Joseph Muscat said Electrogas report was 'respectfully imprecise'

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that while there were a few shortcomings in the tendering process, the Auditor General's report on the Electrogas contract was somewhat flawed because it did not take the price of the interconnector into consideration

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at a political activity in the Isla labour centre
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at a political activity in the Isla labour centre

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat today repeated that the Electrogas report is a positive report. While he thanked the Auditor General for such a comprehensive report, Muscat said there were points which he respectfully disagreed with.

"The report presents no statistic on how much the interconnector cost. To calculate the expense of the powerstation first and foremost, we need to know the expense of the interconnector," Muscat said. 

The prime minister was speaking at a political activity in the labour centre in Isla when he said that the opposition leader Adrian Delia's statements on the report were either exaggerations or complete fabrications. 

"Delia said that €200 million a year are stolen from taxpayers to pay the providers, Electrogas, for the powerstation deal. But statistics show that the government only paid €65 million to the provider. His claims are not mathematically coherent." Muscat said.


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Muscat made reference to a very subtle threat from the Italian deputy prime minister Luigi di Mao a few months ago who said that Italy supplies Malta with electricity through the interconnector while Malta refuses to help with the migrant issue.

"We are not a colony. We need a fallback position since we were threatened by Italy that our energy supply could be switched off," Muscat said, visibly irked. "EU directives also say there should be a redundancy plan, a fallback option if our main supply is cut off. The new powerstation is it."

Muscat said that the fallback position was a cleaner, alternative energy solution as opposed to the heavy fuel oil powerstations of Marsa and Delimara that were closed down by the labour government. "You were paying for this energy not just in terms of money, but in terms of health, yours and that of your children."

Moving on to the issue of EU funding, Muscat said that since Malta was doing very well in terms of finances, the EU Commission might decide to retract financial aid in the near future.

"If I had to choose between governing a rich country with no aid from EU funding and being the Prime Minister of a poor country that is funded by the EU, I would always choose the former. But we need to make sure that our country is future-proof, and I do believe that we will come to an understanding with the EU Commission at this point but we need to make sure that we secure funds for the future," he said.

Muscat mentioned the money laundering probe targeting Adrian Delia, that was reported this morning on The Sunday Times of Malta. "When the opposition leader levels corruption arguments at this government, I have an opportunity to turn the tables and do the same to him. But I will not. This is where men and women define themselves from children. There's a course of justice and we will wait for the investigations to conclude."

The Prime Minister argued that he wished for a more coherent opposition and that irrespective of how the economy was growing and how civil liberties were flourishing, there was a fundamental difference now between the two parties, reflective of very different visions.

"It is a question of principle, between someone who believes in science, progress and personal liberties and someone who wants to fester," Muscat said, referring to Delia's comment on retracting the IVF legislation if elected Prime Minister, a legislation that has allowed nine different women to get pregnant where earlier they could not.

"Labour has always been on the right side of history when it comes to these principles. Let's keep moving forward," Muscat said.