While we were paying Robert Abela €28,000 a month to be the lawyer of the Planning Authority, he also made a killing on property deals.
In June 2018, he made €45,000 on a strange property deal with a suspected criminal gang ringleader 28-year-old Christian Borg.
He entered into a promise of sale for a plot in Zabbar and coincidentally sold it to Borg on the same day that a permit by Borg was formally approved by the Planning Authority.
Abela has failed to answer questions about why he got involved in the deal, which clearly had a seller and a buyer already established.
A year earlier Robert Abela bought a 2,200 square metre villa in ODZ in Zejtun for just €600,000.
But it turns out that the property was riddled with illegalities and should have never been allowed to be built. Sources say it was impossible to sell.
Coincidentally, five days after Abela bought it, the Planning Authority found a way of giving it full approval, shooting up its value by at least twice.
This means that Abela only paid tax on the €600,000.
Each day it becomes more clear that instead of working from Monday to Sunday on the Planning Authority, as he claimed, Abela was looking after his own pocket and abusing his position within the PA.
Another coincidence is that Abela met Joseph Portelli for dinner a week before the PA granted a big permit for an apartment block on the Sannat cliffs in Gozo. Coincidentally, this dinner also took place on Labour’s fundraising marathon day which saw Labour collect a record €200,000 from Gozo alone.
What other skeletons are lurking in his closet?
What other deals is he making at your expense and his own benefit?
150 Scandals in 9 Years.
After spending 10 years calling PN negative, Labour had to find a new mantra.
So they came up with this on their latest billboard: “Bernard is the face of the past”.
As usual with Labour, the opposite is true.
Bernard Grech only entered politics a year and a half ago.
He’s actually the freshest Prime Ministerial candidate in Maltese history. No party leader has ever had less time to adapt from a life of no politics to a general election campaign as the prime candidate.
So to give credence to their lie, Labour accompanied the billboard with a number of other faces.
But the faces they chose prove just how weak their argument is.
Out of nine men, five were never in a PN Cabinet, one was never a minister, and one is… a journalist who has no involvement in the PN!
So the argument that Bernard Grech is a man from the past seems to be premised on the idea that out of 70+ candidates, PN’s lineup includes two faces from previous Nationalist administrations.
But beyond the weakness of the argument, it’s important to understand why Robert Abela wants to condition Bernard Grech into not talking about the past.
And that’s because Robert Abela fully intends to repeat the past mistakes of his party.
This billboard is already a case in point. Putting a journalist’s face on a party billboard to turn them into a political target is just what Labour did in 2017 with Daphne Caruana Galizia.
The Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry made it clear that such actions were part of the climate that led to her assassination.
But Robert Abela – who fought tooth and nail against having a public inquiry and against adopting the inquiry’s conclusions – has no intention of learning from the past.
He wants everybody to forget what happened, which is why he took over TVM, why he killed political discussion, and why he wants to obliterate the Opposition.
Don’t let him win.
Vote him out.
In the midst of an election campaign, an important story about our Prime Minister went relatively unnoticed.
Last Monday, The Times published a story about how Robert Abela pocketed €45,000 from a property deal.
But it wasn’t any property deal…
What Abela first played down as a simple assignment of rights for a small plot of land, was actually a very questionable deal over a plot of nine apartments and garages.
In June 2018, Abela promised Bonnici Brothers that he would buy a plot of land in Zabbar.
That very same day, suspected criminal gang ringleader Christian Borg received a Planning Authority permit to develop the plot of land (despite having no connection to it).
Some months later, Abela sold the property to Borg, making €45,000 profit.
At the time, Abela was a legal advisor to the Bonnici Brothers, to the Planning Authority, to Christian Borg and to Joseph Muscat.
This deal raises many questions, answers to which we are only likely to get after the election takes place:
- Did Robert Abela declare to the Planning Authority that he had a conflict of interest in this case?
- Why did Christian Borg apply for the permit instead of Robert Abela?
- Did Robert Abela declare this income? Did he pay the right amount of tax on it?
- If Borg knew he wanted the property and Bonnici Brothers knew they wanted to sell it, why did Robert Abela get involved?
