Making an even bigger mess of Malta’s image: check out these updates on corrupt Leyla Aliyeva’s website

Published: February 27, 2014 at 1:16pm

Malta’s head of state, Malta’s minister of education, Malta’s prime minister’s wife, Malta’s state palaces…and this is a woman who is not a politician or a head of state, but the daughter of one, and she’s known to be as corrupt as he is.

Muscat’s government is a public relations disaster for Malta.

Apart from the inherent lack of wisdom in publicly feting the daughter of a corrupt despot, who is corrupt herself, do the members of our government even begin to understand just how utterly tacky this kind of thing is? Just look at the presentation, and the way Malta and its head of state, its government, are framed in this cheap and trashy context.

Aliyeva personal website

55 Comments Comment

  1. Alexander Ball says:

    How do we know she isn’t already a Maltese citizen?

  2. La Redoute says:

    Wikileaks on the Aliyevs:

    And President George Abela, Minister Evarist Bartolo, Minister Emmanuel Mallia and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Michelle Muscat, and speaker of the house Anglu Farrugia fawn all over them.

    That means the state, the government and the people of Malta are fawning all over a corrupt dictatorship that controls our energy supply for the next 18 years.

    Maybe they all bonded over their stamp collections:

  3. Jozef says:

    Her eleven year old brother owns a 40 million dollar villa in Dubai. She and her sisters own telephone companies, gold mines and banks.

    Meantime the population is forcibly displaced, whole areas demolished to make way for the president’s delusions in Baku.

    And whenever elections come up, opposition candidates have their children arrested on trumped charges, one campaign manager’s son stabbed in mysterious circumstances.

    How’s that for oligarchs, Franco?

  4. unhappy says:

    so the next thing is to “grant” her citizenship without investment – great PR

  5. Jozef says:

    Meantime, here’s another letter, albeit less complimentary.

    So Muscat’s wooing one who’s about to plunder Armenia.

  6. Salvu says:

    Lejber Dju Diligens

  7. Majjistral says:

    Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, addresses the full House of the British Parliament – Malta gets to fawn over Aliyeva

  8. Jozef says:

    CNBC’s report on the family’s wealth, Leyla’s at 6.50 ca. And isn’t she the Labour prototype?

    This would be the leading website to follow.

    What’s getting to me is how this blog’s turning into something similar. So Muscat knows we’re not ready for his economic model yet, he wouldn’t have kept this visit reserved for his inner circle.

    One has to ask when will that be.

  9. etil says:

    How low can they go ?

  10. ciccio says:

    Who better for a perfect description of Leyla Aliyeva than The New York Times?

    “Aliyev’s daughter Leyla functions as a roving ambassador for Baku cool, and if such a thing does not actually exist, it is not for want of Leyla’s tireless stumping. She is the nominal editor for Baku International, a glossy art and fashion quarterly produced under contract by Condé Nast, and she sponsors traveling exhibits for Azerbaijani artists. She sculptured a large painted heart on display in downtown Baku and painted a straightforward rendering of zebras that hangs in the state-owned modern art museum. Some people say she also owns a good many of Neftchilar’s boutiques; others believe they really belong to her Russian pop star husband.”

    • ciccio says:

      That New York Times article is worth reading.

      Seems that Azerbaijan is the last word in progressive and liberal politics:

      “Indeed, fashion attitudes here are still as narrow as the happiness belt. As my wife and I strolled down the esplanade, we noticed groups of young Azeris — usually all girls or all boys — tittering at us. Someone finally explained it: men in shorts are homosexuals, and women smoking cigarettes in public are prostitutes.”

      The switchers must be really excited about the prospects of increased bilateral relations between the governments of Joseph Muscat and Ilham Aliyev.

  11. Jozef says:

    Muscat’s EU affairs explained.

    ‘….BAKU. August 8, 2013: At a cabinet meeting in mid-July, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev lashed out at the European Parliament for supposedly conducting a “dirty campaign” against Baku. The shrill tone of Aliyev’s comments indicate that European pressure on Azerbaijan to respect basic rights is stinging the Aliyev administration.

