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John Dalli EU Commissioner : Interviewed by Norman Hamilton on "Bla Agenda"

On the 17th October 2010 One TV, the Maltese Labour Party station transmitted an interview with Commissioner John Dalli (J. D.) on the programme ‘Bla Agenda’ (Without Agenda). Norman Hamilton (N. H.) conducted the interview in Maltese language. This is the English translation guaranteed to be as faithful as possible to what was said.

The replies that Commissioner John Dalli gave speak volumes. He confirms his hypocritical, arrogant, vindictive and lying character. He also confirms his professionalism in back stabbing, deceit and shameful public behaviour.

Commissioner John Dalli is such a compulsive liar that in his C.V. submitted to the E.U. Commission and published online, he stated that he was a lawyer for the World Bank in Washington DC from 1970 - 1995.

Although the interview had a time limit of ten minutes, Norman Hamilton and One TV had many opportunities in previous programmes to remind Commissioner John Dalli of all the political scandals he was connected to. Also to remind him that he spent the best part of his political career conducting character assassinations against the Labour Party leadership and anyone who came up with constructive criticism or whistle blew on scandals connected to Commissioner Dalli when he was a Minister.

As Minister of Finance for over twelve years Commissioner Dalli embedded the word deficit in the Maltese dictionary, abused his position to produce unreliable national financial statistics to cover up his incompetence in reaching the targets he had set himself, took the national debt to its highest level in Maltese history and on many occasions he was the principle person in conducting unwarranted character assassinations against many people.

Once again Norman Hamilton, in this staged interview, lost the opportunity to confront Commissioner John Dalli about his past and chose to allow him to offend the nations intelligence with his back stabbing tactics, hoping to gain some cheap political points.

It would have been better for Norman Hamilton and One TV and the Maltese press to ignore this unreliable politician. Democratic presenters should ensure that people who suffered from Commissioner John Dalli’s past actions be given the same amount of air time to express themselves and give an account of their experience. Until then, this programme and others like it in the Maltese media and newspapers that are biased remain guilty of discrimination and one-sided reporting.

The following is the translation of this interview together with comments made by the author to uncover the deceit and hypocrisy of this cheap politician.

N. H. Commissioner, Malta is alight with what happened to you recently. First of all because you have been vindicated with what was said about you, secondly because you recently gave some interviews where naturally you felt hurt, very hurt. Many said that you were too hard; others said he is saying the truth. Now you have been vindicated, what does this mean to you?

J. D. No, this means a lot to me. As I have already said, the fact that the sentence in the court of appeal definitively declared that all that was the basis of my resignation from the government was all false, based on falsification. It was a person who invented a report and this report was believed, as I have said many times before. So much so, that it was sent to the Police Commissioner so that I would be investigated and of course who knows what would happen. However, thanks to baby Jesus and here I thank the Police Commissioner that showed great acumen that he realised from the first instance that this was a false report. In fact, he had the admission of its author confirming that this was a false report.

Author’s Comment: There is a contradiction in Commissioner Dalli’s reply. When did the police commissioner send for him? Was it before or soon after his resignation or was it much later on? If it was before his resignation why did he resign? If the Police Commissioner had an admission from the author of the report confirming that it was false something does not add up. Dalli is also playing to the viewers by thanking baby Jesus. He really knows how to milk a situation for all its worth. The following question indicates that his explanation does not add up.

N. H. However, you still had to submit your resignation. You gave your resignation or were you told that it is better if you resign?

J. D. No, no, understand me, I, I resigned because the Prime Minister told me that he cannot have a minister who is being investigated. Now, in all my life I have never been under an investigation. This investigation without a doubt would have been the investigation that was going to take place when he (the prime minister) would have passed on this report to the commission (local commission on corruption. A complete farce). However, I want to say that when I in fact left the cabinet I did not know that this report existed. No one ever told me anything about this report because if I knew about this report I would have spoken about it. My immediate reaction would have been that this was a falsified report. I knew that whatever was in that report was false. Later on I found out that whoever invented this report had a contract with the company that wanted to gain this famous contract for machinery of San Rafael hospital (now called Mater Dei). This person would have been paid €2 million if this company gained this contract. Meaning this was something that was a very serious, a very serious thing, not just a case of defamation but massive fraud. But more than this, the way this happened by hiding many things, there was also political pressure. So there is also a political responsibility.

