Updated | PN media boss says party salaries ‘equivalent to existing managers' pay’

A reported €290,000 salary bill for new Nationalist party executives has been denied, but media boss says salaries are in line with managers'

L-R: Jean Pierre Debono, Ivan Bartolo, Clyde Puli, and Pierre Portelli
L-R: Jean Pierre Debono, Ivan Bartolo, Clyde Puli, and Pierre Portelli

The Nationalist Party’s new head of media, Pierre Portelli, has denied reports by Labour organ KullHadd that he will be paid €90,000 in salary and bonuses.

No reaction from PN headquarters was forthcoming on Sunday when the story was published, but Portelli was a “total fabrication” by the Labour media and took issue with the fact that MaltaToday had reproduced the report.

“The PN doesn’t afford these kind of salaries. When I decided to join Media.Link I did so in the knowlege that salaries will be equivalent to those of existing managers.”

Portelli was director of content at the Malta Independent after 2013, when he stepped down as presenter of the TVM daytime news programme TVAM. Prior to that Portelli had been a Net TV journalist, a PN official, as well as the head of independent production house Watermelon Media, whose dramas Hobbni Ftit and Tereza aired on PBS and One TV respectively.

Joining Portelli in the salaried positions at the PN are Nationalist MP and secretary-general Clyde Puli, who has indicated he will leave his government job at the Foundation for Medical Services.

KullHadd claims Puli’s salary will also be close to €90,000, although no independent verification of that amount was available.

In an SMS text to MaltaToday, Puli said the story was a “a huge life intended to inflict damage the week before the PN’s fundraising activity”.

The CEO of listed software company 6PM, and former PN candidate Ivan Bartolo, who will be taking on the role of business development manager at the party, was tagged at an alleged salary of €60,000; while Jean Pierre Debono, outgoing assistant secretary-general who ceded his MP’s seat so that Delia could be co-opted to the House as Opposition leader, was expected to be paid €50,000 as a director of the party.

The PN has been racked with debt ever since it lost the 2013 election, and recently entered into a commitment in 2015 to sell ten of its party clubs over a ten-year period by locking in the properties in a securitisation vehicle called Patria trust that should raise around €2 million to pay back an HSBC loan.

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