Why is the government still issuing electricity and fuel subsidies?

Why is the Maltese government still issuing subsidies for electricity bills and fuel when the prices of natural gas and crude oil have crashed to levels even below the Russian invasion of Ukraine? The EU Commission has explained the obvious to the Maltese government that it has no legitimate reason why it should keep subsidising electricity and fuel. This means that more than one year after Miriam Dalli made her horrible gas-purchase trade betting the price of gas was to remain high, Malta is still bound by these contracts because Miriam made her bet on a very long-term basis. The Maltese government is set to spend up to €600 million this year alone in electricity and fuel subsidies.

Earlier this year, Miriam Dalli was asked about her gas trade by Lovin Malta and she was taken by surprise. She has refused to reply to my questions. She justified her trade by saying that the price of natural gas was to go higher again, but it only kept crashing lower since then. The Maltese government makes gas and oil purchases which it then supplies to private entities like Electrogas and Shanghai Electric for the conversion of energy. Last year, Miriam Dalli purchased long-term gas contracts based on the price changes of oil when the gas price was already at a high premium and the oil price still had further room to run. Since then the gas price went down by 63% and oil went down by 28%. The trade is being presented by the Minister as “a hedge” but technically it is unhedged. Labour’s “expert advice” back then made by Steve Elull (Miriam Dalli’s consultant) and Clint Flores, was that the price of gas was to remain high and that Russia was to win the gas war. The exact opposite has happened.

Simply put, the Maltese government is issuing electricity and fuel subsidies because it is purchasing gas and oil at excessively higher prices than market rates.


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  1. Electrogas makes a €19 million profit on Miriam Dalli’s gas purchases – Mark Camilleri

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