Former Labour secretary-general appointed Valletta 2018 chairman

Jason Micallef to be the new chairman of the V18 board under the ‘supervision’ of outgoing chairman David Felice. Mario de Marco: "a culture change we did not need."

Jason Micallef
Jason Micallef

Parliamentary secretary for culture Jose Herrera has appointed former One TV chairman Jason Micallef as chairman of the V18 board - the board that will lead Valletta as the European Capital for Culture in 2018.

Herrera, who announced the appointment during a press conference on the V18 programme this afternoon, said Micallef's role has yet to be officialised.

The announcement was made despite government sources having denied to MaltaToday that a decision was taken to appoint Micallef as chairman of the V18 board.

It also appears that OPM officials had no knowledge about Herrera making such an announcement.

Herrera also said that outgoing chairman David Felice will "supervise" Micallef's work.

In a reaction, former culture minister and PN leadership contender Mario de Marco expressed dismay at the choice of Micallef for the role, dubbing it as "entirely partisan".

"When I wrote a letter of appointment for David Felice, I took into consideration his experience within the cultural sector, his love for our capital city and his professional competence - a decision which was vindicated by Valletta's success in acquiring the title of European Capital for Culture in 2018"

De Marco added that the process to secure the title for Valletta came after full involvement with the then in opposition Labour Party.

"I would keep in regular contact with Owen Bonnici and Evarist Bartolo over this initative, and in fact we even set up a parliamentary committee to oversee this important event - which will not only impact Valletta but Malta as a whole.

"In light of this, I have to express disappointment that a role which was originally not in the least bit partisan has clearly taken on a partisan hue. This is a culture change we did not need," de Marco said.

More in Valletta 2018
avatar
Very bad decision... one would not mind the appointment of a PL leaning chairman who was knowledgeable enough to take on this task... but this is pure madness... Here is probably the first clear issue over which the PL will lose many votes from culture-leaning floating voters. This move gets zero out of ten.
avatar
it is still less than 100 days in government and I am starting to loose faith in Muscat. This is not what he promised. Between Jason Micallef and David Felice, in my opinion Felice is more competent for the job. But 5 years will pass and elections will come again and I will learn of more broken promises perhaps before I cast my vote.
avatar
Well, I guess that Jason Micallef is more knowledgeable on Valletta than Architect David Felice, since Felice is only widely acknowledged as an expert on Valletta and its restoration, whilst Jason is widely acknowledged as.........!!!!
avatar
A truly great disappointment. It is a slap in the face for the success of 2018 and wholly incongruent with the expectation raised by the PL culture programme. One wonders whether this is a unilateral move by Jose Herrera, the man is disappointed but surely culture doesn't deserve Jason Micallef!
avatar
maria aquilina
Ghal inqas serrahna rasna li se jkollu sepervisor. L-attention span ta' Jason hi ta' ftit sekondi jekk ma jkollux television mixghul quddiemu. Il-bqija jifhem fil-kultura daqs kemm naf jien nuclear physics i.e. inqas minn zero!
avatar
Demarco would have us believe that his appointments did not look at the individual's political preferences. This gentleman seems unaware that the people have already told him that they saw things differently. Still the same arrogant attitude!
avatar
"If elected, a new Labour government will not look at the colour of your face, but will appreciate you for what you are, and will give unto you that which you deserve." - Joseph Muscat, Tuesday 19 February 2013 A government of pure DOUBLESPEAK. So far all we have seen is the OPPOSITE of everything that was promised before the elections!
avatar
If I were David Zerafa I would refuse to 'supervise'Jason's work. Doing so would be an acceptance of this partisan appointment.