George Azzopardi, the former CEO of the Labour Party who resigned just a few days after Labour’s latest win at the polls, is eyeing a specific top post within the Transport Ministry, The Shift is informed.
Senior Labour sources revealed to The Shift that Azzopardi – an integral part of Robert Abela’s leadership campaign in 2020 – said that Azzopardi has asked for the post of CEO, either at Infrastructure Malta or its sister government agency, Transport Malta.
The sources added that Prime Minister Abela has already accepted to give Azzopardi a top post at one of the entities, financed by taxpayers, despite Azzopardi’s lack of experience in either field.
The first move in this direction has already been suggested, with the reinstatement of Randolph Debattista, who was sacked as CEO of the Labour Party soon after Abela became party leader, which in turn opens the possibility for Azzopardi to join the government’s payroll.
At the same time, Fredrick Azzopardi, the former CEO at Infrastructure Malta, has also left his post to become a senior employee of a private catering company with multi-million euro contracts with the government. His departure was announced soon after Abela shifted Ian Borg into foreign affairs, loosening the former Transport and Infrastructure minster’s grip on multi-million euro road projects.
“The road to give George Azzopardi a CEO post is now open. A final decision is expected to be announced in the coming days after the PM irons out some minor opposition from the new Transport Minister,” the sources said.
Labour sources said that while the new Roads Minister Aaron Farrugia was eying the top posts of CEO at TM and IM for his loyal aides, he is expected to have to accede to Abela’s orders.
George Azzopardi, 54, from Qormi, is a close friend of the prime minister’s father, former President George Abela. However, from before the 2013 election, he was known in Qormi as an acolyte of former Labour minister Marie Louise Coleiro and had joined her in her secretariats both when she served as minister and later as President. Coleiro and the Abelas were reportedly never on good terms.
In both postings, Azzopardi was responsible for events coordination. In 2020, he was chosen by Robert Abela to head Labour’s administration as CEO.