    The latest EU parliamentary resolution critical of Azerbaijan came in June, when European officials called for the release of Ilgar Mammadov, a jailed leader of the opposition Republican Alternative movement. Euro-criticism in 2012 included the loud and public condemnation by European MPs of an officially orchestrated smear campaign against independent investigative journalist Khadija Ismailova.

    Aliyev, who is expected to travel to Brussels to confer with top EU officials in the fall, showed himself to be sensitive to criticism. At the July cabinet meeting, he dismissed the recent European assessments of Azerbaijani policy as the work of a jealous few. “There are still prejudiced people, [European] parliamentarians who do not accept Azerbaijan’s success, and they are systematically trying to make attacks on Azerbaijan,” he groused, according to comments broadcast on state television.

    While official statements critical of Baku’s behavior have succeeded in vexing government officials, if European criticism is actually going to be effective in getting Aliyev & Co. to change its authoritarian ways, it’s important for European officials to dispel some persistent myths among Azerbaijani policymakers surrounding EU actions….’

    Written by Eldar Mamedov, political advisor to the Socilialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament.

    One wonders how long before Muscat’s party’s kicked out of the group. That’s one Trojan horse they got there. His strategy is diametrically opposed to any EU common energy design.

    Watch those pipelines, tankers, et al.

    • Tabatha White says:


      When the Socar pipeline does arrive at “South of Italy” in five years’ time, is the EU going to refuse it or will Joseph Muscat have not only placed the bets but helped manufacture the chips on the EU energy game table?

      • Jozef says:

        Good point, Tabatha.

        What remains to be seen is whether the EU’s willing to pour funds to this Aliyev to execute the stategy. I think not. Even because Italy being one of the countries with major experience in gas infrastructure won’t have anyone interfering with her relations with Qatar, Britain with ExxonMobil and their plans for the terminals planned in her territorial waters temptingly close to Malta. .

        With gas, economies of scale, pumping as opposed to shipping amount for 90% of its cost. Capabilities become key. Azerbaijan doesn’t have the capability nor the expertees.

        The PN was negotiating locating one of these floating cities in our waters, greatly reducing shipping distances and hence latching onto the spinoffs.

        If Muscat thinks he can go to the EU and bulldoze his way with Aliyev’s gas, he still can’t bypass Italy. Even because they’re far ahead in technology and capability. The fact these terminals have major regasifying capability means they can pump the amounts in vast, read, cheaper, quantities. The new limit becomes storage, but that’s offset by regasifying capability.

        The one outlined below can process 8 billion cubic meters a year, 10% of Italy’s demand.

        In fact Muscat placed some more emphasis on the pipeline this morning. He had mentioned it in passing before the election. So he thinks he can go there and negotiate Aliyev’s interests. Problem is Aliyev cannot offer the same package Qatar’s doing, even because his tendency to grab the money and run ruins his chances.

        And what happens then? We’ll be isolated, literally.

        Here’s a couple of Italians munching through their English sales script. You’ll notice system engineering is geared towards volumetric supply into the pipeline, not storage, everyone can do that.

      • Tabatha White says:

        Thank you for the information and perspective.

        My thinking is that oil and gas development is all about alliances.

        Have there been any assurances from the EU about not supporting Aliyev’s regime?

        Socar is linked with Gasol in our power station supply.

        Gasol is already a client of Edison’s.

        In this example it is as a research client:

        Could we be seeing a situation whereby the “Malta” Socar and Gasol alliance has additional projects already with the assurances it requires from Edison or for EU entry?

        What are the specific benefits, in your opinion, for Socar of its pipeline ending up “South of Italy?”

      • Jozef says:

        You bring new detail to the fore there. If that’s the case, Muscat risks being sidelined.

        The only thing he can really sell is our territorial waters, particularly Hurds Bank, locating the terminal as close to North Africa, shortening shipping distances, as possible.

