Why are we paying for Girgenti Palace and Villa Francia if they’re going to take their guests to Is-Serkin?

Published: February 7, 2017 at 4:16pm

In all the for-and-against – but mainly against, whatever the Labour trolls say – furore about the Prime Minister and Mrs Muscat taking their guests, three other prime ministers and their spouses, for tacky tea and pastizzi at a grotty bar (whatever your emotional attachment to it, it remains, objectively, a grotty bar), one key issue has been overlooked.

Girgenti Palace and Villa Francia are being maintained at huge expense to the public purse for this specific purpose: so that the Prime Minister has somewhere to entertain his guests, like other prime ministers. So while the Labour trolls, and those who know better but pretend not to so as to be thought cool on Facebook, praise the Prime Minister for saving us money by being cheap but also “treating his guests to Maltese culture”, they stupidly forget that the public is paying a fortune in sundry overheads, payroll and maintenance to keep Girgenti Palace and Villa Francia ready and waiting to receive the Prime Minister’s guests.

Instead, Mrs Muscat has appropriated Villa Francia as her second home and primary salon, where she entertains her personal guests. And she uses Girgenti Palace for this kind of thing.

Girgenti Palace and Villa Francia are very much ‘Maltese culture’ – it’s just that they’re not the Maltese culture generally experienced by bogans, and because bogans are in the majority in Malta, Maltese culture now = stuff which has been normalised by bogans, just as Maltese = the kind of Maltese bogans speak.

Given a choice between the Maltese culture of lunch at Girgenti Palace or Villa Francia, and the Maltese culture of tea and pastizzi at a grotty bar overlooking a car park, I know which the three prime ministers and their spouses would have preferred. And face it: you would have preferred it too, because even if the food is indifferent, at least you get something exceptional to look at and an attractive memory, not one of shabbiness and greasy pastry, to take back home with you.

You’re paying for Girgenti Palace and Villa Francia – so you should be getting angry that the Muscats are not using them for the purpose for which they are intended, and are taking their guests to shabby bars instead while using Girgenti Palace and Villa Francia to host Mrs Muscat’s personal friends.