In Sunday’s speech in Mellieha, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said that Danish company BWSC has accepted responsibility for the damage to one of the turbines. Less than 24 hours previously, an official Government statement issued by the DOI, quotes Minister Tonio Fenech as saying that the Government will hold BWSC responsible. Very quick action indeed, but what is the responsibility that the Danish company has accepted?
In such a short span of time, it is difficult to believe that a thorough agreement of responsibility has been agreed to. Possible but not probable. GonziPN is responsible to the people. This major setback is a serious blow to the people and to the service which the people expect and for which the company has already received around €157 million. Lawrence Gonzi does not run a one-man show. He is in duty bound to inform the country of the arrangements agreed to.
The Gonzi government had obstinately decided to carry on with the tender for the Delimara extension, notwithstanding the many warnings that the government could have heeded. GonziPN knew that we were to be used as guinea pigs on this type of project and of the environmental damage that would be caused by the use of Heavy Fuel Oil.
Yet, the Gonzi administration went ahead and signed the contract even though the Prime Minister admitted that he did not read it before the signing of it. Hardly credible or immensely irresponsible since, at around € 200 million, it is one of the largest projects for an island of our size.
Lawrence Gonzi has a duty to inform Parliament and the people of these arrangements. If, as stated, the delay could be up to six months, then the contractual penalties alone would amount to around €40 million. Apart from these penalties there are the penalties being imposed by the EU for the continued use of the Marsa Power station, which should have been closed down a long time ago as well as the environmental damage to the quality of air that people in the vicinity will be forced to breathe for a considerably longer time.
GonziPN has led Malta into a blind alley; the least he could do is ensure the welfare of the people and the accountability for public funds. And he should do it now and not dilly-dally as he has been doing with several other important issues that have a direct consequence on the lives of all citizens of Malta and Gozo.