Tourism minister Clayton Bartolo has tabled an abridged version of a Malta Film Commision economic impact assessment in parliament. Bartolo’s justification behind not publishing the full report was that he “does not trust” the Opposition with the full report.
A summary of the findings was presented to journalists last September, but film commissioner Johann Grech had said that the full report would be handed directly to the National Audit Office (NAO). In parliament, Bartolo said that the full version was given to the NAO, but snubbed calls for the full report to be released.
Bartolo’s ministry has been mired in controversies related to its overspending and lack of transparency regarding funds. Earlier this month, a parliamentary question revealed that since the last general election, the Malta Tourism Authority splashed out €367,620 on advertising.
During his speech in parliament, Bartolo also spoke about government’s cash rebate programme for film productions, reiterating that the scheme is here to stay.
Regarding the ongoing filming of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel, Bartolo confirmed that the production’s filming in Malta will continue, as the film industry is emerging from widespread strikes.