PN leader questions €2 million spend on Sai Mizzi's office

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil calls on Manuel Mallia to shoulder political responsibility over claims that his wife had been granted Maltese citizenship after just two years

PN leader Simon Busuttil has demanded answers on the government’s €2 million spend on a Shanghai property which is likely to be used as the base for trade envoy Said Mizzi Liang, arguing that the deal is the latest of the government’s lies.

Last week, MaltaToday revealed that the government had acquired the property in Shanghai, the largest city in China, for €2 million or for the princely sum of €8,445 per square metre. The property will likely be used for a consular presence in Shanghai by the wife of energy minister Konrad Mizzi.

Addressing the party faithful in Santa Lucija, the Opposition leader said this screams of nepotism and was a clear case of abuse of power. Likewise he said, fellow Labour MP and former home affairs minister Manuel Mallia is also guilty of abuse of power after the latter’s wife was granted a Maltese passport in controversial circumstances.

“A passport is normally given after five years but the minister’s wife was granted a passport after two years. How has the minister’s wife skipped others on the waiting list? This is blatant abuse and Manuel Mallia should shoulder political responsibility,” Busuttil underlined.

The PN leader also questioned whether Manuel Mallia – who at the time of his tenure as minister was responsible for citizenship – used his ministerial discretion in an abusive manner in order to grant his wife a Maltese citizenship earlier than possible.

While welcoming the plans for the development of a new American university in Malta, a cautious Busuttil echoed the qualms levelled by Alternattiva Demokratika and several environmental NGOs and argued that the campus should not be built on ODZ land.

“It seems that the little piece of arable land in Marsaskala will make way for this development. The environment should not pay for this development,” he said.

Hailing the PN’s results in the local council elections, Busuttil explained that the results show a shift in mentality among the electorate in the South.

“The results show that the people in the south are willing to give the Nationalist Party another chance, while they also showed that they are fed up of the government’s lies and deceit.”

The Opposition leader argued that in spite of the party registering increases in traditional Labour strongholds, there is still a long way to go and a successful result can only be achieved if the PN remains close to the people.

 “The results are a signal that the people want to give the Nationalist another chance. However, it’s all about the people, the PN must remain the party of the people,” he said.

 “The people are fed up of lies, deceit and abuse of power … the prime minister said he found a stagnant economy, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. We do not expect thanks but we will not remain idle in the face of blatant lies either,” he said.

Busutttil argued that after two years the government is still inaugurating projects which were the work of previous PN administrations, including the BWSC plant, the interconnector, as well as the closure of the Marsa power station.

The Opposition leader also said that on Monday, the work of the previous administrations would also be on show, as the government will inaugurate the new parliament.

“For the first time since its independence, Malta will have a home for democracy. This should not be the home of politicians but to democracy, parliament is a monument of the people and should be as such,” he added.