PN funds run dry by February, party warned
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PN funds run dry by February, party warned

But party says finances have improved since treasurer sounded alarm in email

An email sent last summer by PN treasurer David Camilleri to party leader Adrian Delia and other recipients said that money for loans and arrears repayments would dry up in February. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

An email sent last summer by PN treasurer David Camilleri to party leader Adrian Delia and other recipients said that money for loans and arrears repayments would dry up in February. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

The PN’s treasurer warned party leader Adrian Delia last summer that finances would run dry by next month, according to a leaked email.

A party spokesman has however reassured The Sunday Times of Malta that finances have since improved and the party would “definitely not run dry in the coming months”.

The email, sent by treasurer David Camilleri to Dr Delia and other recipients last August, said “money for loans/arrears repayments will dry up on February 19”. Money for the PN’s day-to-day running would also run out in February, it said.

Contacted for a reaction, a PN spokesman said the party had “drastically improved” its daily income through fundraising activities and “other financial solutions”.

“Adrian Delia has set an ambitious 10-year plan to place the party on a robust financial footing that would also provide for the payment of its debts rather than continue accumulating them with interest,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman pointed out that it was no secret that Dr Delia had inherited a difficult financial situation.

He said the PN leader had from day one focused on the party’s financial situation and had set up a financial committee which he himself chairs.

Dr Delia alluded to the party’s financial difficulties during a rally on Thursday.

He said that while the party may lack financial strength it had determination.

The email sent by the PN treasurer said progress must be made on generating more income from six particular properties it owns in various localities.

It contemplates the fate of the party’s Vittoriosa club due to the urgent need for cash.

“Although we discussed that renting out for a boutique hotel possibility would be the best option in the long run, we need cash from Feb onwards.

“We need to consider selling since we should be able to get 800/900k. If we postpone further, this will certainly not be concluded up to Q1 2019”, the email read.  The correspondence also painted a dire picture of the party’s financial preparedness for the upcoming local council and MEP election campaigns.

The correspondence also painted a dire picture of the party’s financial preparedness for the upcoming local council and MEP election campaigns

At that stage in summer 2018, the PN treasurer said the only funds gathered for these campaigns were “16/17k from the maduma [tile] initiative”.

The PN had taken to selling tiles at €500 apiece to be used in a mosaic displayed at the party’s headquarters.

As a cost-cutting measure, the treasurer suggested limiting the use of printed material during the election campaigns due to the “limited funds” available.

“MEP candidates should pay for their own marketing material if they would like to distribute to households. Apparently the party used to pay for all material,” the email said.

In the lengthy missive, the PN’s treasurer said stricter procedures had to be put in place to prevent people from overstating the amount of their donations during the party’s fundraising marathons. 

All donations had to be verified by officials before being broadcast, the email said, placing the onus on Dr Delia or PN secretary general Clyde Puli to communicate this to all MPs and candidates.

The treasurer also set out the need to start a campaign for the PN’s controversial ċedoli scheme.

Through the ċedoli scheme, which was harshly criticised by the Labour Party as a way to circumnavigate party financing rules, PN supporters and investors were encouraged to lend the PN small sums of money, up to €10,000, in return for 4% interest per year and the return of their capital after 10 years.

Mr Camilleri said that by mentioning the scheme in one television programme, €50,000 was raised.

Times of Malta reported last week that senior PN officials were “shocked” by leaks showing that Dr Delia had explored using the scheme as collateral to raise funds for the party from Global Capital.

In a statement, members of the PN’s financial committee assured that it was kept abreast “of all financial initiatives”.

 

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