The Delimara debacle and Delia’s pudding
It is somewhat more than heartening to see the Opposition leader leaping to the challenge yesterday to take on the very suspicious deal that amounted to the new Delimara power station, after fresh and apparently damning revelations were published about the sordid deal yesterday afternoon.
Some months ago the Opposition leader had taken us to task over a story that showed that he, in his previous incarnation, was tenuously linked by several degrees of separation to a company that handled a bond issue for the former lead partner of the Delimara power station – one of the most contentious projects the country has ever seen.
At the time, the Opposition Leader had taken not the suggestion that a firm he had been involved with had legitimately held a share in trust in a company that worked with that company, Gasol, but, rather, the suggestion that he had been silenced as a mortal insult. And in so doing he has showed some of his mettle. He did the same yesterday, and demanded the resignations of Messrs Schembri and Mizzi. Granted, many others have done so since the onslaught of the Panama Papers all those moons ago and very little, if any, action had been taken.
No action save for the Prime Minister apparently demoting Mizzi, in a move that was anything but a demotion, to excuse Schembri’s part in the international financial adventure down to his personal wheelings and dealings as a successful businessman and, as such, suggesting that no questions should be asked.
That was wholly unacceptable, and if anyone in government thought for a minute that the free press would let the matter go, they were sadly mistaken. It is not just a matter of the more inquisitive media being like a dog with bone, it is a matter of good governance on the most basic of levels.
And that brings us back to the Opposition Leader, who, at the first opportunity, went straight for the jugular on the power station deal. And that is a reassuringly positive thing.
After all, having a strong opposition is one of the main underpinnings of having a strong democracy. Not only is a strong opposition able to challenge the government and keep it in check, but it is also collaborates with the government and provides essential input on the drafting of new laws and policies.
This role is essential even more so in the current day and age the country is living in, in which the authorities fail to prosecute or even investigate the documented multiple misdeeds perpetrated by members of the government, in which the government has castrated the institutions that are meant to protect citizens’ rights and uphold the laws of the land, and in which the authorities ignore basic democratic principles left right and centre.
Delia, those months back, had insisted he is not for sale at any price and insisted that, “If the deal was only made to fleece us of public funds, then it is wrong. I will not shy away from saying that about the Electrogas deal.” And yesterday he made good on his word at the first chance he had to take on the Delimara deal.
We had said at the time that if he were to do so, then we would stand foursquare behind him, or anyone else for that matter who fights the good fight for good governance, after we have seen the national interest thrown out the window time and time again in favour of politicians’ personal interests and political parties’ partisan interests.
We have held him to his word, and he made good on it, but this is not a one-off and we will continue to hold him to his word for as long as it takes to see justice served. And so far, all things considered in balance, Delia has not relented in the Opposition’s fight against rampant corruption. His approach may differ from those of his predecessors, and the proof of the pudding, as the adage goes, will be in the eating… and there are many meals to be had still. Bon Appétit.