Gasan ready to explore selling to government

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Gasan Group is ready to explore selling their ElectroGas shares to Government at cost, Newsbook.com.mt is informed.

Newsbook.com.mt asked the group whether their decision to sell their shares in ElectroGas at no profit was a principled position or a cynical business one. The question was made in the light of Gasan’s claims that it has made no profits from the deal.

Gasan Group’s one line answer to the question sent by email was that this was “a principled decision, regardless of the business position.”

The newsroom emailed a number of questions to the Gasan Group following their statement yesterday stating that the group is ready to exit the ElectroGas consortium as soon as possible and without any profit. In the statement signed by Joe and Mark Gasan, the group expressed its “shock and mortification” at the links that are being drawn between this project and the brutal assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Reactions to the statement – which came in the wake of the arrest of Joseph Muscat’s former chief of staff Keith Schembri and Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna and Karl Cini – have been largely cynical of the nobility behind the group’s intentions, however.

A delegation from another company involved in the ElectroGas consortium – German multinational Siemens – is set to visit Malta in the coming days.

Newsbook.com.mt’s questions and Gasan Group’s answers are reproduced in full below:

Are you ready to sell your shares, at no profit, to government?
As we mentioned in our statement, we are willing to transfer our investment at no profit. As to who would take on this investment, we are willing to explore all possible avenues.

In your statement you assert that you are ready to leave ElectroGas, even at no profit However, given the fact that you have so far registered only losses, is this a principled position or a cynical business decision?
This was a principled decision, regardless of the business position.

Why did it take you so long to publish this statement given that there is nothing in the statement which could not have been written ages ago?
Given our minority interest and the fact that the project is subject to ongoing investigations, we did not think it was  prudent to make any statements at the time. Our statement was only issued recently since we felt that certain facts about our investment in this project needed to be stated and clarified.

Many people in Malta had no doubt that the ElectroGas project was mired in corruption. Suspicions became certitudes when it was announced that Yorgen Fenech was set to pay thousands of euros a day to Schembri and Mizzi who were pivotal in consolidating this project. How can ordinary citizens be expected to believe that consummate businessmen like yourselves, did not see what had become manifestly evident to most?
We acknowledge that this may be looked at with a certain degree of scepticism, however the fact remains that throughout all the process we had no objection whatsoever and encouraged proper scrutiny into the project. We have always been (and still are) supportive of ElectroGas commissioning investigations concerning all aspects of the project and to look into whether any allegations made are in any way founded in fact. We also continue to encourage ElectroGas to reply and engage with the public.

You are shareholders in a project that the police suspect was the reason why Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated. How do you personally feel about this?
Personally, and as we have already made very clear, we remain mortified and shocked that these links are being made.