Muscat to ‘withdraw any developments’ in Gaffarena expropriation saga if investigation reveals fraud or corruption

Prime Minister’s ‘unprecedented’ promise is a show of government’s will to change the way the lands department operates.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

Speaking in a telephone call on One Radio, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat pledged that the government would be waiting for the results of the investigations carried out by the independent IAID and Auditor General into the €1.65 million expropriation deal of Marco Gaffarena owned property in Old Mint Street, Valletta.

“We will leave no stone unturned and we will get to the bottom of this,” Muscat said, adding that the story also needed to be reviewed in context to stop improper practises from continuing now.

“I will use all means at my disposal to withdraw all dealings that have already been made should the investigation confirm fraud and corruption,” Muscat stressed.

He added that although this was ‘unprecendented,’ it was a way to show that the government was willing to change the way things were done.

Looking forward to planning parliamentary secretary Michael Falzon’s efforts to further change the way the lands department worked, Muscat also encouraged people to make use of the whistle blower act in cases related to the lands department.

“I appeal to anyone who knows about any irregularities under the department in question to make use of the whistleblower act and come forward, whichever the administration in question,” Muscat said stressing the government’s emphasis on the principle of goodwill.

In his communication, Muscat also referred to the allegations that employees in the public sector had leaked sensitive financial information to the opposition.

“The government will not accept the undermining attitudes of the few to satisfy partisan wishes,” he said adding that goodwill needed to be employed by those who work for the government.

“Those who have gone against the principle, will now have to shoulder responsibility,” he warned.

Quoting Eurostat statistics which showed that the Maltese economy was four times greater than that of Europe, Muscat pledged that government would  ensure that this momentum was kept up to ensure better development of the economy and effectively reduce poverty, unemployment and precarious jobs.

Muscat also spoke about the need to address infrastructural issues like the unexpected €35million bill to address the poor concrete issues at Mater Dei effectively, all the while ensuring that the general public was not inconvenienced by the necessary changes.