Government is tying its hands in the energy sector – AD
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Ralph Cassar, energy, industry and transport spokesperson for Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green party said in a statement today, “Government should make its intentions clear. Secrecy, using the excuse of ‘commercial interests’ when it comes to public utilities is not on. It is in our interest that utilities remain under the control of the public, through the state.”
Cassar went on to say, “what will the selling off of part of Enemalta mean when it comes to deciding the country’s energy policy? We cannot risk Enemalta serving commercial or another country’s interests, whichever the country. It is worrying that Government has decided to sell off part of the state energy company without any public discussion or a competitive process.”
“Government is tying its hands and committing itself to buying energy from one private operator, and now with the selling off of part of Enemalta it is also risking making Malta’s energy policy subject to purely commercial interests rather than ecological, social and local economic requirements,” Ralph Cassar concluded.
Prof. Arnold Cassola, AD Chairperson, added, “last July, China approached the Maltese government to conduct a €4 million study on the feasibility of a bridge between Malta and Gozo,and it is drawing up this study completley for free.Now it is “investing” €200 million, that will go to reduce Enemalta’s 800 million debt.”
Cassola pointed out that, “it is very good to have fresh capital injected into Maltese companies and the government does well to look for it. But nobody gives a huge amount of money for nothing. Till now, China has pledged to give Malta a total of 204 million euros.”
“For transparency’s sake, the Maltese people must know what China is getting in return. The government must not hide behind the usual excuse of “commercially sensitive information. The Prime Minister should come clean with the Maltese: is in reality the real issue here for China to get a commercial foothold in Europe to circumvent the tariff issue on PVs?” Prof Cassola concluded.