[WATCH] Joseph Muscat shrugs off suggestion his chief of staff is after personal gain

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is asked about the public sentiment that his chief of staff, Keith Schembri, could be benefiting from new projects and public private partnerships

Muscat addressing the media outside the Crane Currency plant in Hal Far
Muscat addressing the media outside the Crane Currency plant in Hal Far
Joseph Muscat shrugs off suggestion his chief of staff is after personal gain

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat insisted today that there was no conflict of interest in a US company offering a maintenance contract to a company belonging to his personal chief of staff.

Answering questions put to him by MaltaToday, Muscat said that all due diligence had been carried out after Crane Currency announced a €100 million investment in Malta and after it emerged that Keith Schembri’s company had been awarded a contract for the maintenance of the machinery and printing equipment.

The prime minister was addressing the media after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the official opening of the Crane Currency plant in Hal Far, 53 weeks after the investment was announced.

“Keith Schembri’s company, in which is now a shareholder and no longer directly involved, has been the local representative for this and other machinery and equipment for years,” he said. “There was no conflict of interest in this case.”

Muscat also played down fears that public sentiment might be pointing to the involvement – true or not – of Schembri in any major public project or private public partnership, for personal gain.

“Absolutely not, it is the country that is benefiting from these projects,” he said. “In this case, who benefited are the 300 employees, many of them Maltese and most of whom had just been laid off from their previous employment.”

More in National

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe