‘Incompetent’: PN slams Edward Scicluna’s appointment as Central Bank governor

Adrian Delia and Mario De Marco call former finance minister Edward Scicluna ‘incompetent’ and claim appointment as governor of the Central Bank of Malta is blatant case of revolving doors

Former Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
Former Finance Minister Edward Scicluna

The opposition PN party has sharply criticised the appointment of former finance minister Prof. Edward Scicluna as governor of the Central Bank of Malta, describing Scicluna as incompetent and the move as a revolving door.

Scicluna told the public inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia the “exact opposite” of what the Auditor General did yesterday, former PN leader Adrian Delia pointed out, adding that the Auditor General had said that the Vitals deal’s Memorandum of Understanding was made “in collusion with government.”

Delia slammed Scicluna for saying that he wasn’t the minister responsible for the deal, saying that he had “no concept of the collective responsibility of Government.”

“He has no ability to defend the country’s finances or the common good,” said the former Opposition leader, also highlighting the fact that Scicluna was a member of Joseph Muscat’s cabinet and that “this alone was shameful.” Delia asked why Prime Minister Robert Abela persisted in not criticising Scicluna and instead “rewarded” him with the CBM role.

Former PN leader Adrian Delia addressing the media on Edward Scicluna's appointment as governor of the Central Bank
Former PN leader Adrian Delia addressing the media on Edward Scicluna's appointment as governor of the Central Bank

The issue went beyond partisan politics, he said, arguing that the opposition’s interest was the good of Malta.

PN MP Karol Aquilina told the assembled reporters that Scicluna had served at the time of the worst abuses of good governance and never said a word. He also described Scicluna as incompetent, asking “which EU finance minister doesn’t know about a €100 million escape clause in a public contract?” He reminded that Scicluna was under criminal and magisterial investigation for his part in the Vitals deal. “He did not guard the interests of the country but was an accomplice with Keith Schembri, Chris Cardona and Konrad Mizzi. The PN expects him to answer questions about  this in parliament and will not vote for his appointment.”

The Central Bank of Malta was the biggest and most important bank in Malta, said PN MP Mario De Marco, arguing that the stability of monetary policy and Malta’s financial stability was at stake. This revolving door arrangement came at a most delicate time for Malta, De Marco said, as the head of the CBM would have to work closely with the MFSA.

De Marco pointed to the Moneyval report on Malta which assessed Scicluna as being part of the problem. Although Malta had a good anti money laundering legal framework, government was not implementing the laws, he said.

There was no action on FIAU reports on the issue, rather Scicluna had said they were “written to be leaked” and the writers were subsequently fired. De Marco also quoted from the Fitch report which speaks of the country’s reputational problem and said that this will impact Malta finding correspondent banks abroad. Scicluna had said that the economies of scale was why Malta was losing its correspondent banks, he said.

“Scicluna was responsible for the government guarantee for private projects, like the Electrogas deal,” said De Marco, adding that he “lacks the qualities we need to face the challenges ahead. We need a person who is beyond reproach not one under criminal investigation,” he said.