‘The school did nothing to protect my children’ – Michelle Muscat on Egrant fall-out

Michelle Muscat speaks about the effects of the Egrant claims and who she and her spouse Prime Minister Joseph Muscat sought to protect their daughters from the fall-out

Michelle Muscat, wife of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, has criticised the school attended by their two daughters for having done nothing to protect their children from taunts when the Egrant claims first surfaced.

“The school did nothing to protect my children. For the school, it was business as usual. Obviously, because they were our children,” Michelle Muscat told MaltaToday in her first-ever interview with the newspaper.

“When things happened to other people’s children, it was never ‘business as usual’. With ours, it was.”

She said that as time went by and the 2017 election loomed closer, her daughters had to face a lot of taunts from classmates.

READ MORE: Revisiting the nightmare | Michelle Muscat

“There were parties to which the entire class was invited, but not our children,” she said. “And in the school’s social chat-group, there were other children who would post things about my husband.”

Muscat said that her niece too had been taunted at school, solely for being related to her and her husband.

Last week magistrate Aaron Bugeja presented his findings to the Attorney General after a 15-month inquiry into claims that Michelle Muscat was the ultimate beneficial owner of a secret company in Panama.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, in April 2017, claimed that Muscat was the ultimate beneficial owner of Egrant Inc. and that there was evidence to prove this. But in his conclusions, the magistrate said he had found no evidence to link Joseph and Michelle Muscat to Egrant, a Panama company set up at the same time as two other companies, belonging to minister Konrad Mizzi and the prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri were also set up.

Muscat said that the Egrant saga was so fabricated that had it not been about her, but the plot of a film, it would have been funny.

“I mean, what was this even about? This story was so fabricated that had it not been about me, had it been something that happened in a film, for example, it would have been funny,” she said. “It’s something out of the movies.”

She said having to go to court to testify in the inquiry led by magistrate Aaron Bugeja was traumatic.

“For me, it was a trauma to have to go to court. I don’t waste time on these things,” she said.

“If it was the right attitude to take or not, I don’t know. But obviously yes, that time I went to court. To others, it might be an everyday experience, but to me, it was a big thing. Especially because I should never have been there in the first place.”

Muscat said that when was testifying in front of the magistrate, who was asking her about various names of people and companies, she remembers thinking to herself ‘What does any of this have to do with me?’

She insists that, like her husband, she too wants the full inquiry report to be published so that “all those who are spouting hot air can carry on talking”.

Muscat said that when the claims first surfaced, she had told their two daughters that people were lying about her and their father.

“I did this because I believe that children need to have constants in their life: they need to know where there are.”

She said she was now still taking stock of the situation in the wake of the conclusions of the Egrant inquiry.

“This attack did not come about because of any disaster caused by us, it came about because they underestimated us,” she said. “In the first five years, they thought we’d never make it and that we’d never win. They still attacked us.”