PN leader Adrian Delia called the Prime Minister a liar yesterday, but documents being published by Lovin Malta this afternoon prove that he is the one caught in a lie.
During a hostile interview on Xarabank, Delia was asked whether Robert Abela was correct in saying the PN owed €4 million in overdue water and electricity bills.
The Opposition leader responded categorically: “The PN doesn’t owe a cent for water and electricity. I hate to say it, but the Prime Minister lied.”
However, documents acquired by Lovin Malta show that as of last November, the Nationalist Party owed just under €3.5 million to ARMS Ltd, across its several companies, including its media wing Media.Link.
The information comes from a legal letter sent to then-Secretary General Clyde Puli warning the party that if they failed to settle the bill, then ARMS would pursue legal avenues.
In a written reply dated November 21st, PN’s lawyer requests a meeting to discuss ways a “workable” payment scheme that does not cause them to fall into this same situation again.
“My clients acknowledge that they are debtors to this company in substantial amounts and are ready to enter into a realistic arrangement to pay back these dues,” the letter states.
Lovin Malta asked the PN to confirm the €3.5 million outstanding bills and to explain Delia’s comments on Xarabank. No reply has been forthcoming except to say: “We have evidence too”.
The issue began at a press conference about the government’s economic stimulus package in the way of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Prime Minister was asked by a NET journalist why the government was resisting the PN proposal to half the electricity bills for both households and businesses.
Abela responded by saying that he would begin taking the PN’s proposals seriously when they paid up their overdue electricity bills. His comment was described by many as petty and out of place.
The PN said it would be taking legal against Abela for the remark, claiming it breached data protection laws. They said it was unacceptable that the Prime Minister chose to be “partisan and arrogant” during a time of national crisis. With the courts closed, the legal challenge is yet to develop.
The party’s financial troubles are well known. Previous reports have put the figure at around €34 million. However, this was denied by the PN, who said that while the amount due runs into millions, it is far less than the amount being quoted. An actual sum was never given.
ARMS declined to provide a comment to Lovin Malta for confidentiality reasons.