Political interference at Lands Department not allowing it to function properly
Nationalist MP Ryan Callus yesterday warned that political interference at the Lands Department is not allowing it to function properly.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday as the House started to discuss the law on Civil Code, Mr Callus said that Parliamentary Secretary Deborah Schembri has inherited a corrupt system in the Lands Department.
Referring to the Café Premier scandal, he said that political interference is causing the department workers to be afraid from taking any decision.
“Politics has taken over the department,” he insisted. Parliamentary Secretary Deborah Schembri called for a point of order and complained that Mr Callus should substantiate his claims.
He replied by referring to the interference mentioned in the NAO report as an example.
Ryan Callus also noted that for the first time in local history, the Lands Department was moved to fall under the direct responsibility of the prime minister.
“Let me be honest, I don’t want to be in Deborah Schembri’s shoes, because she has to repair the damage done in three years.
“But still, one should ask how did these scandals erupt in the last three years.”
He claimed that the government created an authority for lands to serve as spin to all the scandals related to this sector, namely the Gaffarena scandal.
“The truth is that these scandals would have been avoided if the government was not operating with a corrupt mentality. We were given the opposite of what we were promised.”
In his concluding remarks, Mr Callus said that the PN Opposition will be voting against the bill as this diminishes legal certainty and because he believes that the public should not be made to pay for the government’s mistakes.