Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said last week that he was disgusted by the news that Yorgen Fenech’s 17 Black had made a profit of €4.6 million from the Montenegro wind farm deal.
“There should be an investigation, as there already is, into whether there was inside information, blatant abuse, corruption and so on so forth,” he said.
So far, so good.
But the minister’s next comment shocked many and was, at the very least, ultra-insensitive.
Scicluna compared the government to a “victim” whose house had been robbed. “One should not dramatise the situation. These things happen. What counts is the action you take once you find out,” Scicluna added.
Now, Minister Scicluna is a smart person. But by implying that the government was the victim here, rather than the taxpaying public, the minister took the biscuit.
And this does not apply to the Montenegro deal only – it applies to several scandalous deals signed by the Labour administrations Scicluna formed part of, and which saw the country – us – lose millions of euro while getting nothing in return.
No, Minister Scicluna, this never-ending list of scandals is not ‘normal.’ It becomes normal only when the people at the very top keep closing an eye to corruption and when the authorities persistently fail to investigate and prosecute those committing these wrongdoings.
We have, unfortunately, become accustomed to the police sitting on FIAU reports that point towards possible money laundering by politicians, and had also become accustomed to a Prime Minister who consistently refused to sack those around him who were guilty of such wrongdoing.
These people were only removed when it was too late, when it was just impossible to keep them any longer. By that time, it was already too late. The damage had been done.
The Muscat administration has so much to answer for: the Panama Papers, the Café Premier and Old Mint Street scandals, Australia Hall, the Vitals deal, the SOCAR 18-year fixed price agreements and many, many others. It is useless for the Finance Minister to tell us now that the important thing is that the case was reported to the police once it was found.
The writing was on the wall. This was bound to happen, and Scicluna and his colleagues should have known this. Let us remind our readers that Scicluna was part of the PL parliamentary group when it had backed Konrad Mizzi in a vote of no confidence in 2016.
Practically every deal that Konrad Mizzi was involved in has proved to be controversial, so the minister cannot act all surprised on the Montenegro project. After all, last week’s revelations were not the first ones to come out with relation to this particular project.
Now, Enemlta has said that it did not pay €10.3 million, as claimed. The €10 million were paid by a consortium it formed part of, and Enemalta only paid €3 million. But we still can’t figure out how a project valued at €3 million suddenly became worth three times as much.
Scicluna hasn’t understood that we are the victims here, but he is not the only one. Those who are still cheering Konrad Mizzi on, writing words of courage on his Facebook page and urging him to stay on, have not understood this either.
It’s our money and we don’t even realise it.
Original article found on The Malta Independent