‘Mini-budget’ press conference cost over €24,000

Prime Minister Robert Abela announces a plan for economic regeneration-Fort St. Elmo, Valletta-8-6-2020

The press conference at St Elmo through which the government launched its financial package seeking to address the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic cost a total of €24,411.50, Prime Minister Robert Abela revealed.

In reply to a parliamentary question by PN MP Ryan Callus, Abela revealed that the biggest single expense was the stage and platforms, which cost €10,000.

A further €7,000 was spent on LED screens, €2,489 on lighting, €2,420 on the carpet, €1,495.50 for sound and €1,007 on chairs.

In his reply, Abela sought to justify the expense by informing the MP that the activity “launched an economic regeneration plan worth €900 million,” which he later described as “the biggest economic injection made by a government in the history of our country.”

The lion’s share of the package comprises a pledged €400 million investment in Malta’s industrial infrastructure, though this will take place over the next 8 years.

On Callus’ request, Abela also listed the contractors who were engage by the government, namely RVC Ltd, Nexos Lighting & Video, TEC Ltd, iCreate Ltd, Besteam Audio Ltd and iStage Ltd.

Abela did not specify whether the companies were selected following a competitive process or via a direct order.