        Not to mention making use of Gonzi’s double acquisition of EU funding to link island states to the continental gas infrastructure and Malta’s newfound relations with Libya, especially Benghazi. Those two should at least bring in money into the tripartite dealing. The pipeline funded, direction of flow reversed once the dealing’s done and terminal’s in place, and everyone’s a happy bunny, EU funding top brass included.

        I don’t see that, could be Muscat’s inferiority complex at work, forcing him to reinvent the wheel to have gone one better perforce.

        I mean, it’s not as if Aliyev’s guaranteed to remain there for another 18 years is he? And he’s rather miffed at the EU.

        Ok, so Italian prime ministers come by the dozen a decade, but maintaining a common agenda with our physical contact should be a priority.

        Muscat can’t lose perspective and think he’s Aliyev on this one, he isn’t. When Mintoff tried same, Saipem got sent back, and our gunboats refused to take orders obeying the colonel instead. Call it Labour’s tendency to lose perspective and start thinking big, very big.

        Clarity derived from a mental centre of gravity required, not hidden agendas mostly due the lack of, please.

  12. Bob says:

    How come it was not splashed out on the Times of Malta and the Malta Today?

    She is the daughter of a dictator and corrupt criminal.

    Where are the liberals who voted this regime in?

  13. PWG says:

    Can’t believe that the multiple events were given no publicity.

  14. H.P. Baxxter says:

    At the risk of being sent to prison, let me point the finger at President George Abela.

    He may think there’s nothing wrong in being one of the hosts at an event where a dictator’s daughter is the guest speaker, when she is as mired in corruption as her father and when she has no constitutional role whatsoever

    He may think that the President of the Republic of Malta is bound by law to bow to any decision taken by the Government of the Republic of Malta, and that if the Prime Minister says he must be present at an event, then he obliged to attend and give a speech as required.

    He may think that he is just a figurehead and a rubber-stamp, that decisions are taken elsewhere by other people, and therefore that he bears no responsibility whatsoever for any of this.

    He is wrong.

    He is still a free man. He is still the defender of the constitution. My constitution says that my country supports human rights, democracy and freedom.

    He can still refuse to attend public events when they are designed to showcase dictators’ daughters. In this instance, he should have refused.

    Consider this. You all know I favour the legalisation of abortion. When Eddie Fenech Adami was president, he had declared that even if such a law was passed by Parliament, he would refuse to sign it into law, and that he would rather resign.

    And I support and applaud Fenech Adami’s position there. That man knows the meaning of consistency.

    If the current President of the Republic cannot see the glaring contradiction in defending a constitution based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and fêting a dictator’s daughter who has no constitutional role, then our republic is in deep trouble indeed.

  15. Manuel says:

    How mainstream newspapers failed to pick up on the significance of this visit by the dictator’s daughter is beyond me.

    Do journalists actually bother to read other news sources on the internet? I seriously doubt it.

    This is a visit that reflects the mentality of this government: secrecy and protection of friends of friends, and having friends that are corrupt and oppressors. God knows what other things are being kept secret from us.

  16. Chavs United says:

    What does that chicken-fancying scourge of oligarchs and champion of democracy Franco Debono have to say about this?

  17. Phew says:

    For a fleeting moment on first glancing at the photo, I thought Ira Losco went all tarty on us. After all, she seems to have already gone taghna lkoll.

  18. Edward says:

    So the president of Azerbaijan remains in power by constantly rigging elections. I believe his wife won a seat with something like 98% of the vote. A bit too good to be true.

    Is it completely out of the realm of possibility that Muscat and the PL took a leaf out of their book and learned how to do that too? It’s just a thought. Learn how to manipulate results and then do so in a way that is slightly shocking yet altogether believable.

    • Edward says:

      I’m just curious as to where this Azerbaijan connection comes from. How is it that, not even a year in and with no real build up towards it, Muscat is so close to the Azerbaijan first family. It’s all so out of the blue.

  19. Grezz says:

    It was already shameful that Malta agreed to participate in the Azeri edition of the Eurovision song festival two years ago after this made the headlines.

