Watch: “ Case closed ”, the MP considers that the quarrel between Delia and Azzopardi is over
Although she does not agree with MPs openly expressing their dissent on social media, opposition MP Kristy Debono sees the feud between her outspoken colleagues Jason Azzopardi and Adrian Delia as a closed case.
However, the MP said while it was healthy to have conflicting ideas and internal debate, she cautioned against washing dirty laundry in public.
Speaking on Andrew Azzopardi on 103, Debono said: âIt’s okay to have different ideas, but like (PN chief) Bernard Grech said it’s all about attitude. “
The PN canceled a meeting called to discuss possible sanctions against Delia and Azzopardi on Friday after the two warring MPs reached a truce.
In a statement minutes before the meeting started at 7 p.m., the party said the meeting was called off after the two MPs reached an agreement to end hostilities and focus their efforts on helping the party to win the impending elections.
Debono said this meant the feud between the two was “closed,” but cautioned against using social media to engage in “childish” discussions.
âI don’t wash dirty laundry in public,â the MP said.
In response, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri compared the ongoing feud between Azzopardi and Delia to a ‘kindergarten’ feud and said that Labor Party representatives, on the other hand, never stooped so low.
The Azzopardi-Delia saga
Watch: NP meeting canceled as warring MPs reach truce
“ No corruption ” in the SVDP contract
While echoing Prime Minister Robert Abela’s position that the â¬ 274 million direct order awarded to James Caterers and db Group should have been approved by the Cabinet, Schembri said there was no had no evidence of corruption.
According to the National Audit Office (NAO), the record direct order of 274 million euros awarded to James Caterers and a subsidiary of the db group for an extension of the St Vincent de Paul residence is in violation of public procurement laws.
Asked by Azzopardi whether the controversial contract reeked of corruption, Schembri said that âthe NAO report did not find corruption, but said the contract could have offered better value to the taxpayer.
DB Group and James Caterers are known to be major donors. However, while acknowledging that the process could have been more transparent, Schembri said: “If we trust the Auditor General, we should stick to the conclusions of the report.”
The damning verdict
Direct order of 274 M â¬ from St Vincent de Paul in violation of the law, NAO rules
Multi-party consensus on the tax system
Although Debono and Schembri have argued over the root cause of the reputational damage Malta has suffered in recent years, both agreed on the need to protect the tax regime which, according to a report commissioned by Green MPs, has helped multinationals to avoid paying 14 billion euros in taxes between 2012 and 2015.
While Debono said “God forbid that this is done away with,” Schembri said that “we must fight tooth and nail internationally and present a united front to defend” the tax system.
Maltese businesses pay the lowest profit tax of any country in the EU, with local businesses paying 35% profit tax and foreign companies paying just 5%.
This week, Malta ranked 21st in the Tax Justice Network’s latest corporate tax havens index, making the island’s financial services center responsible for 1.72% of the risk of corporate tax abuse in the world.
In addition, Debono noted that a new PN government would ensure âa level playing fieldâ for Maltese companies that compete directly with foreign companies based in Malta.
For his part, without committing to the matter, Schembri criticized the opposition for not having drawn up a detailed plan to establish a level playing field for Maltese companies.
You can watch the whole debate below.