The extent of the VGH scandal is so massive that it has reached the point where the implications are almost ungraspable. There’s a point where things go beyond the understanding of daily lives.
When someone does not hope to earn more than 700,000 euro their entire working life, the difference between 10 million and a 100 million in their thinking has no real meaning. It is just stupid money.
When someone buys an apartment on a mortgage in their 20s and spends the next 40 years diligently paying for it, the convoluted deals the government closes to lease and buy back hospitals have only a vague relationship with reality.
Many people then prefer to let their politicians decide how best to dispose of hospitals as long as they’re in a position to repay their small mortgage.
This is the reality of the world.
It is why Labour trolls do not need prompting to retort to criticism about the VGH deal, say, with ‘kemm hu bravu Konrad. Mn’alla kien hu’.
These are people who would not be shafted by the non-calibrated scales of their local butcher. They know exactly how many slices 400g of bacon should yield. But an 80 million euro swindle means nothing to them.
Ivan Camilleri’s revelations today of the redacted portions of the VGH deal are replete with these unbelievable, perhaps incomprehensible, swindles.
The first is the final resolution to 2 years of speculation on whether the three hospitals were given up to VGH for 30 or a 100 years. The government would not clarify hinting it was only for 30. For an indifferent listener the difference is irrelevance. Most people will not be around when either timeline expires. It might as well have been granted for 500 years. How is that different to me than a 100?
Now we understand the ambiguity. If a government decided to take 2 of the hospitals back from VGH 30 years from now, they would have to pay them back all the rent they would have paid, with interest. They quite literally gave it all away.
All the equipment in those hospitals was given away for free.
All salaries inside those hospitals continue to be paid by the government.
On top of all that, health services the government used to provide itself out of pocket, now they have to buy from VGH for a price that includes VGH’s handsome profit, a consideration that was hitherto not part of the equation.
Can anyone see any sense whatsoever in this? Is there any saving grace for this arrangement?
Bravu wkoll Konrad Mizzi. But obviously this has nothing to do with being smart. This deal is manifestly unilateral, is squarely set against the national interest and is a wound to health-care provision in our country. It is such a palpably bad deal that whoever negotiated on our behalf must have had altogether different interests than our nation’s good.
This is what treason sounds like. Not speaking to the BBC. Treason is stealing from generations of Maltese children, as yet unborn, depriving them over the next 100 years of the national health service built by our parents and grandparents over the previous 100.
And for what? A big hole in the ground in Gozo and a scrubbed façade at Karin Grech. That is what we got. What do VGH get now they’re flipping the concession over to an American profiteering conglomerate? A massive margin on reselling a lucrative, unilateral and imperially advantageous and extractive contract, a blank slate to profit from the illnesses of the Maltese people.
Fair exchange. We get a big hole and they get several millions. And what does Konrad Mizzi get? Five thousand votes and many a ‘kemm hu bravu, hux!’. At least.