    Having the Aliyeva daughter here on an official basis is all te more shameful.

  20. ciccio says:

    It is no wonder that the Muscats revel in the attention paid to them by the corrupt and despotic dictators. Look how the leaders of the democratic European states deal with Muscat.

    Renzi has politely told Muscat where the latter stands in the scheme of things.

    The comment about Macchiavelli under the article is right. What we have here is Joseph Muscat Macchiavelli vs. Matteo Renzi Macchiavelli.

  21. C Falzon says:

    Two Eurofighter Typhoons have just landed at the airport. They were either in a big hurry or just enjoying a fast noisy landing.

    Has anyone a clue what it’s about?

  22. AE says:

    Shiv Nair must be proud

  23. Matthew S says:

    Did I miss the announcement, is everyone asleep or is the Maltese press colluding in silence over this visit?

    Considering the press’s propensity to report every useless thing that politicians say or do, I find it hard to understand why this rather big ‘do’ with so many VIPs was not reported at all. I haven’t even heard the Opposition say anything about it.

    I find all this silence shocking.

  24. Timon of Athens says:

    Who is this woman?

  25. Jonathan says:

    At the Malta International Airport, the exit from baggage claims to the arrivals lounge is being redone and the automatic door is out of use.

    A soldier is stationed at this exit to ensure that no unauthorised persons enter the baggage claims area. A chair and table have been provided for him/her.

    Last night at 10pm, the soldier on duty was sitting at the table watching a movie on her iPad. She wasn’t even wearing headphones so anybody coming out of baggage claims could hear the movie going at full blast.

    How can the standards in this country be so low that a soldier sees nothing wrong with watching a movie whilst on duty, in full view of the public.

  26. Jozef says:

    ‘…The gas storage tanker selected by Enemalta was built in 1978 and it does not include an on-board regasification unit. This makes it impossible for the tanker to be moored offshore and to be operational. In view of this, why did Enemalta opt for a tanker that does not have an on-board regasification unit?..’

    I was six in 1978.

    I stronly recommend Stefano Mallia to take his questions to the industry, whether any supplier’s willing to forfeit standards and risk the market, based primarily on quality and its perception.

    Absolutely sure Edison, Enel, British Gas would think twice.

    What next, emergency procedure manuals in Russian?

    It’s even better than Marsa’s Dickensian scenography early eighties, coal piles everywhere, a grain silo looking down onto port from Kordin, trucks crawling up a ridiculous incline or Wied Fulija’s open coal ash tip overflowing down a pristine valley, but mostly out of sight.

    If the tanker doesn’t have regasification facilities onboard, (1978 is pre-diluvian in technology where LNG’s concerned,) the captain’s concerns to having a behemoth bobbing up and down in the bay as the swell builds are utterly justified.

    Yet Konrad insists he doesn’t have the time, nor the money to build a minimum of protection. It’s one rust bucket operating flammable gas at near zero kelvin temperature we’re talking about, imagine the state of that pipework, monitoring systems and suppression equipment. Yeah right, as if those were considered necessary by the Soviet.

    So that’s why Konrad’s reluctant to show us the ship, it’s something beyond scrappage. Yet they want to use it permanently, when the thing was designed to be maintained in the first place, loading, unloading and into drydock every other year.


    Who said Dom’s dead?

  27. improper says:

    It seems to me (an opinion formed during the last five years) that the incumbent Head of State will go to speak at any event as long as he’s seen on TV or other media.

    Yet he should discriminate between events in which his participation would be fitting to his high position and other events where his presence as the top citizen of the country is not becoming.

    A President of the Republic must not appear to be on the level of a “president tal-kazin tal-banda”. One hopes that the next President — whoever he or she may be — will be more a Head of State than the Chairman of the Malta Community Chest Fund.

    • Tabatha White says:

      Since it’s likely to be Coleiro Preca, her first hand publicity stunt with the retired soap dish issue was a good measure. The person at the receiving end of the staged rant was sent to coventry by her and “no longer works there.”

