Helena Dalli’s son blasts dad’s tantrum over termination of contract as ‘infantile’

EU Commissioner’s husband Patrick Dalli turns up at ministry to complain about termination of his son’s legal consultancy

L-R: Patrick Dalli and his son Luke, and EU Commissioner Helena Dalli
L-R: Patrick Dalli and his son Luke, and EU Commissioner Helena Dalli

The husband of European Commissioner Helena Dalli, the artist Patrick Dalli, was reported to have created a scene at the ministry of economy after the newly-appointed minister did not renew his son Luke’s legal consultancy.

Patrick Dalli was said to have turned up unannounced at Silvio Schembri’s ministry’s reception at around 5pm, demanding he meet the minister. A witness said his tantrum at being refused a meeting lasted around 15 minutes.

Dalli has however contested this version of events, in commens to MaltaToday: “I turned up at the ministry to request a meeting with Schembri. The receptionist asked if I had an appointment, which I did not, but I insisted that I had to see him immediately. After I was told I had no appointment, I did not stay there any longer than a few minutes. What I wanted to tell him was that the letter he sent my son, in which he informs him that his contract will be terminated within 30 days, could reflect badly on his record. I wanted him to reword that letter in a way that better reflects his service to the ministry. I did what any father would have done for their child.“

After the episode at the ministry, Dalli later posted on Facebook the following message: “A little bit of power and these people treat the rest like flies. I asked for an appointment with the brand new minister Silvio Schembri and he ignored me. Arrogance at its best. Relax, I won’t ask for a favour. Be careful, ‘mate’ because it is the people who elect you and bring you down.”

His son Luke Dalli was awarded a legal consultancy by direct order of former economy minister Chris Cardona for €12,000 a year in 2017. Dalli was also given similar contracts to serve the Arts Council and Lands Authority, and is known to have worked closely with former prime minister Joseph Muscat during elections.

Dalli also posted on Facebook, saying he disassociated himself from the comments his father had posted.

“In the most correct of manners, the minister explained to me his decision early last week. It is his prerogative to have around him the people to help him in the discharge of his duties. At that point in time, he said he needed technical experts in other sectors. I apologise for this behaviour. Such a strong government should be united for the good of the country, and not get lost in these childish arguments.”

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