Malta sinking low so that some can line their pockets: it would have to be Malta and Azerbaijan to place so much importance on a song contest others laugh at

Published: March 1, 2014 at 1:16am

I quote from a report by Radio Free Europe, published last September and called ‘Has Eurovision Woken Up From Its Azerbaijani Nightmare?’:

Multiple reports suggest that an investigation sparked by this year’s contest — the third year running that undersize Malta gave Baku’s entry the maximum 12 points — uncovered offers of big cash or reciprocity in exchange for votes. (Malta’s public broadcaster, which officially selects jurors, rejected the suggestion that it did anything wrong.)

44 Comments Comment

  1. Tabatha White says:

    Do you mean that would coincide with when Manwel Mallia entered the political fray with Labour?

    And as Minister with Eurovision within his portfolio, he was good about “being there” when the contacts warranted it.

  2. La Redoute says:

    Reporters without Borders: Ilham Aliyev’s innermost thoughts.,44544.html

  3. La Redoute says:

    Debono Grech? So that’s all right then.

    The co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of Azerbaijan, Pedro Agramunt (Spain, EPP/CD) and Joseph Debono Grech (Malta, SOC) regularly visit Azerbaijan in order to review progress of implementation of the commitments taken by Azerbaijan. During these visits the co-rapporteurs hold meetings in different state bodies and exchange views on the commitments taken by Azerbaijan before the Council of Europe.

  4. ciccio says:

    The Azeri government seems to infest anything it touches with corruption.

    The Eurovision should kick Azerbaijan and Malta out of the annual contest.

  5. Bubu says:

    The rabbit hole just keeps on going deeper and deeper doesn’t it?

    It is fascinating how Labour by default always gravitates towards despots and autocratic dictators.

    It is so heartbreaking to see my country dragged through the filth because of this bunch of unprincipled opportunists.

    • Jozef says:

      It’s their immutable creed. Malta in their view, cannot exist unless through the ‘benevolence’ of some power they deem radical.

      Joining the EU meant scrapping this fundamental axiom, that of belonging to downer states.

      Evarist Bartolo blames foreigners and the country having no skilled workforce for the downturn in employment. Scicluna said mostly the same, it has to be seen whether their being exposed to their core vote forces them into the rut, or whether the design is the inverse; keeping the population primitive to be able to control it.

      The personality cult is also part of the method, Aliyev, Kim Il Sung, Ghaddafi, Mao, Ceaucescu, Mintoff.

      Pseudo ideologies which take on quasi religious criteria of order, system and rule. I see an old hand at work here, someone who’s been there and done it before. The international secretary at work, one who spent a lot of time networking, and who couldn’t be fagged to meet with the PES counterparts in Rome this week.

      Muscat isn’t at all of the left, not the western strain definitely, too democratic and fragile that one. He lacks the courage to verbalise his intentions however, preferring to sneak behind everyone’s back.

      His time will be over as soon as his sponsors realise he’s superfluous and weak. Mintoff lasted ten years before he found himself scampering for cover from Ghaddafi, and he was at least twice Muscat’s size in personality, and wasn’t shackled by the EU.

      Muscat’s liability lies in the secrets he holds, he just cannot last five years expecting us to pardon all these little details, even because the effort required to keep up with their maintenance is hogging all his time. Not that we expected anything else.

      The more he insists on blanket miracle definite solutions, the faster he’ll go down.

      • Jozef says:

        And if I have to be blunt, Muscat doesn’t have half the gravitas, wit and intelligence to carry it off.

        Then there’s his education, knowledge and background. He’s always late, he thinks he anticipates in some visionary thought, when all he does is read Blair’s autobiographic conceited statements for inspiration.

        He’s slow to realise times change in the space of a few weeks, not years. Yanukowych vanished, Aliyev will be next, as did Ghaddafi. His energy supply designs dependent on what are potentially explosive political scenarios.

        The only ones to gain from this will be Henley and Partners.

      • ciccio says:

        You’re talking about the roadmap. I see it’s got “AST” splashed all over it.

  6. david farrugia says:

    I took this bit from a previous news report you uploaded. It sounds so familiar. It’s what the IIP sale of citizenship programme is all about.

    Like Karimova, Leyla Aliyeva has worked to improve her family’s image – which is tarnished by violent crackdowns on the Opposition and the jailing of critical bloggers and journalists – through charity work.

    She is vice president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation (HAF), a “nongovernmental” organization dedicated to development of science, technology, health, and education. The foundation was established by Leyla’s mother, first lady Mehriban Aliyeva.

    According to her website, it “builds more schools than Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Education, more hospitals than the Ministry of Health, and conducts more cultural events than the Ministry of Culture.”

    The foundation effectively stamps the Aliyev name on services that touch the lives of everyday Azerbaijanis — services that might otherwise be provided by the government using public funds, as entitlements rather than gifts.

  7. etil says:

    What is this morbid fascination of Joseph Muscat with dictators, shady characters ?

  8. sacrates says:

    As a citizen, I feel abandoned and disrespected by my state led by the PL ‘Taghna Lkoll’ Government.

    When our country befriends such countries, I lose all trust in my country’s political leaders. Shame on them. It is now the PL’s belief that they will do anything for money, purely Machiavellian (the end justifies the means).

  9. Jozef says:

    ‘…The National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) issued a statement in connection with the policy of European integration of Azerbaijan.

    The National Council called the European integration “the most faithful strategic choice not having any alternative to meet the interests of the people and the state.”

    Azerbaijan suffers from negative processes, such as corruption, bribery falsification of elections, violation of human rights, offshore zones, the presence of political prisoners. The most optimal “medicine” to deal with such phenomenon is the European integration. The authors of the statement condemn the authorities of Azerbaijan in creating obstacles to cooperation with the EU.

