Anti-corruption activist Mark Anthony Sammut yesterday called for the immediate removal of Malta Tourism Authority CEO Johann Buttigieg for signing the scandalous €80,000 consultancy contract given to disgraced Konrad Mizzi in secret two weeks after the former Tourism Minister resigned. The same should apply to the entire MTA board if they too knew of this contract, he argued.
Buttigieg has so far remained silent about this contract, as has former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat who had taken the tourism portfolio under his own responsibilities when Mizzi resigned, and is therefore ultimately responsible for this decision.
“It cannot be that in this country nobody takes responsibility for their actions because they are all following orders from above,” Sammut said.
The young activist gave a scathing indictment of Robert Abela’s first few weeks as Prime Minister in a passionate speech at yesterday’s protest outside Parliament.
Sammut said that even though he initially had some hope things would change, it quickly became apparent that this government was the same as that of a few weeks ago: “The same people, in different seats.”
Even though some people were removed from their jobs or not reappointed, these were soon given some form of compensation, meaning Abela was using the same tactics as Joseph Muscat.
“We remove the Police Commissioner for not doing his job, then we give him a consultancy of €30,000 to stay quiet. We remove Justyne Caruana as Minister and then we appoint her chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Consideration of Bills. We don’t appoint Konrad Mizzi to Cabinet but then, to spit in the face of decency, we appoint him head of Malta’s delegation to the OSCE, the organisation that promotes freedom of expression and human rights. An insult to the nation and to journalism. We remove Joseph Muscat as Prime Minister and then he appears in meetings between the Prime Minister and Steward Healthcare, the people who took over three hospitals in a deal that is under a magisterial inquiry,” said Sammut, adding that taxpayers were also paying for Muscat’s end-of-term financial package “as through he resigned with honours”.
“Instead of being investigated, all these people are being rewarded,” Sammut added.
Sammut said that civil society would not rest until the country was cleaned up and people like Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, Neville Gafa, Adrian Hillman, Brian Tonna and Karl Cini were brought to justice.
“If the mafia thinks that we will remain quiet and let everyone escape justice because you changed the boss (ix-xiħ) with the younger face of his consigliere, you are sorely mistaken,” he said.