Enemalta paying ‘Muscat’s man’ unique termination bonus plus €160k a year

Jonathan Cardona has been given the entitlement to claim a generous ‘service bonus’ at the end of his three-year stint as Enemalta CEO on top of a €160,000 per year financial package at the loss-making state entity.

Cardona was until last year chief salesman of the government’s controversial cash-for-passports scheme and one of disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s closest associates.

According to his engagement contract, seen by The Shift, he will be entitled to claim this unique ‘service bonus’ even if his contract is not renewed, if leaves the entity for another job, or is dismissed.

In what HR experts told The Shift is “a very strange contract, especially for a public sector company”, Cardona’s agreement says “on the termination of his employment with the Company, howsoever happening, the employee shall receive from the company, a service bonus equivalent to six weeks of his current remuneration (including his salary, allowances, and other benefits) multiplied by the number of years the employee has been in employment.”

According to our calculations based on details of his remuneration package, Cardona will receive some €20,000 per year on top of his already lucrative financial package.

The contract was signed in October for a fixed term three-year period, and is to be automatically renewed for another three year term if the company wishes.

A former classmate of Muscat during their school years at St Aloysius college, Cardona started helping Muscat as soon as the latter became Labour leader, and was made CEO of Identity Malta when the notorious golden passport scheme was introduced.

He travelled the world selling Maltese passports together with his then close associate at the agency, Monica Farrugia, at a cost of some €300,000 in taxpayers’ funds.

Shortly after the government started receiving messages from Brussels last October that the cash-for-passport scheme would have to end, Minister Miriam Dalli chose Cardona to become CEO of the state energy provider.

Cardona’s contract was signed by Enemalta’s politically appointed Chairperson Jonathan Scerri, and stipulates that the new CEO is to be paid a basic salary of €116,000 per year plus a long list of benefits for himself and his family.

These include a €6,000 per year communications allowance, €11,400 per year to continue using his own car for official duties (with a full-time driver and free fuel), an annual performance bonus of over €17,000 per year, and the payment of international health insurance for family members including his spouse and children.

In total, Cardona will receive more than €160,000 per year, almost three times the remuneration of the energy minister.

As reported by The Shift last week, the Labour government restructured Enemalta in 2013 by selling a third of its shares to the Chinese government, and it is currently in dire financial straits, losing millions of euros every month.

The company has avoided publishing its accounts for years, despite laws requiring it to do so, while the government subsidises the state entity every month to keep it afloat.

The Maltese government is obliged by EU law to notify the European Commission about state subsidies to Enemalta, but it is not known whether they have done so.

Brussels is so far refusing to take a stand on the issue and has not said whether a state aid notification has been made.

                           
                               
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Mark Vassallo
Mark Vassallo
1 month ago

How much of his ‘salary’ was kicked back to the person arranging the contract for him?
It should never be acceptable that the CEO of a government entity is paid 3 x the salary of a Minister.

Godfrey Leone Ganado
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Vassallo

I have commented many a time that, these mammoth salaries, must be a way for those proposing them to take a good cut themselves, in undeclared income.
Any salaries to public and state entity employees, which are clearly unreasonable, are tentamount to misappropriation of public funds.
This is why it is a must, to re-introduce the capital assets declaration for taxpayers, and extend it to include a Source of Wealth declaration.

M. Magro
M. Magro
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Vassallo

Especially if that minister doesn’t work for his compatriots, or even against them.

Patrick Sciberras
Patrick Sciberras
1 month ago

I wonder what incredible qualities this person holds to justify that sort of salary. Would he make one tenth of that in private industry?

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
1 month ago

Well and truly ‘Ahselb Guz’? Looks very much like it!

Peppi
Peppi
1 month ago

Competition saret. Min jahtaf l-aktar!

John Bonnici
John Bonnici
1 month ago

What percentage of this package is going back as commission to whoever signed/authorized it ?

Maria Aquilina
Maria Aquilina
1 month ago

Serq.

Mario S
Mario S
1 month ago

Although he made headlines with https://www.investigativejournalismforeu.net/projects/passport-papers/
he was still given a top job with Government. Kudos to Robert Abela who promised meritocracy. Cardona is not even academically qualified ..but as always jobs for people without qualifications. Spending €300k on travelling is nothing for Robert Abela – two weights two measures individual https://theshiftnews.com/2020/07/26/taxpayers-billed-e300000-for-luxury-travel-by-chief-passport-salesman/
congratulations to mr Jonathan he is a very lucky one. A message to the PM – once bitten twice shy

Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

The government should publish his full C.V. for us taxpayers to know:
What are his qualifications and experience as a CEO;
His employment record;
A police conduct certificate,
His statement of affairs, which include financial assets, immovables and his tax returns for the last ten years.
A reference by disgraced former PM Joseph Muscat is certainly not enough.
Here in Malta it seems that it is more important of WHO you know than WHAT you know.

Last edited 1 month ago by Francis Said
carmelo borg
1 month ago

Ministru Caruana min dawn trid tibda TİSSİKA İC CİNTURİN u mhux xi haddiem zghir li forsi jaqla xi haga overtime. X ma jizdiex idejn bil BİLJUNİ. Bobby fejn int qieghed.?

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 month ago

This country is getting riddled with debt so that the Labour government can dish out lucrative appointments to its supporters.

joe tedesco
joe tedesco
1 month ago

A DISGRACEFUL COUNTRY INFESTED WITH LEECHES.

Joe Borg
Joe Borg
1 month ago

Those sums were being paid to PN hand picked CEOs during the proven corrupt pre 2013. Moreover for far smaller and less significant authorities. That is not all! These were gifted 10 year solid contract so they could not be dislodged from their comfy position.

M. Magro
M. Magro
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Borg

So in your opinion, the MLP has the divine right to do the same thing. What utter stupidity.

Makjavel
Makjavel
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Borg

Just tell us who these were?

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