[WATCH] Prime Minister defends consultancy role for developer Sandro Chetcuti

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says Malta Developers Association president Sandro Chetcuti will give advice on the property market but it would be up to the government whether to take it or not

Sandro Chetcuti's role will be to give advice to the government, which can then decide whether to heed it or not, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today
Sandro Chetcuti's role will be to give advice to the government, which can then decide whether to heed it or not, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today
Prime Minister defends consultancy role for developer Sandro Chetcuti

Construction developer Sandro Chetcuti, who is now being paid to act as consultant to a minister, has "insight into the property sector", Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Monday.

Muscat defended the engagement of Chetcuti as a consultant to Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius, whose portfolio includes the property market.

"Sandro Chetcuti would be giving advice to the government, which it in turn could choose whether to take on board or not," Muscat said when asked by MaltaToday about the contentious appointment.

Asked how he could justify paying a lobbyist such as Chetcuti - whose Malta Developers Association, of which he is President, is one of the island’s most powerful lobbies - to consult a government minister, Muscat said that he wasn’t sure whether the developer could be classified as a lobbyist or not.

Read more: Construction lobby boss Sandro Chetcuti paid €19,000 by Maltese government as ‘consultant’

“[Chetcuti’s] consulation role is a public one and is not being done in secret. His role in the Malta Developers Association is also public,” the Prime Minister said, when asked about the issue, after delivering the keynote address at a conference on SMEs at the Malta Stock Exchange.

Questioned on whether the government was paying a special interest group to influence decisions and laws, Muscat said that “it would only be a problem if it were the other way round - if the group were paying policy-makers.”

Chetcuti has previously said that he had “absolutely no conflict of interest” in his role as a lobbyist paid by the Maltese government.

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