Author’s Comment: If the police already had an admission that the report was false why did the Prime Minister say that Dalli was being investigated? Dalli stated that during his life he was never under any investigation. Why? There were many situations were he should have been. For instance, the award of the concrete tender to his brother Bastjan for the same hospital. Many other tenders for road surfacing that his brother was awarded despite the fact that he lacked any experience in such projects and his tenders were never the most economical. There was also the sale of Mid-Med Bank to HSBC. Dalli sold this national asset without authority behind everyone’s back. Then there is the Daewoo scandal where €47 million in loans and overdraft facilities were granted to the company using very little collateral.

At the time Dalli was shadow Finance Minister and a consultant for the company. The company was insolvent and the loans were granted breaching company laws and using the resources of a nationalised bank (BOV). There is also the anonymous letters scandal. Commissioner John Dalli should have been investigated on many occasions. Why was this case so different? While it is agreed that this was very serious and a “massive fraud” so was the Daewoo scandal. In that case it was not just the lending to the company, there was also the €3.5 million H. P. payments that the clients paid to the company and were not passed on to its bankers as they should have been. That was massive fraud too.

Commissioner Dalli states that in his case there is a political responsibility to be taken into account. Meaning the politician responsible for his resignation should resign. Well, Dalli should resign too, if not for all the cases mentioned above, he should resign for the false and malicious accusations he made against Joseph Ellul-Grech and the Labour Party. John Dalli accused Ellul-Grech of sending 20, 000 anonymous letters claiming to defame him knowing from the outset that Ellul-Grech was innocent. Six months later, ex party leader and Prime Minister Dr. E. Fenech Adami in parliament, using parliamentary privilege, accused the Labour Party of sending the anonymous letters. By that time it had been confirmed that the stationery used came from parliament.

N. H. Internal political pressure?

J. D. I stated it in my resignation. I said that there were these types of problems because there were other people that were attacking me on different things. These were a smoke screen to cover up this type of attack. However, it was evident that it was an inside job and I also mentioned the names of those involved in my resignation.

Author’s Comment: Commissioner Dalli is confirming that backstabbing is a pastime in his party and the country as a whole. From its birth the Nationalist Party has a long history of backstabbing since the time they had a close relationship with the Italian Fascist Party in the 1940’s to the time their party leader Dr. George Borg Oliver was forced to resign after an internal party coup known as the “night of the long knives”. Also the well planned character assassinations by his party on the eve of general elections to gain political points and ensure his party’s re-election. So it is no surprise and of course he is right on that account.

N. H. Do you think the way things are developing today it looks like that two weights and two measures are being used as in your case “listen, it is better if you resign because of an investigation or other things”?

J. D. No, understand me, I do not want to compare because comparisons have nothing to do with it. With me it is not questions of comparisons with what is happening with other people. All that I am saying that what was done to me was wrong and that what happened to me is so serious that we cannot say that we found a person, this person wrote this report and we put him in jail. Good, but who used the report? Who gave instructions to write this report? Who was behind the report to make sure that it will happen? Meaning, for God’s sake, those are being awarded promotions and other things and this person is imprisoned. Or should there be an investigation, if we are a serious country we should have a serious investigation and find out how and why things happened? Because to try and assassinate a person’s character, I had been a Minister for 15 years, one of the main government’s ministers, to be pushed aside just like that and to spend years with people looking the other way when you walk down a street, my family and I, for me these are not things to joke about, these are very serious things and steps should be taken against them. That is what I am saying.

Author’s Comment: Commissioner Dalli makes some very good points and asks some very valid questions. They should be answered and an investigation should be conducted. However, Commissioner Dalli neglects to remember anything about the anonymous letters case. That too should be investigated. In his case at least one person is serving a prison sentence but in the anonymous letters case no one was investigated except Joseph Ellul-Grech despite the fact that it was evident that there was a team of people involved. 20, 000 letters with three sheets of A4 paper in each envelope is a lot of stationery and a lot of stamps.