- Did Robert Abela put any pressure on the Planning Authority to approve this permit? Did it follow regulations?
- What exactly was Robert Abela being paid €45,000 for?
No wonder Robert Abela avoids interviews like the plague.
Vote him out.
The last two weeks have made it amply clear that Robert Abela was not ready for a March election, which begs the question: What made him call it?
If he had been planning an election, he would have finished his electoral manifesto.
But 12 days have already passed and his manifesto is nowhere to be seen.
It also took Labour about seven days to roll out billboards with any proposals. For the first few days it was just a rushed campaign logo, a narcissistic Robert Abela logo, or a negative billboard about PN.
By comparison, PN approved and published its electoral programme on day three – and that’s without having any forewarning of when the election campaign whistle would be blown.
To make matters worse, the only ideas Robert Abela has announced so far are copied directly from Bernard Grech’s Budget-response speech or PN’s Vision 2030 Electoral Programme.
Labour has not even announced its congress, which must be held to discuss and approve the manifesto, so it looks like we’re still days away from it being published.
All this confirms that Robert Abela was planning on calling the election after the Pope’s visit, using that visit to garner goodwill.
But something changed and he rushed to the polls instead.
Two things changed in the weeks leading up to his decision.
Firstly, Joseph Muscat’s warnings became louder. After a police raid on his house, it was clear that Muscat wanted to send a clear message to Robert Abela to protect him or face the consequences.
Another thing that happened is the arrest of Christian Borg and his allegedly criminal gang. Borg was a client and business partner of Robert Abela. He obviously knows a lot about Abela’s past, which could have got the Prime Minister worried.
Whatever the reason, it’s clear that Robert Abela is out of ideas and has no vision for the country.
It’s also clear that he is compromised and unable to take the right decisions.
Vote him out.
The Planning Authority has rejected official requests from the media for a list of payments disbursed to Robert Abela for the provision of legal services over the past 10 years.
Even questions asked in Parliament were refused to be answered by Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia.
There’s a simple reason why they’re so shy to say exactly how much Abela was making off the taxpayer before he became Prime Minister. Simply put, the contract they refuse to publish is scandalous and fraudulent.
A Parliamentary question answered in 2013, just after Labour took power, stated that Abela’s firm enjoyed a direct order of a €2,979 monthly retainer from the Planning Authority and a fixed rate of €54.99 per hour for additional work.
Simple mathematics shows that in order to turn the €2,979 to €17,000, one would need to work 256 hours of additional work.
When Robert Abela was asked how the €2,979 catapulted to €17,000, he argued that he was so busy that he had to work over the weekends too.
256 extra monthly hours translate to 64 extra hours per week. 64 extra hours per week translate to nine extra hours every single day, given that he claims to have worked from Monday to Sunday.
In the meantime, he worked as a Member of Parliament, enjoyed other generous direct orders from his own Government (which took his government income to at least €28,000 per month), acted as advisor to disgraced ex-Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, represented criminals in court, flipped several properties, got into business with alleged criminals, and enjoyed long boat trips to Sicily.
Robert Abela thinks you are a fool.
Vote him out.
Robert Abela is clearly out of ideas.
Despite being the one to call the election, 10 days have passed and he still hasn’t published his electoral manifesto.
On the other hand, the Nationalist Party immediately published its long-term vision for Malta – a holistic plan of what the country needs for the next decade.
Robert Abela’s announcements in this election campaign have so far either been recycled ideas or late solutions to problems of his own making.
First we had the announcement that Zonqor will no longer be given to Sadeen to develop virgin land.
Then we were told Marsascala marina would be scrapped, after months of protests by civil society.
This followed other pre-electoral U-turns, such as the decision to finally start paying for IVF medication (after government first denied it when PN said patients were being charged for medication).
But what’s worse than these U-turns and ‘solutions’ are the copied proposals released by Labour so far in its campaign.
First there was the pledge to create a green lung in every locality – something PN already proposed last September.
Then there was the rushed pledge to increase Children’s Allowance by €90, when PN had already committed to increasing them between €150 and €1,500, depending on their means.
