Former Labour CEO Gino Cauchi has questioned who the PN owes its several millions of euro to, warning that it could soon find itself in deep trouble if it has loaned money from foreign banks.
“According to the figures being circulated, the PN’s debt exceeds €30 million and it has to pay over €1 million in interests every year,” Cauchi said on One TV’s Pjazza last night. “If you have to pay €1 million in interest every year, it means you have serious problem. If the figures they are declaring from their telethons are accurate and not inflated, it means they are barely managing to raise enough to cove interest payments.”
“Moreover, running a party nowadays requires hundreds of thousands of euro every year, which means the debt is going to continue to rise. The question now is who the PN’s creditors are – whether they are individuals, local banks or foreign banks. If they’ve loaned money from foreign banks and they come knocking to call in their loans, then they won’t care that the debtor is a political party.”
MaltaToday reported today that the PN has accumulated around €34 million in debt, around €9 million more than what was reported in 2017, with the party’s media arm NET losing €2 million last year alone and the party struggling to put aside reserves to repay its creditors under the ċedoli scheme.
A PN source told the paper that the the financial situation is so severe that the party won’t even afford to run a campaign if the government decides to call an election in the near future.
Cauchi also questioned whether the Electoral Commission is investigating whether the PN had submitted accurate audited accounts as per its obligations under the party financing law.
“Every political party must submit audited accounts every year, so do the PN’s accounts show these several millions of debt? If not, then the accounts they presented weren’t audited, were tampered with and are therefore in breach of the party financing law.”
“It was already breaching this law when it spent a long time without a treasurer when the law requires that parties have a declared treasurer. [PN deputy leader] Robert Arrigo plugged this hole but he has now resigned so the PN is once again without a treasurer. We are talking about a breach of a law on political accountability and transparency.”