[WATCH] Adrian Delia: ‘Steward should be kicked out of Malta’

Xtra Sajf on TVM News Plus | Former Opposition leader and PN MP Adrian Delia interviewed

Adrian Delia
Adrian Delia

Adrian Delia believes Steward Healthcare should be “kicked out of Malta” and accused government of reneging on its duty in not terminating the hospital concessions agreement.

The Nationalist Party MP said the only reason the American company registered a profit was because it received public funds without investing anything.

He was referring to the latest twist in which company accounts show Steward turning a profit despite having claimed the hospitals deal was “unbankable”.

In a wide-ranging interview with Saviour Balzan on TVM News Plus’s Xtra Sajf, Delia said: “It is obvious that Steward made a profit because they got money from government and spent nothing… this is proof of what I have been saying all along that this company has robbed us.”

Delia referred to a recent comment by Health Minister Chris Fearne who said government will be writing to Steward for a timeline of investments now that the company registered a profit.

“Rather than seeing Steward’s profit as proof that the company robbed us, government says it will continue to engage with it by asking them to carry out investments they were originally bound to make,” Delia said. “Instead of kicking them out we are begging them to invest. Where is government’s sovereignty in all this?”

Steward Healthcare inherited the hospitals concession from Vitals and despite contractual obligations that it should invest in a new Gozo hospital and refurbish St Luke’s and Karin Grech hospitals in Malta, the company has failed to live up to its commitments. Steward receives millions of euros from government as part of the concession deal.

Delia had opened a court case when Opposition leader, seeking to terminate the contract and have the hospitals returned to the government.

Steward had argued in court that the concession agreement it inherited was “fraudulent and corrupt”.

The court case is expected to conclude anytime soon and Delia is convinced he will win the case.

“This is a case for the people. But it should have been government that terminated the concession agreement when Steward reneged on its obligation to invest millions of euros,” Delia said.

He insisted that if a contract is borne out of fraud and corruption it cannot have legal consequences.

“A fraudulent and corrupt agreement can never have legal consequences… that what is born in sin cannot ever be good,” Delia insisted.

He added that there were Labour MPs who want the hospitals returned to the public and the contract terminated.

‘I support Alex Borg and other new MPs’

Delia said that in his parliamentary work he supported people like newcomer Alex Borg and others, who were elected for the first time.

He praised the new crop of PN MPs, insisting it was his duty to support them and urged other PN MPs to do likewise.

Delia would not be drawn into what should happen if the PN were to lose heavily in the European Parliament election in 2024. “It’s hypothetical but by the same argument, if the Labour Party were to reduce its votes, should Robert Abela step down? I don’t think so.”