When Ellul-Grech’s computer equipment was seized an Epson Stylus 800 colour printer was taken. This was supposed to have been used to print these 20, 000 anonymous letters each letter containing three sheets of paper. That is 60, 000 A4 sheets of paper. It would have been impossible for this printer to handle that amount of printing. It would have taken many days and a lot of ink cartridges would have been required. Furthermore, the forensic expert appointed by the court had confirmed in his witness that although the computer was in working order there was no evidence that it was used for that purpose. He also confirmed that the computer was not in use from October until the day it was seized.

Ellul-Grech was acquitted after four years of court proceedings. The Labour Party was cleared of any involvement after a parliamentary investigation. The same questions that Commissioner Dalli raised about his famous report apply to this case.

N. H. Whoever made these accusations; they wanted to destroy you politically and personally?

J. D. No, this, I say these, they wanted to kill me and bury me six feet under. I say they wanted me out of the Maltese political scene in disgrace, completely discredited.

Author’s Comment: Commissioner Dalli knows a lot about being put six foot under, disgraced and being discredited. He is an expert at it not because he experienced it but because he is a professional at inflicting the same on others as he did to Joseph Ellul-Grech and many MP’s from the Labour Party.

N. H. But with hindsight or foresight, when you look back why did they want to get rid of you? Who and why? John Dalli, what did he do? For them to say listen, let’s get rid of him.

J. D. Understand me, I am not filling my head, I was one of the main government’s ministers. I was a person that did a lot of things in government and it could be whoever wants to have total power in his hands decided that with me in the way he was going to experience difficulties. That is the only thing that I can think of and this decision was taken. However, baby Jesus kept his hand on me, I spent four years of suffering, not just me but my family, my mother, God forgive her, my wife and children, but we still found our heads above water. Now baby Jesus willing, the facts are out. Now, what I am saying is the country. This is a question of transparency; it is a question of values, of the truth, a question that these things should not happen in our country. It cannot be that a person, whoever, it is not John Dalli, any person be treated in this manner as if nothing has happened.

Author’s Comment: Again Commissioner Dalli really knows how to milk it. Brining baby Jesus and God into the process and trying to give the impression that he is some kind of holy man.

As he did before in many interviews he whinges and whines about the suffering he and his family endured neglecting to remind himself of the lives that he destroyed by the character assassinations he conducted during his political career, all in the name of protecting his financial and political interests. As for transparency, he does not know the meaning of the word. If he did he would be telling the nation what really happened when he sold Mid-Med Bank without authority, he would also be telling what happened at Daewoo.

Why was he given two Daewoo cars one Espero chassis no: KLAJF19VISB739096 (valued at €20, 700) the other Daewoo Cielo KLATF19YISB598856 (valued at €16, 000) free of charge? He should also explain the €1.2 million backhander (evidence to support this allegation is available) he received for arranging the loans for the company. Yes, Commissioner John Dalli should be really transparent. He should also check his values and tell the truth especially about the 20, 000 anonymous letters.

As Joseph Ellul-Grech was acquitted and the Labour Party was cleared of any connection to this serious but pathetic crime and the stationery used came from parliament that only leaves Commissioner John Dalli as the main suspect. Commissioner Dalli had the motive and resources at his disposal to organise such a crime. He wanted to distract the nations attention from the austerity budget he was about to announce, the Daewoo scandal in which he was deeply involved at the time and to punish the whistleblower.

N. H. Today you are an EU Commissioner, you are responsible for 500 million people, however, you still follow Maltese politics very closely so much so there has been a certain person who commented or wrote “we saw John Dalli during the Independence celebrations, now he is over there (meaning Brussels) what is he doing over here?” “Why does he keep coming over here?” “Does he keep coming back because he wants to take the party’s leadership in the future?”

J. D. No, absolutely no, I, when the leadership election took place, I did not qualify to contest the second round. I could have done many things in the week between the leadership election rounds that have made a difference, but I decided that the councillors decided and that was the decision. I always gave my complete loyalty to whoever was leading the party, naturally not without criticism, because we are not people that do not criticise but always with a certain loyalty. Whoever keeps saying “Poor man he keeps going on and on and says what he says is due to me not becoming the party’s leader”. These are all reasoning’s, as I have stated recently in a newspaper, reasoning’s of certain people who wish to make people forget or hide the true issues. I am not interested in these things. I am interested in the truth and my country’s decency. I love my country and I voted to join the EU, although I am here today, I voted to join the EU so that we have the rule of law in Malta and so that these things and exaggerations do not happen in our country and also that a person will never be treated like I have been treated. That is why I voted to join the EU for example. And I am saying today that we should have the decency in our country today to see that whoever was responsible for these things against my person and that could have happened against anyone else, should be revealed and the person responsible should receive what they deserve.

