Mizzi nomination to OSCE to be repealed, legal advice sought on €80,000 consultancy

Abela announces repeal of motion for Konrad Mizzi to head OSCE delegation • Mizzi engaged on obscene €80,000 consultancy with Malta Tourism Authority just two weeks after resigning, minister seeks legal advice

Former tourism minister Konrad Mizzi received a lucrative contract with the Malta Tourism Authority just two weeks after he resigned from Cabinet
Former tourism minister Konrad Mizzi received a lucrative contract with the Malta Tourism Authority just two weeks after he resigned from Cabinet

The government will be repealing its motion to appoint the former tourism minister Konrad Mizzi as head of the delegation to the OSCE, as well seeking legal advice on the validity of an €80,000 consultancy with the Malta Tourism Authority awarded to him.

In less than 24 hours following public outrage at the motion, the government said it would not be proposing Mizzi, who in 2016 was revealed to have opened a secret company in Panama together with Keith Schembri, former chief of staff to Joseph Muscat. The companies are believed to be connected to Electorgas shareholder Yorgen Fenech, who now stands accused of being the mastermind behind the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination.

Mizzi resigned as minister in November 2019, under the weight of the revelations surrounding the arrest of Yorgen Fenech.

“Prime Minister Robert Abela is going to keep showing that this government is giving absolute priority to good governance so that the country is in a position to operate effectively,” a government statement released on Tuesday morning said.

Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli is seeking legal advice on the validity of Mizzi's contract
Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli is seeking legal advice on the validity of Mizzi's contract

While Mizzi resigned from minister on 26 November, just two weeks later he was awarded a lucrative consultancy job with the Malta Tourism Authority, with a package that sees him earning €6,700 per month, which equates to more than €80,000 per year.

The existence of the contract was revealed on Monday evening by the Times of Malta. The agreement between Mizzi and the MTA was signed on 9 December and kept hidden.

In comments with MaltaToday, Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli said she only got to know about the existence of this contract “at 5:20pm today”.

“I have asked for legal advice on the validity of this contract,” Farrugia Portelli said when contacted by MaltaToday on Monday night. She was made tourism minister two weeks ago after Robert Abela was elected prime minister.

Mizzi is also entitled to a fully-expensed car with driver but may opt instead for a yearly lump sum of €11,400 if he uses his personal car instead.

The contract also provides for medical insurance for Mizzi and his family, internet and mobile phone service. The contract runs until December 2022.

Fenech’s Dubai company, 17 Black, had been listed as a target client for the Panama companies set up by Mizzi and former chief of staff Keith Schembri.

Fenech is a shareholder in the Electrogas consortium that won the gas power station tender when Mizzi was energy minister after the 2013 election.

Fenech has been charged with being the mastermind behind the Caruana Galizia murder.

Mizzi has always denied any wrongdoing, insisting he had no knowledge of 17 Black and who owned it.

Mizzi’s obscene contract with the MTA, awarded just two weeks after resigning his ministerial post, makes him better paid than the prime minister.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Adrian Delia has called on the Prime Minister to terminate Mizzi's contract on Tuesday morning.

"Instead of being kicked out & prosecuted, disgraced former Minister Konrad Mizzi has been rewarded an obscene 80k annually for tarnishing Malta's reputation," Delia said in a Facebook post.

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