100 Million Euro Island and Other Secrets – Kristina Chetcuti

If you go to Bari in Italy and swim 300 kilometers as the crow flies across the Adriatic Sea, you will arrive in Montenegro. In all likelihood, you’ll stop to catch your breath before reaching the mainland – on the pristine island of St. Mark.

It is a puny island, with an area of ​​32 hectares. For comparison, it’s a wee bit bigger than Cominotto, that little island just off Comino which, at 25 hectares, stands like a protective arm around the Blue Lagoon.

When you Google St. Mark’s Island, you get photos of a lush patch of green. This is because the island is surrounded by olive trees and cypresses. Its beauty even earned it a place in ancient Greek mythology where it was described as a gift from the gods, the place where Greek soldiers went to recover from their wounds after battles. To be sure, there’s something definitely divine about it – and together with its neighboring island St. Michael, makes up the Archipelago of the Holy Archangels.

In the 1960s and 1970s, this island was managed by a French company that organized off-the-grid holidays for people who wanted to immerse themselves in the silence of untouched and isolated nature. Visitors stayed in small wooden huts on stilts and, despite the absence of water and electricity, basked in this little Garden of Eden.

In the 2000s, it was taken over by a Russian company favored by Putin, Metropol Group. They glanced at the island and wrinkled their faces. ” What is that ? Where is the Gucci store?!”

They went to the drawing board and came up with a plan: “We are doing a six-star hotel. And marina for large yachts. We are building 70 villas with swimming pools by the sea. We are building shopping boutiques in the center of the island. We build modern restaurants. And we put deckchairs on the beaches for tourists. Zat is the idea.

But then came the 2008 financial crisis, and Putin’s friends decided to put their plans on hold and seek outside investors. Finally, more than a decade later, a potential buyer showed up, thanks to friends of friends. He comes from a small village, in a small archipelago, with 100 million euros to spend. And his name is Joseph Portelli, the “godfather” of Gozo.

What do Malta and Montenegro have in common, you ask me? Well, a lot it seems. There is a wind farm there, which Enemalta bought with our taxes at an exorbitant price, and which was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat before he fell from grace. Then there’s the fact that Muscat’s friend, Yorgen Fenech, who is also the suspect in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, made a multi-million cut on that same wind farm contract in Montenegro. And now unrestricted construction magnate Portelli is the potential buyer of one of their islands, while pushing for Muscat’s coveted latest job in the Malta Football Association. Bless, all peas in a corrupt pod.

Clearly Portelli lacks space to tinker in Malta– Kristina Chetcuti

Priced at 100 million euros, Portelli could consider an original Van Gogh painting such as Portrait of the Artist Without a Beard (98 million euros), or he could consider an Airbus plane (96 million euros ) or, say, its very own high-tech no-queue roller coaster (€105). Instead, he wants his own replica of Kemunett. Why? You can be sure it’s not because he longs for some peace and quiet.

You just hear his hoarse voice: “Xiex? 70 villas? As if! I will build 250 apartments as I do on the cliffs of Sannat. Shops? I will build a mall the size of Mercury Towers in Paceville! Olivier? In that case, I will uproot them to make way for a football field where I will be president and star player. And don’t worry, there will be enough space for every square centimeter of the coastline to be lined with deckchairs, like Blue Lagoon!

Obviously, there’s not enough room to tinker around here and there’s not enough people to help him, so they hoist him up on their shoulders as a sign of adulation. Could it be that he also needs a “godly” place to put the “gift of the gods” money?

Victoria’s Secret

The office of Attorney General is a constitutional role, funded by our taxes. The specific role of the AG is to prosecute criminals and thus safeguard the public interest. This is why the AG conducts legal proceedings in very serious criminal cases such as, for example, money laundering or the murder of a journalist.

It seems to me that over the last decade the official mission of the AG has shifted and changed to: “The AG shall represent and take the side of the criminals.”

The previous AG, Peter Grech, was obnoxiously traitorous and cowardly.

He pretended to be a weakling, when in truth he was and still is pathetically, unscrupulous in his greed and in the plotting of his own survival.

The current AG, Victoria Buttigieg, is a carbon copy protected.

If Grech threw the last semblance of justice into the trash cans, Buttigieg sets those trash cans on fire. She has shown us that she is also unscrupulous and it does not matter whether she betrays the police or journalists at the risk of their lives.

Let’s not entertain for a minute the idea that she’s careless or spineless – she’s neither. She just has no integrity. And the rule of law in our country is worse off.

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Lynn A. Saleh