In 2019, Joseph Portelli took over a government-owned quarry in Kerċem in Gozo and used it to install a concrete batching plant without any permits. Following this gross illegality, the Minister of Gozo, back then Justyne Caruana, awarded Joseph Portelli’s illegal batching plant a direct order. Joseph Portelli is a businessman who has consistently been subsidised and aided by different governments, but his government backing increased with Joseph Muscat’s ascent to power.
Today the batching plant is still operational and is probably, still being used to service government contracts. How does it make any sense that a contractor competes with other contractors for government tenders while simultaneously being aided and abetted by the government, in this case, using government land for free for an illegal industrial plant? Not to mention competition law, both local and European.