NEWS | Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Auditor’s report vindicates us, says Labour
In a statement issued yesterday, the Malta Labour Party, which had revealed Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando’s private agreement to lease his land for the construction of an open-air disco, said the MEPA auditor’s report had confirmed Labour’s responsibility during the electoral campaign in publicising the scandal.
“The report confirms what Labour said from the start, that the Nationalist candidate was involved in this scandal. The report makes it clear there isn’t the smallest justification for the issuing of this permit. One of the most damning conclusions is that the accusations of corruption were inevitable and difficult to prove to the contrary in such circumstances,” the party said.
The party said the PN had defended Pullicino Orlando and given its full support to the candidate, and it now had to explain why it stuck out its neck for Pullicino Orlando when the documents published by the MLP had shown the development of the Mistra disco was “a scandal from the very start”.
“That the Prime Minister now says he will be implementing the MEPA auditor’s recommendation is just an act of political hypocrisy and gross political opportunism. The truth is that until the 8 March the PN was desperate for Pullicino Orlando’s votes and despite knowing there was a scandal involved, it chose to defend him to the end.”
The party said that were it not for its timely intervention, the Mistra valley would have been destroyed forever.
The left-wing think tank Zminijietna also called for Pullicin Orlando’s resignation. “Zminijietna welcomes the decision taken by the government to freeze the decision-making process at MEPA in order to commence reforming the Authority. Zminijietna said that this decision was long-due following unacceptable decisions which permitted development such as the supermarket at Safi and the petrol station at Buqana, and the outline development permit for a nightclub at Mistra.”