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Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

Malta does not need gas tanker for electricity provision, Busuttil says

by August 8, 2016 General

Speaking in a radio interview on Radio 101 before going off to Qala for the feast, Nationalist leader Simon Busuttil focused on the gas tanker which Il-Mument said will be arriving in Malta on 10 September.

Last week Prime Minister Muscat went to Singapore for the launching of this tanker and was accompanied by Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, the two persons he should have sacked after the Panama Papers revelations.

The residents of Marsaxlokk and Birzebbuga are worried by this tanker because of its length – as much as three football grounds, because Malta has bound itself to buy gas from it for 18 years at least and because of its inherent danger.

The thing about this tanker, Dr Busuttil said, is that it is not needed at all. The PN government left the island fully provisioned as for electricity generation before it stepped down. There was the new BWSC power station which was inaugurated only in December 2012 and also the Interconnector from Sicily.]

The tanker carries with it also the whiff of corruption because involved in it are the same people who have been named in the Panama Papers.

Dr Busuttil began his interview by speaking about the resignation of Dr Manfred Galdes, the head of the FIAU, the body tasked with combating money laundering.

The government has a penchant for releasing sensitive news when the rest of the country is on holiday, Dr Busuttil said. Last year it was the government loaning €360 million to Electrogas.

Dr Galdes’ resignation is very mysterious considering the importance given in the EU and also in other countries to agencies tackling money laundering and corruption.

We got to know about it by chance.

Last April, the Minister of Finance had said that FIAU had investigated Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri. Dr Galdes had then sent the report to Police Commissioner Michael Cassar who two days later resigned. The man who was Acting Police Commissioner was last week appointed as Police Commissioner. He had not taken any steps when he was just Acting; will he now take steps now that he is effective Police Commissioner?

Another cause for worry is the case of Neville Gafa, who is alleged to be behind illegal issuing of visas. The prime minister has said nothing about this case which involves the issuing of many medical visas to Libyan citizens. The Oppositiion, specifically Beppe Fenech Adami and Claudette Buttigieg have long been asking questions about this getting no answers and he (Dr Busuttil) himself had asked about this in a meetuing of the Security Commission. The government had long known about this and did nothing and it only became known through a letter by a lawyer who wanted to be a whistleblower. 600 medical visas have been granted to Libyan citizens in just a year, more than were issued during the Revolution.

Lastly, Dr Busuttil mentioned the Planning Authority permitting of five towers last week.Together, these five towers will add 100 storeys to the Malta skyline.

In July last year, the bill for the Mepa demerger had been passed by Parliament against the Oppositiion’s warnings. This has now become reality: in last week’s PA meeting the ERA representative was not present and so no representative of the Environment Commission voted on the applications. Had he been there, the Sliema tower would probably not have been approved. The Opposition representative, Ryan Callus, voted against