‘Everyone is wise in hindsight:’ minister comments on ElectroGas tax waiver

Miguela Xuereb

Energy Minister Michael Farrugia held back from defending the controversial decision to exempt the ElectroGas consortium from paying €40 million in excise taxes, as well as the decision to defer the payment of a €18 million penalty for late delivery for 18 years.

Farrugia was asked to comment on the matter by Nationalist Party MP Hermann Schiavone, who asked the minister to provide a rationale for the decisions, made when Konrad Mizzi was Energy Minister.

But while the minister did not endorse the decisions, he insisted that they could not be taken out of context.

“You cannot look back now; everyone is wise in hindsight,” he said. “Everyone could have done things better or differently, but at that moment, there was the need to take decisions.”

Farrugia said that it was crucial to obtain security of supply when it came to Malta’s electricity generation.

“Do we agree with what happened? Not necessarily. However, we could have left half the country without electricity if we did not make a decision,” he said.

“I too have made many mistakes in my life; looking back, I would have done differently, but decisions had to be made.”