Author’s Comment: Yes, Commissioner you are interested in the truth that suits you not the complete truth. If you really mean what you say tell the nation about the skeletons in your cupboard. Such as, why did you falsely and maliciously accuse Joseph Ellul-Grech? Why did you accuse the Labour Party of sending the letters? Why did you get involved in arranging the loans and overdraft facilities for Daewoo? Why didn’t you drop charges against Ellul-Grech? Why didn’t you apologise to him and the Labour Party? In fact there are a million questions you should answer about your arrogant and vile behaviour. All this and more should be revealed and you should be held accountable.

N. H. How do you see Malta’s future?

J. D. I am very optimistic about my country. The country is the people, the Maltese are very creative, busy people, they are hardworking and capable even in during bad times they come out of a situation up front. We built our country out of nothing; I think that our country’s future is a nice future, however, I have one appeal; our country would be much nicer if it is a united country and that all of us tows the same rope and that we will not measure each other with different rulers. Everyone should use the same ruler for everyone and whoever is capable should be given the faculty to express their capabilities. Meaning, I think someone else said this before me, I am not sure if it was Oliver Friggieri but we are a nation of tribes, we have to try and stop this and become one Maltese nation. There are few of us and the strength of each and everyone one of us is important to build our nation.

Author’s Comment: Yes the same ruler should be used with everyone. Very nice words but in reality and in the past Commissioner Dalli used and is still using different rulers. He must be the most deceitful Commissioner in Brussels. Heike Moldenhauer from Friends of the Earth described him as “A Commissioner Who Can’t Be Trusted”. That is the truth about this hypocrite.

As for Malta being a nation of tribes he is 100% right. His political party has spent all the years it has been in existence ensuring that Malta remains like that. They have always practiced a policy of divide and rule.

N. H. I said that that was the last question, however your reply raised another question and I make it the last. If that famous lesson of John Dalli, Louis Galea and Lawrence Gonzi and John Dalli were elected in Malta, what would be different?

J. D. Understand me, this is a very hypothetical question and very difficult to answer. However, the way I ran things in the past, the way I am running things now and the way I always believed in running things, I think I would have tried to bring more unity in our country.

Author’s Comment: Well, the way Dalli ran things during his political career speak for themselves. When he was Finance Minister between 1992 and 1996 he got the country’s finance in such a mess that his party called an early general election. When Geoffrey Grima interviewed the Prime Minister of that time he said, “when I was told about the serious financial situation the country was in, I nearly had a heart attack”.

After that, as a consultant for Daewoo Malta Ltd. he used his contacts in BOV and arranged loans and overdraft facilities using very little collateral and breaching company law. The business went bankrupt soon after.

When re-elected in the 1998 election, he was appointed Minister of Finance and Economy. He ran things so well that on the 17th November 1999 he falsely and maliciously accused Joseph Ellul-Grech to cover up his involvement in the Daewoo scandal. By the end of that term he had made such a mess of the country’s finances that the deficit and the national debt reached record levels. Commissioner Dalli performed the perfect cock-up during his terms as Finance Minister.

Now that he has had his fill from Malta, he accepted a lucrative appointment in Brussels as Commissioner. He proved his arrogance and incompetence in the first few weeks by authorising the cultivation of Amflora potato, getting most of Europe up in arms because of his decision. He would like to make the nations of Europe believe that in less than six weeks he read and understood twelve years of scientific reports. This plonker, never in his working life had any experience or opportunity to study genetics. The only winner out of his decision is BASF, which prompts the question; did Dalli receive a backhander as he did at Daewoo?

It should also be noted throughout this interview Dalli did not insist that his brother’s allegations should be investigated. While his brother Bastjan was in prison he alleged that an unknown person approached him offering him freedom if he incriminated his brother John in the Mater Dei Hospital (previously known as San Rafael) equipment tender.

N. H. I know that the word unity means a lot to you. Commissioner, thank you very much.

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