In a press statement Moviment Graffitti has reiterated that the sordid stories revolving around Keith Schembri’s involvement with Yorgen Fenech’s 17 Black and energy procurement are a mere reminder that the Maltese political system is drowning in same dirty money that finances it. At the same time, Schembri is not simply an “allegedly corrupt” high-ranking government official, but an artifice and kingpin of a dishonest system, craftily built by the business elite for the benefit of the business elite.
The statement continues that Graffitti reiterate their stance that Keith Schembri should have resigned long ago – precisely, 1322 days ago, when news of his secret offshore accounts broke. However, despite numerous calls for his resignation from various quarters, Schembri has stayed on; not merely because of his political clout, but because he is critical to the system he helped build and maintain, through which the business class has established a stranglehold on all areas of Maltese society by bankrolling the political sphere and subjecting it to its ownership.
It is no surprise to see how economic deregulation has led to the present situation: a free-for-all in planning; slavery and abuse of workers in various sectors especially construction; weak enforcement in financial services; the very visible spectre of money laundering and dirty money entering our economy; undeterred fuel smuggling along our coast; all this, while policies and laws are constantly being written with the only intention of protecting business interests, not citizens.
Political subservience to business interests is not new here in Malta, continues the statement; operators like Keith Schembri are among those acting behind the scenes to shift the business community’s political loyalty, further deepening a well-established web of nepotism, favouritism and corruption. In this regard, many a Labour supporter will find him/herself asking legitimate questions about their party’s links with people such as Joseph Portelli, the dB Group, the Gasan Group, the Tumas Group, the Mizzi Group, the Hili Group, the Zammit Tabona family, the Camilleris (tal-Franċiż), the Corinthia Group, high-ranking officials of the Malta Developers Association, and countless others who have so much power over the Labour Party as to dictate public policy.
Graffitti believes that there is no political will from either political party and their un/official affiliates to really change the system to prevent further Keith Schembris from springing up, or to put an end to the toxic vortex of dirty money that bankrolls politicians and steamrolls all over citizens. Keith Schembri’s resignation and interrogation would be a first step, but definitely not the conclusion of this horrible chapter of our history.