Joseph Muscat said “Enemalta acts as a dead weight on the country’s finances”. Konrad Mizzi announced with disgust: “Enemalta is the albatross around the neck of the island – with 50 million losses every year”. It was years ago. These words ring much more true today.
After years of Labor bragging about Enemalta’s miraculous turnaround, Enemalta is back on its knees. The work desperately concealed the huge losses that Enemalta was accumulating. Nobody really knew how many millions Enemalta owed for years. Enemalta hasn’t posted accounts since 2018. We all know why. Labor wrecked Enemalta through gross mismanagement, exorbitant salaries for political appointees and criminal dealings that funneled millions into Yorgen Fenech’s 17-Black.
In 2013, Konrad Mizzi was appalled by Enemalta’s 50 million annual losses. This year, Malta’s Labor government committed €200 million to cover Enemalta’s losses. In addition, Enemalta has taken out a revolving loan of 20 million from the banks. And another special loan of 20 million guaranteed by the Maltese development bank. This was before Russia’s war in Ukraine. Things will only get worse.
In 2018, Enemalta bragged that Standard and Poor’s approved the “Enemalta turnaround”. Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi hailed their economic miracle and triumphantly spread S&P’s praises: “Enemalta’s shift to profitability is now consolidated”. It was 2017. Enemalta stopped bragging. He also stopped publishing his accounts. S&P suddenly changed its mind. In its latest report, the rating agency noted that “Enemalta’s losses were fully covered by the government in 2021”. The only reason they did not downgrade Enemalta from its B+ rating was the “high likelihood that the government will provide sufficient and extraordinary support to the company”. “Enemalta’s business model risks becoming unsustainable,” S&P warned.
The millions that Enemalta has squandered over the years are being paid for – by the hard workers of this country. The burden of gross corporate mismanagement is borne by the workers.
As Enemalta losses mount, Labor insiders are gorging themselves. Yorgen Fenech’s 17-Black was handed €7m in a rotten deal in which Enemalta paid €10.3m for a share in Montenegro’s Mozura wind farm that had been sold for just €2.6m , some days before.
Salvu Sant, 86, brother of the notorious Minister of Public Works Lorry Sant, received his share of 50,000 euros out of 200,000 euros allocated to the four directors of the company which manages the BWSC power station. He was appointed director by Robert Abela.
Shanghai Electric, the Chinese company that owns the BWSC plant, made more than 15 million euros in profit in 2020 and another 17 million euros in 2019.
Jonathan Cardona, a close friend of Joseph Muscat, was named CEO of Enemalta with an obscene salary of over 160,000 euros a year. His contract includes a bizarre clause entitling him to an additional “service bonus” worth several thousand dollars even if his contract is not renewed. Cardona was Muscat’s main passport seller before his appointment at Enemalta. He squandered more than 300,000 euros in public funds by traveling the world selling passports. Cardona is paid the same as Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister.
Cardona was not satisfied with this. He hired his former close assistant and traveling companion Monica Farrugia as executive director of Enemalta despite her complete lack of experience in managing such a large organization. She will collect the modest sum of 105,000 euros per year. She is also entitled to another performance bonus of 12,000 euros each year – and this bonus will be decided by her long-time colleague Jonathan Cardona himself.
David Galea, the close friend of Konrad Mizzi, obtained a contract of 600 euros per day for the “general consulting” of Enemalta. He got the deal just a week after Mizzi took over. Between 2013 and 2019, Galea won 35 direct contracts worth more than 1 million euros. Even after Mizzi’s banishment, Galea still receives direct orders from Enemalta to “work on preparing a negotiating position”.
While Enemalta is kept afloat by monthly public subsidies taken from taxpayers’ money, Labour’s shameless repairmen continue to siphon off hundreds of thousands of euros. Who approved Jonathan Cardona’s jaw-dropping deal? Who agreed to pay Monica Farrugia more than the President of the Republic? How can a virtually insolvent company justify such shameless waste?
As the Enemalta vessel rapidly takes on water and lists dangerously, Salvu Sant, Cardona, Monica Farrugia, David Galea and Shanghai Electric continue to bleed the nation. Those with more common sense than greed, like Enemalta chairman Jonathan Scerri, have abandoned this sinking ship like runaway rats.
Barely months after his appointment, Jonathan Scerri fled. He gave no explanation. Jonathan Scerri had been in business with the wife of former Enemalta executive chairman Frederick Azzopardi. Azzopardi was CEO between January and August 2014, then executive chairman between August 2014 and December 2017. He oversaw the machinations at Enemalta.
Labor promised “no privatization of Enemalta will take place”, but then sold a 33% stake to Shanghai Electric. It sold its only asset, the BWSC power station, to the Chinese. Most damning of all, Azzopardi’s Enemalta pumped millions into 17 Black. After bragging that “Enemalta has ended years of recorded losses and profits”, Azzopardi quickly abandoned ship and moved to Infrastructure Malta where he earned the nickname “the butcher of nature and property”. deprived of people. He gained notoriety for bulldozing private land without the necessary permits and for defying ERA shutdown and compliance orders. He has now abandoned that ship too. He takes on the role of Group CEO James Caterers – the lucky beneficiary of an illegal Labor government contract worth over a quarter of a billion euros at SVPR.
Enemalta’s miracle turnaround is nothing but another big deception from Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi. Like Air Malta, Enemalta is a catastrophic mess – supported only by illegal state subsidies that Labor slyly hides from the EU. Konrad Mizzi was wrong – the real albatross around the island’s neck is not Enemalta, it’s Labour.