Economy minister coy on potential renewal of Sai Mizzi’s contract

Chris Cardona doesn't exclude that Sai Mizzi's contract as envoy to Shanghai, due to expire tomorrow, will be renewed 

Economy minister Chris Cardona (left) and PL Swieqi councillor Mario Fava (right) address a press conference
Economy minister Chris Cardona (left) and PL Swieqi councillor Mario Fava (right) address a press conference

Economy minister Chris Cardona refused to give a straight answer when asked whether Sai Mizzi's contract as Malta Enterprise's envoy to Shanghai, which expires tomorrow, will be renewed.

De facto energy minister Konrad Mizzi had announced in February that Sai Mizzi will not have her €13,000-per month contract renewed, due to his new role as the Labour Party's deputy leader for party affairs. However, Mizzi has since resigned that role in the wake of pressure caused by his ownership of an offshore company, as revealed in the Panama Papers scandal.

When asked at a press conference whether Sai Mizzi's contract will be renewed, Cardona - who succeeded Mizzi as PL deputy leader - said that discussions are still ongoing.

"What is certain is that Malta Enterprise needs an envoy in Shanghai to represent its investment interests, but whether that will continue to be Sai Mizzi or not is still under discussion," he said. "Sai Mizzi carried out excellent work as envoy to Shanghai and I don't exclude that her contract will be renewed. If she is replaced, then I hope her successor will carry on from where she left off."

The Opposition has frequently decried Sai Mizzi’s employment as an act of nepotism, and has claimed that her work does not justify her €13,000 monthly wage. Last July, PN leader Simon Busuttil personally visited Mizzi at her offices in Shanghai, in an encounter that he later described as “bizarre”.

“So far, the Opposition has been very critical of Sai Mizzi’s appointment for reasons of nepotism, but after this meeting, the criticism will also focus on the fact that she is not up to it,” he said.

A few days before the meeting, the government rolled out Sai Mizzi during the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Huawei that will see the Chinese telecommunications giant test 5G technology in Malta. Mizzi said that she had acted as a broker between Huawei and the Maltese government.

“There is a Chinese saying that it’s not important what you say but what you do. So please judge me by what I do for you and on the results that I deliver,” she told the press afterwards.

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