Moviment Graffitti say government ‘bowing down’ to Zammit Tabona business interests

Moviment Graffitti calls for investigation into dealings involving the Zammit Tabona family, questioning whether electoral donations re facilitating their business interests

Moviment Graffitti have called out government for bowing to the business interests of the Zammit Tabona family.

The NGO said that concerns are arising as to whether the Zammit Tabona family is exerting influence on calls for tenders and other decisions being taken in the country.

“Moviment Graffitti stresses the need that all dealings involving the Zammit Tabona family are thoroughly scrutinised and investigated because people have a right to know the reasons and motivations underlying these decisions,” it said.

Among the dealings that are benefitting the owners of Captain Morgan and Fortina, the list includes the private jetty at Balluta Bay and the “scandalous process” that led to the Planning Authority greenlighting the project.

The construction of a private lido in Sliema and the construction of pier with berthing facilities for Captain Morgan vessels were also cited by Moviment Graffitti.

In the case of the fast ferry, the NGO said government is “hell-bent” on ignoring the needs of Gozitans, after the latest tender document showed the dropping of a fast ferry plan, and the proposal for a hop-on hop-off service.

“This would give an exclusive monopoly to Captain Morgan over the maritime transport industry since the tender grants exclusive concession rights to the operator for a 15-year period, whereas the first two tenders only covered a five-year period,” the statement read.

The 15-year concession would amount to a revenue of around €115.5 million, but fails to address the country’s mobility issues.

Other projects like the construction of a private jetty in Balluta Bay, the Comion berthing pier and the permission for lido facilities for the Fortina Hotel in Sliema through land reclamation were all instances where government “bowed” to the interests of the Zammit Tabona family.

“The ambitions of the Zammit Tabona family to expand its maritime dominion do not stop here. Captain Morgan was chosen through direct orders to provide three of its vessels to accommodate migrants out at sea,” the NGO said.

For the provision of the ‘service’, it is estimated the company raked in €9,000 daily.

Moviment Graffitti pointed out that the Zammit Tabona family has recently donated to the Labour Party during fund raising events, casting doubts on the two’s relationship.

“In light of all this, it is only natural that serious doubts arise about the close ties that the Zammit Tabona family has with the political class, and which are leading to decisions that favour its business interests,” it said.

The NGO called for the dealings involving the Zammit Tabona family to be scrutinised and investigated.

“It is totally unacceptable that the people keep being trampled under the weight of the financial and political power of the Zammit Tabona family,” it said.

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