Farrugia blasts ‘corrupt establishment’ as Parliament refuses to fund her party

Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farrugia lashes out at 'corrupt establishment' after Speaker refuses to allocate a portion of funds to her party or to grant her separate speaking time during European Parliament president's upcoming visit 

Marlene Farrugia (centre) with the other executives of the Partit Demokratiku
Marlene Farrugia (centre) with the other executives of the Partit Demokratiku

Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farrugia has hit out at what she described as a “corrupt establishment” after Parliament refused to allocate a portion of funds to her party.

Since Malta’s accession to the EU in 2003, Parliament has allocated €200,000 a year to a research fund intended to help political parties carry out EU-related research. The fund has always been split 50/50 – with the PL and the PN receiving €100,000 each.
Farrugia – who was elected to Parliament on the Labour ticket but who later left the party to form the PD – insisted with Speaker Anglu Farrugia that her party be allocated a portion of the funds too.

However, Clerk of the House Ray Scicluna informed Farrugia in a letter that Farrugia forms part of the Opposition and that any parliamentary funds to the PD must therefore be taken out of those allocated to the PN.

“The Speaker of the House is of the opinion that if the party you are referring to is registered according to the law, and as long as legal and constitutional questions do not arise regarding the representation of this party in Parliament, your requested allocated amount would need to come from the funds taken by the opposition,” Scicluna wrote.

The Speaker also denied a request by Farrugia to be allocated a separate time slot to speak in Parliament on December 8, when European Parliament President Martin Schulz will address the House ahead of Malta’s ascension to the EU rotating presidency.

In his letter, he reiterated that Farrugia formed part of the Opposition and that any speaking time allocated to her must therefore come out of time allocated to the PN.

“The Partit Demokratiku is fighting against the corrupt establishment,” she wrote in a Facebook post, while insisting that “no one will shut us up”.

 

Farrugia has become the latest political leader to criticise the “establishment”, a phrase that was widely used in this year’s US presidential elections and Brexit referendum campaign in the UK.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has argued that he is against the establishment because he is in favour of change, while Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has insisted that Muscat is the establishment as evidenced by the Paceville masterplan and the Panama Papers scandal.

Alternattiva Demokratika leader Arnold Cassola today made light of the two leaders’ attempts to appropriate the rising global anti-establishment sentiment.

“They [Muscat and Busuttil] both say they are not part of the establishment, they both say they are underdogs. Then what is Alternattiva? The establishment and the overcats [sic]?” 

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