Former Minister Konrad Mizzi will not be taking part in Wednesday’s Public Accounts Committee meeting on the Electrogas project.
Writing on Facebook on Wednesday morning, the former minister said the exercise is nothing more than “a partisan attack” on the project which shifted energy generation in Malta from polluting heavy fuel oil to cleaner gas and renewable energy, “a project that has brought so many benefits to the Maltese and Gozitan people, as well as to the economy of our country”.
A protagonist in the Electrogas project, Mizzi was summoned to appear Wednesday before a parliamentary committee that is scrutinising the contract.
He was being asked to testify about the project as part of an investigation by the public accounts committee.
Mizzi said that the benefits of the project include Malta having among the lowest electricity tariffs in Europe, the reduction in emissions, the closure of the Marsa Power Station, the Enemalta financial and operational turnaround and the acceleration of the country’s economic growth.
“It is clear that the political agenda of the Nationalist Party was from the very beginning against the shift to the use of natural gas for the generation of electricity in our country,” he said.
He added that the Electrogas project has already been scrutinised by the office of the auditor general, which has “completely dispelled the opposition's allegations”.
“That is why I regard the call of the Public Accounts Committee as nothing more than a partisan political exercise pushed by the Nationalist Party,” Mizzi said.
According to parliamentary rules, MPs are allowed to refuse to attend committees where they are summoned as witnesses.
'Coward' and 'chicken'
However, Beppe Fenech Adami, the committee chairman, said it was his "duty" to answer questions.“
He described Mizzi as a "coward" and "chicken" for not attending the committee.
Fellow MP Karol Aquilina said that he would have asked Mizzi about his relationship with Yorgen Fenech, former prime minister Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri and how they are all connected to the Electrogas contract.
Reacting, the party's MEP David Casa said that in 2018 he published an FIAU report that showed how Mizzi intended to “rob the Maltese people blind”, how every project he was involved in was “an elaborate plot to swindle all of us out of public funds generated through honest work day after day”.
That report, Casa said, concluded that police action was necessary against Mizzi. Since then, he noted, “Mizzi is still on the loose”.
Honest citizens continued to pay the price for this inaction, Casa said, with Malta's reputation "in the gutter" and the country on a financial greylist.