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Maltese report Maltese report
by Euro Reporter
2010-06-07 08:23:08
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Labour MP 'acknowledges' corruption under pre-1987 Labour governments

The Nationalist Party has called on Labour leader Joseph Muscat to investigate former ministers after shadow minister Chris Cardona last month acknowledged on a radio programme that there was corruption under the 1971-1987 Labour governments. Dr Cardona had said there was no doubt that corruption had taken place, the PN said.

The party said that since a number of ministers of the time were still involved in politics, it was calling on Dr Muscat to investigate what had happened, since ministers were collectively responsible. The party was reacting to comments on corruption made this morning by Dr Muscat.

It said the government had strengthened the institutions of the country as part of the fight against corruption, in contrast to the Opposition, which had even walked out of the Committee for Democratic Change, where further strengthening of these institutions was on the agenda.


Call for education minister to resign is 'a political game'

The Ministry of Education said this evening that Joseph Muscat's call for Education Minister Dolores Cristina to resign was a political game which was not based on fact. The ministry referred to comments made this morning by Dr Muscat and insisted that the minister was never informed that there was a danger that EU funding for the education programmes Youth in Action and Lifelong learning could be suspended.

The inquiry report issued last week made it clear that the issue of the suspension of funds was never raised to the political level and the minister was therefore never informed. The ministry said that the November meeting attended by Mrs Cristina, mentioned by Dr Muscat this morning, was called by the Cabinet Secretary to discuss recommendations made by the Internal Audit and Investigations Department, which was a Malta government department. During the meeting it emerged that those recommendations were already being implemented.

There was no mention of any possibility or concern that the EU programmes could be suspended. Therefore, the ministry said, Dr Muscat's call for Mrs Cristina to resign was a political game which was not based on fact. The Labour Party, in a reaction to the statement, said it was difficult to believe Mrs Cristina, especially in view of the November meeting, just as it was difficult to believe that the prime minister was not told about allegations made to an official in his office about attempted corruption in the privatisation of the super yachts facility.


Hospital cost overrun

The Health Ministry said this evening that the final cost of Mater Dei Hospital had exceeding the capping announced in 2005 because of additional government requirements, mostly as a result of developments in the medical sector since the agreement was signed.

The 2005 agreement with Skanska had put the final cost of the hospital at €336.69 million. The final cost when the hospital was completed was €343.92. The differences stemmed from exclusions in the 2005 agreement (totalling €2.3 million and works for the hospital to offer more services (€4.85m). The only remaining payment due to Skanska is €847,288.

The ministry, which was reacting to comments made this morning by Joseph Muscat, said it was significant that while other countries were cutting back their spending, even on health services, the Maltese government was investing more on higher quality hospital services.

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