Robert Abela also copied the assistance PN offered to children who take part in extracurricular activities and the extension of free childcare.
The bottom line is that Robert Abela has no vision for the country.
He is just living his father’s dream after signing a pact with Joseph Muscat to become his appointed successor.
Vote him out.
With the Russo-Ukrainian conflict escalating at a frightening rate, the European Union and the USA are working together to try and halt the blood-thirsty Imperial Bear that is Russia.
One would have hoped our illustrious Robert Abela would almost take the initiative himself to create a unified front, perhaps called Team Europe.
However, the Prime Minister, decided to send mixed messages instead:
1. First he called for diplomacy, instead of supporting calls for serious sanctions like other European leaders were doing.
2. Then he boasted about how serene Malta was while other EU countries bordering Ukraine had the misfortune of having to deal with refugees.
3. After that, like the great statesman he is, he thought it would be a good idea to emphasise that Malta’s economy would have no major impact – something his puppet master Joseph Muscat soon corrected when he pointed out that at the very least, electricity prices will see a huge spike.
4. The worst part is that while the Maltese joined their Ukrainian brothers and sisters to rightfully protest in front of the Russian Embassy in Malta, Robert Abela sent police the next day to tear down their banners and candles – just as his government did day-in-day-out at the Daphne Caruana Galizia memorial site.
5. But perhaps the most important thing Robert Abela failed to do is take a commitment to stop selling Maltese passports to Russian citizens, something PN leader Bernard Grech immediately called for.
So what is it about Robert Abela that made it so difficult for him to do the right thing? Could there be something at stake for our marionette we call Prime Minister?
Well, for starters, it’s worth remembering that while working flat out from Monday to Sunday on so many Planning Authority cases that he deserved €28,000 per month, Robert Abela was a passport salesman.
And he also happened to know Evgeny Filobokov, a Russian businessman involved in the transportation industry, who acquired a Maltese golden passport through the IIP program.
According to an FIAU report, Filobokov and two other Russians Irina Orlova and Viktor Vashkevich paid bribes totalling to €166,832 to Willerby Trade Inc., an offshore company directed by none other than Brian Tonna.
Tonna, of Nexia BT fame, was the official accountant of the corrupt operation run by Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi, an operation that was exposed by journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia before she was killed in a car bomb.
So where does Robert fit in, in all of this?
On October 15th 2019, when Malta was going through one of its darkest period in history, with Joseph Muscat having already resigned disgracefully from Parliament, Robert Abela filed and signed a civil lawsuit on behalf of Evgeny Filobokov against Fort Cambridge Property Management Limited and others.
The case was a dispute which was of a purely civil nature – but it begs the question, what else did Robert Abela do for Evgeny Filobokov?
At the time, Robert Abela was wearing many hats.
He was a consultant to Joseph Muscat’s Cabinet, the main legal advisor of the Planning Authority, an MP, the main lawyer of a criminal gang, a property developer, and someone scheming in the back to try fulfil his father’s dream of becoming Prime Minister.
These are the questions we need to ask ourselves:
- How did Evgeny Filobokov get to Robert Abela at a time when he was consulting Joseph Muscat?
- For how long has he been a client of his? What is the relationship between Robert Abela and Brian Tonna, having a common client?
- For how long has Robert Abela known Evgeny Filobokov before, during and after the latter acquired a Maltese citizenship?
- Was it Brian Tonna or Keith Schembri responsible for introducing Filobokov with Robert?
The bottom line is that while the Ukrainian people together with their President are fighting to their last breath and their blood is flowing through the streets, Robert Abela is still slurping from the passport’s scheme gravy train, contrary to what Roberta Metsola, Bernard Grech and their dignified peers are proposing.
Robert can work all the weekends and post the “qrib in-nies” mantra all he wants, but this last week has proven clearly: he is a lover of regimes and dictatorships. Just look what he did with the Public Broadcasting Services…
Robert Abela is as thirsty for control as Muscat, if not worse.
Is he going to keep playing Rasputin with Putin the sadistic murderer?
In the next election, don’t let the leech suck your vote from you.
Vote him out.