Despite massive debts, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech has vowed to honour the Party’s commitment to donors who invested in the ċedoli (loans) scheme.
The statement was a response to a question by Andrew Azzopardi, whose interview with Grech aired on Saturday.
“We cannot improve our operations until we improve our finances, but we need to improve our operations if we need to improve our finances,” he said.
Presently, the party is €36 million in debt. The debt was accrued over a period of years – a result of more expense, and less income. This was why the ċedoli scheme was born.
It was launched during Simon Busuttil’s tenure as PN leader and had the party enter into private agreements with loanees who lent the party €10,000 for 10 years against an interest payment of four percent.
“The Labour Party are also millions of euros in debt,” Grech said during the interview, alluding that the Party was not being honest with respect to the publication of the details of their debt.
“I revealed the PN’s debt because that is my way of being honest with the party’s supporters so that they too can take ownership of the solution,” he said.
Earlier this month, Grech revealed that the party was willing to sell off its party każini (‘clubs’) and commercialise them to address its massive debt issues, which the leader has warned is preventing the party from growing in the long term.
The proposal was hardly a welcomed one to some, with lawyer and former PN MP Franco Debono warning that should the PN take that road, it would be a mistake.
“We have situations where we want to do more but we can’t because of lack of funds.”
“When we fix our financial burdens, we will have more leeway in terms of what is decided and how we can move forward.”
On Saturday, Grech was confirmed as the sole candidate to contest Nationalist Party leadership after applications for the role officially closed.
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