Dar Malta maintenance costs top €8 million

Expenses on maintaining the Maltese government’s €21 million permanent representation building in Brussels, ‘Dar Malta’ have amounted to over €8 million in just under seven years.

The building's acquisition was controversial from the start for the expense incurred in purchasing the seven-storey building right outside the European Commission's Berlaymont building.

Government has so far managed to only bring in €800,000 in rents for the floors that it does not utilise. It has taken Malta's presidency of the European Union in 2017, to finally see another floor of the controversial nine-storey property being used.

Malta's permanent representation occupies the top four storeys of the Rue Archimede premises. The fifth floor is occupied by Malta's embassy to Belgium, and another two are occupied by third parties - amongst them Volkswagen. The third floor, currently not being leased out, is used for lunches, breakfasts, conferences and receptions organised by the Maltese mission.

Another empty floor, as yet unleased, will now be used for the preparation for Malta's 2017 presidency of the Council.

Notwithstanding that a whole floor at Dar Malta was not being utilised, the Maltese mission in Brussels opted to lease a storage space of 87 cubic metres for an annual €4,784 cost, to store donated furniture, rather than use this empty floor. To date it spent €18,000 to store furniture donated by the Chinese government, from a long-standing agreement with China, which donates around Lm100,000 (€233,000) in kind to Malta every three years.

But when the Chinese furniture arrived in 2007, handlers unpacked chipped chairs, broken desks and other items damaged or missing on the long trek from Beijing, just on the grand opening day of the house in Brussels.

It would seem notwithstanding the donation, much of this furniture was hidden away in some storage space.

In 2012, Dar Malta also spent a staggering €70,000 for new carpets and marbling.

I remember Gonzi and co.saying its a big investment,(for someone who had the commision on buying the property)How they played us,what a bunch of clowns.
Kemm miljuni giet tiswielna din l-imbierka ta' Dar Malta. Niftakar lil Gonzi jghid, li kienu tawh parir l-esperti Maltin bhal RCC, l-avukat Caruana Galizia, Albert Mizzi u l-bella compagnia u qalulu li trid tara kemm se tkun ta' gwadan wara li jghaddu xi 10 snin. Issa ghidulna kemm infaqna u kemm tiswa fis-suq bhalissa u naraw kemm ghamilna gwadan.