PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech ADami this afternoon insisted on an explanation from the Prime Minister about the issue of nearly 7,000 visas to Algerians in 18 months.

He asked a series of questions about the consul, who according to The Malta Independent on Sunday was the Prime Minister’s cousin, which report, he said, had not been denied.

Addressing a news conference, Dr Fenech Adami reiterated that many of the Algerians who had obtained a visa had no intention of staying in Malta but wanted easy access to Europe, primarily France.

Questions raised by the Opposition last week, he said, were still unanswered.

He asked today if it was true that

• the consul had been returned to Malta and was now working at Malta Enterprise;

• he was the Prime Minister’s cousin;

• he had no diplomatic experience before his appointment;

• a call was never issued for the position to be filled;

• he had been operating the consulate on his own with the assistance of a secretary;

• he was returned to Malta after the scandal was highlighted and was now working at Malta Enterprise.

In a reply, the government reiterated that Malta had a 50 per cent visa refusal rate for Algerians, which was among the highest among all embassies and consulates in Algeria.

It also reiterated that there was no contact by the French government but there have been protests by the Algerian government because the Maltese government was too rigorous in the process.


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