“Tourism Minister regrets getting caught” – Delia

Partit Nazzjonalista

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

‘Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi regrets getting caught,’ Partit Nazzjonalista leader Adrian Delia said during an interview on the party’s radio station.

Referring to comments made by Mizzi and reported in the press, Delia stressed that the Minister apologised because he got caught red-handed. 

Mizzi was the only European Union Minister to be named in the Panama Papers, a data leak from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonesca, in April 2016. It was revealed that the then Energy Minister had acquired an offshore Panamanian company Hearnville Inc. and had a trust, Orion Trust Limited in New Zealand.

The Nationalist leader observed that despite the gravity of the situation of having a government minister with an offshore company in secretive jurisdiction such as Panama, Mizzi did not step down nor was he forced to do so. He explained that Panama is known for tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering. Adding that he should be investigated accordingly.

Earlier this week, Commissioner-designate Helena Dalli told the European Parliament that she would have done things differently. In 2016, Dalli had voted with the government when a confidence motion was tabled in parliament in the wake of the revelations of the Panama Papers.

Youths out competed in the property market

Delia spoke about a study on housing affordability carried out by KMPG and which was commissioned by the Malta Developers’ Association. 

The study found that the trend continues to show a decline in housing affordability as the Housing Affordability Index decreasing for the second year in a row. 

The Housing Affordability Index measures whether a household earning the median wage income would qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced property. 

Delia brought an example with a youth who earns €1,000 and has to pay €650 in rent and live the rest of the month on €350. He emphasized that one would struggle to make ends meet. He argued that three-bedroom apartments are now being rented out to low-wage foreign workers who opt for flat-share, as he emphasized that these workers often have precarious working conditions. 

‘Maltese youths and young couples have to compete with nine working individuals for the same apartment,’ Delia argued.

During the interview, he also spoke of the educators’ working conditions and salaries, stressing that they deserve better working conditions and pay. 

Delia said that the Opposition continues to criticise the government’s approach to addressing the various issues and challenges the country is facing. He insisted that addressing such issues with short-term measure will only cause harm in the long run.