    In the name of their mercantile interests the authorities hamper the country’s accession to the WTO.

    The statement authors call on Baku stop to sacrifice the interests of the state to their own interests.

    The National Council calls on the authorities to sign the Association Agreement with the EU and free trade agreement. -05D04-..’

    Perhaps the National Council could follow this blog to learn of the latest developments in ‘offshore zones’. We’ve been through it as well, resistance to the EU in the name of personal and ideological agendas.

    Aliyev senior was a communist, favoured by the Kremlin before he reinvented himself as a nationalist, only to stick tohis authoritarian ways. Sounds very familiar, only they call themselves a movement.

    Mutual support could rid us of this illicit network using our respective countries to sate their thirst for power and money. We need all the info we can get from Azerbaijan to help uncover this web of deceit.

    At stake here are western values concerning democracy and the maturity of a population to determine its destiny, no space, time or need for any saviour of the nation rubbish.

  10. Jozef says:

    Curious to see how they’ll dress this up, some far flung research into our ancestors having roots on the coasts of the Black Sea.


    • ciccio says:

      Gensnistan. Or Gensbaijan.

      They can put in a strong dose of nationalism.

      “Nationalist card

      The Azeri government is seen by critics as not only humourless but also nervous.

      President Ilham Aliyev, whose family has ruled for decades, looks set to win October’s elections. But now there are signs that dissatisfaction is spreading beyond the traditionally small opposition circles of young, digitally minded youth activists.

      Recent protests have also involved middle-aged mothers, outraged by the unexplained deaths and abuse of their sons conscripted into the Azeri army. Or local shopkeepers who took to the streets to protest against corrupt landlords.

      And there are suspicions that the government is trying to counter this growing dissent, and bolster support, by appealing to nationalist sentiment.

      “I think the president’s family is using the nationalist card to distract people from the real problems, such as corruption,” says investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova. “They need an external enemy to keep people under control.”

      And in Azerbaijan, that enemy is Armenia.”

      In Malta, it will be the EU, the African immigrants, and Cecilia Malmstrom.

  11. David J Camilleri says:

    So Gaia Cauchi won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine when Viktor Janukovych was president and friend of our dear PM Joseph Muscat and Chris Cardona. Maybe we will get help to host it this year from none other than the despot president of Azerbaijan and his daughter Leyla Aliyeva through her children’s charity.

    • observer says:

      So totally artificial. So totally stage-managed. It is destined to come down with a mighty crash – sooner rather than later.

      Gaddafi managed his regime in similar fashion.

      So did Idi Amin in Uganda and Bokassa in the Central African ‘Empire’.

      So did Peron. So did Marcos. So did Ceaucescu.

      So did Nkrumah in Ghana – with his ‘seek ye first the political kingdom’.

      Mubarak, apparently, was not much different.

      Not to mention Stalin, Adolf and Benito, of course.

      Even ‘benevolent’ Franco in Spain and Salazar in Portugal have had their memories blemished as heavily smacking of totalitarianism.

      The past has always been a mirror of the future. It is the utterly idiotic who does not learn from other men’s mistakes.

  12. China Crisis says:

    Muscat told CNTV – that’s China national TV – that he’s trilled (sic) with his relationship with China.

    • ciccio says:

      What a lot of bullshit. The interviewer is not convinced.

      You’d think he is an architect of EU vision, and not the former Super One journalist who advised the people of Malta (and Iceland) not to join the EU.

      • La Redoute says:

        Muscat claims to have worked as an economist. More bullshit. He never did anything of the sort.

    • vanni says:

      Whilst Michelle is thrilled by 50 Shades of Grey.

  13. QahbuMalti says:

    It is only a matter of time before the situation in Azerbaijan boils over as it did in the Ukraine. If and when that happens, Muscat will have much to answer for. They are just an incompetent bunch of no-hopers with a brilliant marketing guru at the fore.

    • La Redoute says:

      Muscat is neither brilliant, nor a guru, nor is he a marketer. In the parlance of self-improvement literature, Muscat is a snake-oil salesman.

  14. Adrian says:

    Interestingly Malta voted 12 points Azerbaijan 10 points Ukraine and 8 points Italy in Eurovsion 2013. At the time I was very surprised at this choice – now it seems obvious why.

  15. La Redoute says:

    Meanwhile, Ukraine is no longer in a state of revolution. Now that Russia has invaded Crimea, Ukraine is at war.

    It wasn’t so long ago that Muscat was sucking up to the troublemaker who fled to Moscow:

    See 3:30 onwards.

  16. daffid says:

    Corruption can be likened to an ink stain on a piece of blotting paper. The centre is dark blue and the stain gradually fades into a larger and larger circle of lighter blue.

    The more ink that is poured at the center the larger the spread. In the Prime Minister’s own words it starts from the ‘big fish’!

  17. M. says:

    “FILMATI ESKLUSSIVI: Grupp ieħor ta’ Ċiniżi ġew Malta biex jixtru ċ-ċittadinanza. Mill-informazzjoni li rnexxielu jikseb, dan il-grupp ta’ 9 Ċiniżi huma klijenti diretti ta’ Henley & Partners f’Malta u waslu Malta aktar kmieni llum stess bi private jet li niżel fl-ajruport internazzjonali ta’ Malta wara nofsinhar. L-ajruplan li kienu fuqu ma ġiex ipparkjat fejn jipparkjaw ajruplani bħal dawn issoltu, imma għal xi raġuni nżamm moħbi.”

  18. canon says:

    It is pertinent to know on which side Joseph Muscat is on in the Ukrainian crisis.

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