns about an exemption of €40 million in excise tax for the Delimara has plant owners Electrogas by the finance ministry, saying “everyone is responsible for their own actions”.

Scicluna was fielding questions after a press conference in which he launched the pre-budget document 20201. 

“In business you give and you receive, and that’s what was given,” he commented. “Everyone is responsible for their own actions. If something happened behind someone’s back, they’re responsible for their own actions,” Scicluna said.

Earlier this week it was revealed that an intervention by former energy minister Konrad Mizzi in 2017 – when he had been ‘demoted’ to a minister without portfolio – meant that Electrogas received an excise tax exemption of €40 million, the burden falling on public finances.

Alfred Camilleri, Permanent Secretary within the Ministry for Finance, had revealed during the Daphne Caruana Galizia public inquiry that Enemalta absorbed a €5 million excise tax cost, instead of Electrogas.

The ministry has said excise duty on power generation is paid by Enemalta, as confirmed by Camilleri and Customs. “Enemalta is paying regularly the excise duties due,” a spokesperson said.

Electrogas is a consortium owned by Maltese investors Tumas and Gasan, Siemens of Germany, and SOCAR of Azerbaijan, which buys LNG and sells it to Enemalta for the production of energy. The company also built the €200 million gas plant at Delimara.

The son of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia this week published an email exchange between newly-appointed Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg and Stephen Jurgenson, a lawyer representing Electrogas, allowing Mizzi’s signature on the Electrogas Security of Supply Agreement to bypass parliament and cabinet.

The Security of Supply Agreement was used to guarantee major loans for Electrogas, which would have been nullified if any corruption allegations were proven correct. The clause meant that Mizzi’s signature would be enough moving forward.

Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech, is the main suspect in the murder of Caruana Galizia, who had come into possession of a major Electrogas leak consisting of over 200,000 documents.

Her son Matthew says the Electrogas project could have defaulted on a €600 million loan if corruption allegations were proven correct, and that this was the main motive behind her assassination.

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