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News • January 18 2004

Minister defends Lm235,000 splash

At a time when Christmas parties are considered a lavish affair, a Lm235,000 budget for the May 1 festivities to mark the entry of Malta into the European Union was defended by Culture minister Jesmond Mugliett.
Mr Mugliett said international media attention on this day called for a high profile event. He confirmed that the Cabinet had specifically chosen the Grand Harbour as the site for this national activity.
Asked if the government was insisting on a Maltese flavour for the whole event, Mr Mugliett said the money to be spent and Maltese talent and flavour were two criteria that would not be ignored by the adjudicating committee.

Mugliett explained that the international media was already taking an interest in the event and it would be broadcast live on most European TV channels. "The extraordinary promotion we can get out of this event is enough to justify the expense."
On the 15 tenderers that have shown interest in the project and the rumblings of discontent, Mr Mugliett insisted that it should have been clear from the word go that the whole project required a tendering process.
He added that the successful bidder would have to have the contacts with foreign broadcasting agencies and ensure that the public attending the event would not have to pay to enter. The tendering process is expected to close on the 20 January.


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