The salary given to Carmen Ciantar, the Deputy Prime Minister’s campaign manager appointed to head the Foundation for Medical Services (FMS), is three times that of Malta’s Prime Minister, the Opposition said during a press conference on Friday in which it called for the contract to be cancelled.
PN Deputy Leader David Agius highlighted the absurdity in Ciantar’s contract by comparing it to that of the president, who receives some €70,000 a year, the prime minister, who receives some €63,000, and that of nurses and teachers.
“What about a nurse, who makes an average of €20,000 (a year)?… we are saying that the pay of eight nurses, or eight teachers, is equivalent to that of one person,” he said.
Agius drew a parallel between Ciantar’s salary and that of Sai Mizzi, the wife of disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi, who also received a salary of €13,000 a month.
The Opposition also noted that Prime Minister Robert Abela has not yet given any indication on what he intends to do about Ciantar’s contract, adding that “he refuses to take decisions”.
The Shift revealed on Wednesday how Ciantar, Fearne’s top personal political campaign manager, was appointed to head the Foundation for Medical Services (FMS) on a public contract worth €163,000 a year – a contract the National Audit Office said was “irregular”.
Ciantar’s contract will see her earn €700,000 from State coffers in salaries and allowances over a five-year period. In addition, Fearne also appointed her chief of staff at his health ministry.
Agius noted how the State broadcaster, PBS, which has been facing strong accusations of biased reporting, has yet to publish anything about the scandal.
Nationalist MP Paula Mifsud Bonnici, who also addressed the conference, said the money being used for such contracts are funds that should be invested in improving the country.
PN candidate Alessia Psaila Zammit added: “People might have thought that Fearne was different from his friends, today we are realising that even Chris Fearne abuses his position”.