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PN airs new parts of conversation between Zarb and contractor

The Nationalist Party this evening aired new sections of a recorded conversation in which GWU general secretary Tony Zarb is heard telling a contractor he could help when it came to tenders if his company had a good relationship with the union - especially if there was a change of government.

The GWU yesterday said that the recording was deceitful as it was heavily edited and Mr Zarb today filed a libel suit against Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, PN general secretary Paul Borg Olivier, PN president Marthese Portelli and medialink head of news Nathaniel Attard.

The PN aired new parts of the recording during a news conference at the PN headquarters in Pieta this afternoon.

In the part of the conversation aired today, the contractor is asked whether he thought an article like that would have appeared in the union’s newspapers if his workers were in the union.

Dr Borg Olivier said that in his discussion with the contractor, Mr Zarb made two grievous errors - when he said that he would help the contractor move tenders along and when he blackmailed him using the union’s media.

“This is pre-meditated corruption,” he said.

Dr Borg Olivier added that whether or not precarious employment was mentioned was irrelevant as the conversation was not on improving workers’ conditions but rather about the relations between the contractor and the union.

He reiterated his calls for Dr Muscat to ask for Mr Zarb’s resignation but refused to confirm or deny if the contractor in question was Dominic Gafa from Mach-Clean Ltd.

When asked about his trip on a yacht with contractor Zaren Vassallo, Dr Borg Olivier said that, in hindsight, he could have avoided the trip but Mr Vassallo was a member of the PN member and a former Nationalist Party mayor.

Moreover, Dr Borg Olivier said, he was not a decision maker.

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