Thursday, 26 April 2001

Wrapping Themselves in Contradictions

The Times of Malta

The Editor,

Dear Sir,

Wrapping themselves in contradictions

In the Times of April 26th there were three separate attacks on me. It is an honour shared by few and I will try to rebut as briefly as possible not to abuse of your generosity in allowing the space.

Thankfully Prof. Josef Bonnici (Wrong again) does not defend himself from the accusation of aligning himself to the half-price sale of Mid-Med Bank. Let`s register the progress! Insofar as the oil hedging agreement for the year 2000 goes, events proved unquestionably who has misjudged the issue. As to the excuse of Enemalta not finding the funds to provide security for the hedging I hope this is a joke. The State finds funds for much less important and productive reasons.

On his promise of Lm100 million pre-accession funds Prof Bonnici is wrapping himself in contradictions. On the one hand he maintains that Malta has much lower GDP per capita of EU average than Slovenia and on the other hand he states that his argument for Lm100 million pre-accession funds was benchmarked on Slovenia. So if we are poorer than Slovenia we should get more pre-accession funds per capita not the next to nothing we are in fact getting. Regarding the argument that these funds were lost due to Labour`s freezing the application I can only appeal to Prof Bonnici to get serious and stop these despicable charades.

The same applies regarding his attempt to attack my credibility on the Mid-Med Bank acquisition of property adjacent to Centru Ruzar Briffa. I have no idea what Prof Bonnici heard from unofficial sources. What I know though is that the Board had decided before the election to make the acquisition and when Prof. Bonnici as representative of the major shareholder subsequently requested me to withhold the acquisition I simply demanded confirmation in writing to justify my position with the Board. Why should a Minister rely on unofficial sources when he could get official and` direct information`

As to Lou Bondi`s (Labour`Grande Fratelli) I wonder why Lou is defending himself from accusations I have not made.` I did not criticise let alone demonise Virtwali or Viva Malta. I criticised Xarabank and its presenter in pretending to be` ideologically more` on the left than Alfred Sant and then conducting Xarabank in a way which, presumable prompted by his partner Lou Bondi`,` helps the promote the government`s agenda amongst a labour audience.

I criticised Lou Bondi for coming out with the `brilliant` idea that the Leader of the Opposition would have to resign if suspicions he raised on the operations of the executive prove to be incorrect.` I criticised Lou Bondi` for expecting the Labour Leader to compliment the government for granting three presidential pardons without any real counter benefit for society.

As to my chickening out of the challenge to invite Lou and Peppi` on Super One media I see that` Manwel Cuschieri`s style is impressing Lou quite heavily. Labour media agenda is not for Lou to dictate.` We put a schedule together meticulously and the results are there to see. From nothing in the space of less than two years we brought Super One TV as the most popular local TV station in three consecutive MBA surveys. True we have not toppled Xarabank from the rating of the most popular programme. That is our next challenge.


Alfred Mifsud

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