  28. Corruptistan says:

    Even by the standards of a city that celebrates extravagance, it was a spectacular shopping spree: In just two weeks early last year, an 11-year-old boy from Azerbaijan became the owner of nine waterfront mansions.

    The total price tag: about $44 million — or roughly 10,000 years’ worth of salary for the average citizen of Azerbaijan. But the preteen who owns a big chunk of some of Dubai’s priciest real estate seems to be anything but average.

    His name, according to Dubai Land Department records, is Heydar Aliyev, which just happens to be the same name as that of the son of Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev.

  29. Harry Purdie says:

    So sad, but so predictable.

  30. Corruptistan says:

    BBC Panorama – Azerbaijan’s dirty secret:

  31. George Grech says:

    Here are Joey’s new friends.

  32. Gahan says:

    “Sunday, February 16, 2014, 00:01
    The President’s engagements
    6.30pm He inaugurates Children’s Eyes on Earth, an international youth photo contest – held in association with the International Dialogue for Environmental Action (Baku, Azerbaijan) and international photographer Reza Deghati – at the Palace, Valletta.”

    Why wasn’t Leyla Aliyeva’s presence, as president of this organisation, announced by the president’s office in this official list of his engagements?

    If she is that important to the president and the prime minister that they hosted her at the presidential palace and at the prime minister’s summer residence, then why did they conceal her presence when announcing the event?

    So with the mindset of our scheming prime minister we are back to square one with the same conclusion: we have good grounds to suspect that Leyla Aliyeva came to Malta to get her EU passport.

    The Opposition is in duty bound to ask a parliamentary question about this.

    • M. Cassar says:

      We are certainly back to the ‘mhux fl-interess tal-poplu’ days, never mind the fact that public buildings and public funds are being used to wine, dine and score a few points with those of ill repute.

      But then what can one expect from those whose definition of talent is having money?

  33. Gahan says:

    I quote from the report in the Azerbaijan press (link below):

    “Addressing the exhibition, Maltese President George Abela said people have forgotten about the nature in recent times. People are indifferent to what happens in environment. It is therefore interesting to look at the ongoing processes in our planet through children’s eyes. The Maltese president said the two countries enjoy high-level relations and the two nations share common values.

    The Maltese leader thanked Head of IDEA Public Leyla Aliyeva for holding this exhibition in this country.

    Later, a dinner was given in Girgenti, summer residence of Maltese premier, in honor of Vice President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva.

    The exhibition will be on display till 28 February.


    The Maltese president said the two countries enjoy high-level relations and the two nations share common values.”

    • observer says:

      “The two countries enjoy high-level relations”

      Is that true? Has Mr John Citizen in democratic Malta ever had any relations with Aliyev’s fiefdom in fields other than last year’s Eurovision contest? Anybody care to describe them, please? George Abela did not refer to any – are they so covert that not even he can do that?

      “the two nations share common values”

      Is this also true? In which spheres, may I ask. Is it in the ordinary citizens’ aspirations for liberty, equality and democracy? Someone must indeed be joking.

    • Rumplestiltskin says:

      What the President should have said is that ‘the governments’ NOT ‘the nations’ have the same values.

    • Victor says:

      Very worrying indeed. What’s going on behind our backs?

  34. Calculator says:

    An excellent piece which indicates both why we have reached this point and what can be done, although without a widely and properly educated populace it would all be hard to achieve.

  35. Ian says:

    Isn’t this the same guy sitting front row next to the Prime Minister at most of the IIP press events?

  36. A. Charles says:

    The Azerbaijan government, besides being a dictatorship, is also known as a kleptocracy.

  37. Natalie says:

    Malta l-ewwel u qabel kollox.

    It’s their motto and they don’t even know what it means.

  38. Malta taghhom ilkoll says:

    No wonder they will never appoint a president who is not from the labour camp. Who would stoop so low as to host such “distinguished” guests if not someone who has a mentality of “tbwazwir”

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