[WATCH] Prime Minister puts pressure on Justyne Caruana: 'Everyone has to shoulder their responsibilities'

Prime Minister Robert Abela puts pressure on the Education Minister following an ethics breach involving a lucrative contract granted to her boyfriend Daniel Bogdanovic

Prime Minister Robert Abela has so far refused to remove Justyne Caruana but is applying pressure on her to resign
Prime Minister Robert Abela has so far refused to remove Justyne Caruana but is applying pressure on her to resign

Robert Abela is putting pressure on Justyne Caruana to resign, even though the Prime Minister remains reluctant to kick her out himself after a damning report by the Standards Commissioner.

The Prime Minister said "everyone should shoulder their own responsibility" when asked whether retaining the Education Minister was a blot on his government's efforts to promote good governance.

"Everyone, every MP, particularly those in the executive, have to shoulder their responsibilities, and on that I was clear since my first day as prime minister," Abela told MaltaToday on Monday just after exiting a Cabinet meeting in Castille.

Last Tuesday, MPs on the Ethics Committee decided to publish the report compiled by Standards Commissioner George Hyzler that found Caruana breached ministerial ethics when she awarded a contract of service to her boyfriend Daniel Bogdanovic.

The damning report found that Bogdanovic was tasked to carry out a study of the sports school, a job he was unsuitable to do. Moreover, Hyzler found that the report, for which Bogdanovic was to be paid €15,000, was compiled by Paul Debattista, a consultant to the minister.

Asked if Caruana retaining her role would undermine government efforts when speaking on the rule of law and good governance, Abela insisted that the final decision has not been taken. 

“As I said previously, there is an ongoing process. The process is not finalised, and so one has to wait for it to be completed,” he said. 

Asked whether he was implying that Caruana should tender her resignation from Cabinet, Abela replied: "I am not saying that. What I am saying is that everyone is responsible for their own actions. Everyone should respect the role they are in through their actions."

On whether his decision not to boot out Caruana disrespects educators, Abela insisted the process in Caruana's regard has not yet been finalised. 

"That is why I said the process is not finished. There is still the parliamentary committee stage which is yet to start. If you had to ask me if I am completely comfortable with this situation, I say the same thing: everyone should shoulder their responsibility," Abela said.

The Education Minister, who was invited to an MCAST expo on Monday morning to give a speech during the event, failed to show up.