[WATCH] Joseph Muscat working gratis on COVID-19 recovery plan

Prime Minister Robert Abela says Joseph Muscat is not being paid extra for his advice to government on a post COVID-19 recovery plan • Opposition MPs say Muscat's clique still holds power

Former Prime Minister Jospeh Muscat
Former Prime Minister Jospeh Muscat

Joseph Muscat is carrying out his normal functions as a member of parliament when advising government on its post COVID-19 strategy, Prime Minister Robert Abela said.

Abela said his predecessor was not commissioned for a consultancy role with the government, and will not be paid over and above his normal salary as MP.

In a nine-page report compiled by “the office of Dr Joseph Muscat”, the former prime minister gave Cabinet ministers a note on the possible evolution of the Maltese economy in 2020 and 2021.

The former Labour leader resigned last January after the Caruana Galizia murder investigation led to the arrest of businessman Yorgen Fenech and brought to light the implication that Muscat's chief of staff Keith Schembri may have been linked to it.

In his economic assessment, Muscat gave four possible economic scenarios that could develop in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Joseph Muscat has no role,” Abela insisted when asked by MaltaToday outside parliament.

Muscat refused to comment on what his job will be. Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne also refused to comment on the issue.

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said Muscat will be part of a team with a number of people.

“If an individual can contribute and lend his services, why shouldn’t the government approach him for help,” he said.

Nationalist Party MP Beppe Fenech Adami said that Muscat’s involvement showed how Robert Abela’s government was a continuity of the Labour Party’s previous government administration.

“Unfortunately, the clique of Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, Neville Gafà, Konrad Mizzi and a lot of other people still holds a lot of power at Castille,” Fenech Adami said.

PN MP Mario de. Marco also said that Joseph Muscat represents “the past”. “Muscat is supposed to be investigated by the PM, not giving him advice,” he said.

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