The government has once again listened to the Opposition and this time around scrapped the passport buyer scheme, Adrian Delia said on Saturday.

Interviewed on the PN media, the Opposition leader said he had criticised the Individual Investor Programme from the very beginning, before taking over the party’s leadership. 

On Friday the government said that new regulations, which come into force in September, would remove the possibility for individuals to apply for Maltese citizenship without first becoming residents and double the minimum value of property applicants much purchase.

Delia welcomed the news on Saturday. 

“I publicly spoke up against the IIP scheme and the damage it will cause to our country, two years before entering politics,” he said.

“It is good, that once again, the government listened to the Opposition. I’m not saying this to take credit. 

“Let’s start discussing what’s best for our country and which structure will best attract investment to Malta, to create employment and opportunities, and bolster business.”

Delia also reacted to comments by Prime Minister Robert Abela who on Thursday said Malta will pass a follow-up assessment by anti-money laundering experts from the Council of Europe, known as the Moneyval test, towards the end of the year. 

“God willing, we will pass the test with flying colours as Abela said. I hope that it is true… The PN is doing its utmost, speaking to stakeholders, even abroad, so that we do everything we can to pass the test,” he said.

'One of Mizzi’s masterpieces'

During the interview Delia referred to the public-private partnership with Vitals Global Healthcare, which former minister Konrad Mizzi signed in 2015.

He called it “one of Mizzi’s masterpieces”, which tied Malta to a newly set up company without financial capital and experience. 

VGH, which took over the running of the Karin Grech, St Luke’s and Gozo hospitals had crashed out of the concession in 2017 after failing to deliver on its contractual commitments, which included investing €200 million in new medical facilities.

On Friday, proceedings instituted by Delia, a partner of accountancy firm Nexia BT told a court that the deal would have merited being revoked.

“What is Abela going to do? What is he waiting for? Instead of accompanying me to court so that we stop this theft as soon as possible, will he continue doing everything to appease foreigners instead of protecting the Maltese? What are his interests," Delia asked.

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