Resignations of Schembri and Mizzi ‘should be obvious and immediate’ - Graffitti

Activists call for investigation of shady privatisation deals 

Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri
Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri

Left-wing activists Moviment Graffitti have joined the chorus of resignation calls for Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi, saying that all privatization deals they were responsible for should be “seriously investigated and, possibly, revoked.” 

The chief of staff of the prime minister, Schembri, and tourism minister Konrad Mizzi, have been connected to Panama offshore companies they opened in 2013 that were earmarked to receive $150,000 a month from a Dubai offshore company owned by an Electrogas shareholder – the Tumas group magnate Yorgen Fenech. Mizzi is the author of the government’s shift to an LNG-powered power station that was built and run by Electrogas, which includes Siemens and Azeri-owned SOCAR. 

“The position of Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri had already become untenable in 2016 when it was discovered that they held hidden offshore companies in Panama. It now additionally emerges that their companies in Panama were going to receive money from another hidden offshore company in Dubai, 17 Black, owned by Yorgen Fenech, Director of Electrogas, which is the consortium that took over Malta’s power-generation after this was privatized by Konrad Mizzi,” Moviment Graffitti said in a statement. 

“The links are damning. Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi should be hiding in shame instead of persisting with their pathetic denials of wrongdoing. Whilst it is fair to demand a thorough investigation process in order to ascertain precise criminal responsibilities, the political responsibility should be shouldered immediately.” 

Graffitti said both men were involved in shady privatization deals such as the transfer of the ITS site to the DB group and the privatization of hospitals. 

“These privatization processes should be seriously investigated and actions, including the possible revocation of such deals, are to be taken following investigation if necessary. 

“It is also disturbing that, during the past 25 years, Malta’s biggest and most important companies have been implicated in shady business deals, often involving privatization. This is indicative of an economic and political model where the business class has gained disproportionate power and influence, to a point where politics are primarily serving a network made up of the rich and powerful, rather than the people.” 

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