Bernard Grech aide Ray Bezzina gets directorship at DB Group

From politics to big business: Grech’s former right-hand man joins construction and development company db Group

PN leader Bernard Grech’s former right-hand man Ray Bezzina will be joining db Group as a director from next week. 

Bezzina will serve as director within the CEO’s office starting from 2 May. He is currently still working in the Nationalist Party to assist in the handover process.

In comments to MaltaToday, Bezzina said he is happy to be joining the group, while insisting that the company always followed the law in their projects.

"I am proud to be joining db Group which has always followed all the laws, rules and regulations of this country in all its projects, and will continue to do so. No one has ever proved otherwise," he said.

Bezzina was Grech’s head of secretariat, but stepped down on 2 April one week after the party’s devastating electoral loss. Before this he served as the chief of staff of ex-minister George Pullicino under Lawrence Gonzi’s Nationalist administration.

Bezzina featured significantly in a leaked cache of government emails published by MaltaToday spanning the 2009-2013 Gonzi administration. The thread of emails revealed ministers and MPs directly recruiting ‘recommended’ constituents inside Wasteserv. Many members of the PN administration regularly petitioned Bezzina to hire voters into the waste agency.

But Bezzina’s transfer to db Group has raised a few eyebrows. Both the PN and PL centred their election campaigns on the environment, but db Group has in previous years been subject to controversy due to its development project of the former ITS land in Pembroke.

db Group was accused of being in cahoots with the Labour administration after it was handed a concession agreement with a mere €60 million price tag. 

Additionally, PN MP Mario De Marco had attended several meetings dealing with the db Group’s concession of the site of the Institute for Tourism Studies. His firm acted as a legal advisor to the group for a number of years on different issues and transactions.

The deal was approved in February 2017 under the aegis of former minister Konrad Mizzi. Eventually, the development plans for the area sparked protests by Pembroke residents and NGOs. 

The plans included two 17-storey towers and a 12-storey hotel on the site of the former tourism school in Pembroke.