Moviment Graffitti organised a press conference where it presented an open letter signed by around 400 individuals coming from diverse backgrounds and social realities, and who all embrace and identify with Socialist, leftist or progressive values.
The open letter, addressed to Cabinet, is a reaction to the recent court ruling rescinding the fraudulent privatisation of three state hospitals.
The letter expresses our outrage at the fact that what has been plainly apparent from the first moment this deal was announced has taken this long to be addressed.
‘Years of investment in the country’s health infrastructure have been lost, with the people who most rely on Malta’s public health service being the ultimate victims.’
‘Mr Justice Depasquale’s landmark judgement makes it abundantly clear that the people behind Vitals and Steward acted in bad faith. Their corrupt intentions were clear from the moment the secret MoU was revealed, and this latest court judgement makes their wrongdoing undeniable.’
‘It also lays bare the utterly flawed reasoning, corrupt process, and public cost of this supposedly Socialist Government’s string of privatisation deals, through which it sold off public land and core national infrastructure related to energy and healthcare.’
‘The privatisation of public assets should never be pursued by any government with the people’s long-term aspirations at heart. It is a procedure that benefits only the rich, to the detriment of everyone else.’
‘That this unsound pathway to national development was adopted by the Labour Party is a stain on its history, and a betrayal of the core beliefs that so many sympathise with.’
‘Taking into consideration the gravity of the matter, and in light of not only the recent court judgement but also the Auditor General’s various investigations into this and other privatisation initiatives, and always with the genuine intention of building a more just future for all those who live in Malta, Moviment Graffitti and the hundreds of signatories demand the following:
1. All privatisation deals in which Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri, Chris Cardona, Joseph Muscat, and Projects Malta (now Malta Strategic Partnership Projects) had any role must be investigated to determine whether fraud or corruption played any part in the process. These include, inter alia, the AUM concession, the sale of the former ITS site to db Group, and the Electrogas and security of gas supply agreements.
2. Should an illicit nature be found in any of these deals, we expect the assets so disposed of to be taken back into state ownership, and criminal proceedings to be brought against those involved, no matter their current or previous position.
3. With regard to the Vitals-Steward deal, the Government should not only take back the hospitals, but also pursue all avenues to regain every cent spent from those responsible, with the reparations to be used on long-neglected elements of the public health service.
4. We also believe that this judgement should be taken as a sign and an opportunity for the Labour Party to shift its stance on privatisation, and immediately stop all current and future deals that involve the sale of public assets.
The privatisation deals seen in the last years have come at a huge cost to the country. Core infrastructure has been allowed to be run down, precious land has been sold for a pittance, hundreds of millions of euro have found their way into the pockets of the local and global rich, institutions have been undermined, and a journalist killed – with Malta paying the price.
The judgement on the hospitals deal is a wake up call. It is time to change lanes.’
Those who wish to join to list of signatories can send an email to [email protected] by Thursday 23 March with their name and ID card number. (see the letter and this signatories so far here).