Prime Minister: Egrant allegations an ‘obscene lie’, promise to resign if any truth found still stands

Muscat emphasised Egrant ownership claims were completely untrue; government’s power station decisions proved their worth this week; appealed for Air Malta pilots and unions to act ‘sensibly’

Speaking at a political activity at the Labour Party club in Mgarr, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stressed today that claims regarding his connection to Egrant were an invention
Speaking at a political activity at the Labour Party club in Mgarr, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stressed today that claims regarding his connection to Egrant were an invention

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today that the claim made six months ago that him and his wife Michelle Muscat had some connection with the Egrant Panama company was an ‘obscene lie’, as he reiterated that he would resign on the spot if it was found that there was any grain of truth in the claims made against him.

“I had said that I would resign if any truth to the allegations were found, but if no truth was found, I would in turn expect the makers of the allegations to resign, but this has not happened,” Muscat said.

Speaking at a political activity at the Mgarr Labour Party club, Muscat remarked, in reference to a story in Illum today, that MEP and EU Panama delegation head Ana Gomes said that Russian whistleblower and former Pilatus Bank employee Maria Efimova had not given MEPs any documents related to Egrant, contrary to previous reports.

“Today we can laugh because we know that [all that was alleged regarding Egrant] was an invention - however, this was an attack on my integrity and on my family, and had the people not chosen correctly in the [June] election, we would now have a government elected on a lie,” Muscat said, as he maintained that all those associated with the ‘lie’ should be ashamed.

Muscat told his supporters at the club that some very good news, which would bring with it ‘historical developments’ for the country, would be announced in the coming week.

He said that the government's investment in locally-generated power had proven its worth this week, when an explosion in Austria’s gas-storage hub, through which gas is distributed throughout Europe, had caused fears of gas shortages on the continent.

Italy had declared a state of emergency following the explosion, he said, and had Malta depended solely on the Malta-Sicily interconnector, Maltese people would have suffered, since the price of electricity coming from the interconnector had risen sharply after the explosion took place.

Turning to Air Malta, Muscat said that an agreement had been reached with all stakeholders, except pilots.

He appealed to pilots and their unions to realise that this was a crucial moment for the airline, and that they had a big responsibility in their hands.

“I appeal for pilots to act sensibly - we have offered them considerable salary increases - let us now reach a conclusive agreement and put into action the plan we have drawn up,” Muscat said.

Speaking about the recent defeated Socialist group proposal in the European Parliament, that Malta, along with the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland, be classified as tax havens, the Prime Minister emphasised that the role of Labour MEPs had been crucial in prevent the proposal for being approved.

Regarding the question of Malta joining the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation in Defence (PESCO), Muscat said that, while there was currently nothing in the defence pact which went against Malta’s constitution, it was decided that Malta should wait and see how PESCO would develop before deciding on joining or not.

He asserted that this would in no way affect Malta’s security, as the EU Accession Treaty solidarity clause safeguarded Malta by providing that member states come to the assistance of any other member state which finds itself in a position requiring military assistance for defence purposes.

In reference to this week’s news that the Nationalist Party had officially dissolved its Forza Nazzjonali coalition with the Democratic Party, Muscat said that it was impossible to entrust the country in the hands of a ‘coalition of confusion that thought it could run a government when it cannot even run an opposition’.

“I am proud of what he have done for this country,” Muscat said in his concluding statements, “and we will keep moving the country forward in preparation for the upcoming generation.”

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