Who is Malta’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat or Keith Schembri? - Adrian Delia

Opposition leader Adrian Delia, in his address to the PN General Council, accused Joseph Muscat of lying about 17 Black and Keith Schembri

Joseph Muscat is lying when he says Keith Schembri is not being investigated, Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia said
Joseph Muscat is lying when he says Keith Schembri is not being investigated, Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia said

Adrian Delia has accused the Prime Minister of lying when it came to issues related to 17 Black and Keith Schembri, asking whether it was Joseph Muscat or his chief of staff who is leading the country.

Delia, speaking on Sunday, the last day of the week-long Nationalist Party General Council, said Muscat was not saying the truth when he claimed his Schembri was not being investigated by the police.

Nor was he being truthful when he said he saw no connection between 17 Black, Schembri and corruption, the PN leader said, in an impassioned speech lasting over an hour.

“Muscat claimed the inquiry is only about the company, 17 Black. What if the Police Commissioner decides to question the company? Who will he interrogate? Who will be brought to justice? Joseph Muscat is not saying the truth,” Delia said.

“He had also said that Schembri would resign if there were ever an investigation on him. Did Schembri resign? He is being investigated by the police, but he hasn’t resigned. Again Joseph Muscat - who swore to be loyal to Malta, but is only loyal to Konrad Mizzi and Schembri - is lying.”

The truth, Delia said, is that all of this was planned by Schembri beforehand.

“It was all premeditated. On 14 March 2013, when one of their hands was still signing their swearing in document as they were being appointed to government, their other hand was on the phone opening secret companies,” he said.

Delia went through the series of events, which he said started after  March 2013, when the Labour Party was elected into government, and which “in five years brought Malta to the situation we are in now”.

“It all started in 13 March 2013, when the [so-called] ‘best cabinet the world has ever seen’ was appointed. Just 24 hours after, on 14 March, three companies were opened, Hearnville, Tillgate and Egrant. Schembri and Mizzi tried to open bank account, but they couldn’t find any bank which would allow it. So they brought Pilatus Bank - the one whose CEO is facing prison in the United States - to Malta to open their accounts there.”

Questioning why such a lot of importance was given to the building of the power station, Delia said that we now know that 17 Black, “through which Mizzi and Schembri will be receiving money”, is owned by the person who is the director of the power station which will sell energy to Malta for 18 years.

“My friend Simon Busuttil asked for an inquiry to start about this, but the Prime Minister is doing everything to stop it from happening, through his appeal,” he said.

"Who is leading Malta? Who is the Prime Minister? Joseph Muscat or Keith Schembri?"

He went on to call for  Mizzi to resign, saying the Tourism Minister had “shamed not only himself, but the country too.”

“It is time to go. Go now, because every day you are there is damaging Malta,” he insisted.

The story was the same in the health sector, he continued. “They wanted to steal from us there too. The government chose someone which nobody knew about to sell the hospitals to - a company which had not a shred of experience in the health sector. I want the hospitals to be given back to the Maltese people.

The government’s only investment was in the Zonqor university, another project the only aim of which was to create an opportunity for the government to steal money for itself, he said.

Joseph Muscat’s population problem is Malta’s burden

Delia placed significant emphasis in his speech on reiterating that Malta’s economic growth model was based on an increase in population, which would be creating problems for Malta.

“The government has chosen an economic expansion model based not on new sectors but on population increased,” he said.

“There are 1,500 people for every square kilometre on this island. We are the smallest country in the EU but have the highest population density. So how do you approach economic growth? Do you do it by keeping on getting more and more people?" he asked. 

"Next year, 15,000 people are expected? Where are you going to put them?“This is the problem Joseph Muscat is creating. It is a burden on our infrastructure, our health system and our environment.”

Wealth is not just money

The Nationalist Party’s message is one, Delia underlined: zero tolerance to corruption.

“We fight not only corruption, but also those who are corrupt. Those who are in the Labour Party but who do not want corruption - get up and fight. Corruption is not hurting only the government, but also you, your children, and our beloved Malta.”

Delia stressed that the PN cared about everyone in society, both the rich and the poor. While the government was only concerned with the money it was receiving in its coffers, the Nationalist Party has as its heart the interest and well-being of the individual, he said, promising that a PN government would not allow anyone in Malta to end up without a roof over their head.

“Wealth is not just money,” he asserted, “The PN sees wealth as that which leads to growth in your life. It is the well-being of every individual and of us all as a whole.”

I’ll continue to represent the people - Casa

Also addressing the General Council, PN MEP David Casa said that “co-incidentally”, once the government got to know that the 17 Black revelations would soon be published, they had started a “lie campaign” against those who were fighting corruption.

“For those who don’t know us, no matter how much we are attacked, will be persist in combatting corruption,” he said.

Nationalist MEP David Casa
Nationalist MEP David Casa

“Remember that we managed to get Pilatus Bank shut and to get the 17 Black accounts frozen. The accounts had within them €2 million, and I assure you we will be getting this money back to Malta.”

“I will not be stopping half way,” he added, “I give you my word that I will use all my energy to continue to represent you in every European institution, and in Malta too.”

Government didn’t bring change - Briguglio

Michael Briguglio criticised that government on various fronts, including about the incorrect utility bills issue, and its shortcomings in safeguarding the environment.

Briguglio - who is contesting next year’s European elections under the PN ticket - said he had decided to stand with those who are being ignored by the “clique” in government.

“We need to win your trust so that we can speak for everyone, even Labourites, who do what is right, who are suffering injustices and who aren’t experiencing ‘the best time’” he said.

“The government could have brought change, but it didn’t”, he added, “But you the people have the chance to make a different choice.”