Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo has nominated two of his constituents to be made non-resident ambassadors of Malta despite their limited knowledge or experience of diplomacy.
Juliana Scerri Ferrante, a 51-year-old lawyer residing in Pembroke, has been nominated as Malta’s non-resident ambassador to Kosovo. The lawyer has already been appointed to several government positions under the current Labour administration including as a governor of the Malta Gaming Authority.
The lawyer, who until a few years ago managed a company in the fashion industry with other partners, is also a regular recipient of direct orders particularly from the family and social affairs ministry, currently headed by Minister Michael Falzon – a rival of Evarist Bartolo on the 10th electoral district.
Scerri Ferrante has limited experience in the diplomatic corps, having being appointed consul for Croatia. She is currently a member of the Malta-Italian Chamber of Commerce.
Another of Bartolo’s constituents, Anthony Licari, 71, who resides in Swieqi, is being proposed as Malta’s non-resident ambassador to Albania.
Licari, known mostly as a university lecturer of French, served as Malta’s non-resident ambassador to Slovakia until a few months ago. He was first appointed to a diplomatic role by the Labour Party.
Before Labour won the 2013 election, Licari openly supported the election of disgraced Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to become Labour Leader.
Both nominees will face a ‘grilling’ on Tuesday before parliament’s public appointments committee.
The committee, which has a majority of government MPs, will be also discussing the appointment of another lawyer, Simon Cachia, as non-resident ambassador for Slovakia.
Cachia is currently already serving as Malta’s Ambassador for the Council of Europe in Strasbourg through another political appointment made by Bartolo earlier this year.