Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti hawn.
Monica Farrugia, formerly the close assistant and travel companion of new Enemalta boss, Jonathan Cardona, has been hired by her former boss at the government’s cash-for-passports agency (Community Malta) to serve as an executive director at the state energy company on a six-figure compensation package, a Freedom of Information request confirmed.
Farrugia, a long-standing member of the executive committee of the Labour Party, was recruited as Executive Director at the state energy agency, just weeks after Cardona himself was handpicked by Energy Minister Miriam Dalli to serve as Enemalta CEO, on a financial package of €160,000.
According to information sought by The Shift through a Freedom of Information request, Farrugia, hired as an Executive Director by Enemalta, will receive a remuneration package of €105,000, including salaries and benefits.
Apart from a basic salary reaching €81,105 per annum, Farrugia’s contract is peppered with fringe benefits, including an €8,500 annual payment for the use of a full-expensed car, some €4,000 for a health insurance and communications allowance, another €4,000 compensation for ‘disturbance’ and a performance bonus reaching more than €12,000 a year. This bonus is to be determined by Cardona himself.
Farrugia, who has no experience in the management of such a large entity, will see her job transformed into an indefinite contract after four years of employment at the state energy company.
Reporting directly to the company’s CEO (Cardona), Farrugia has been put in charge of all departments related to HR and communications as Executive Director for Corporate Affairs.
In its replies to The Shift, Enemalta said that Farrugia was recruited to the post following a public call.
It is not yet known whether Cardona sat on the interviewing board quizzing Farrugia to establish whether she was the best and most qualified candidate for the top post.
Monica Farrugia, a Gozitan from Victoria, has been piggybacking on Cardona’s meteoric career progression since Labour was elected to power in 2013.
Cardona was a school classmate of disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat who became closely involved in his campaign to become Labour leader.
Following the 2013 election, Cardona was put in charge of Identity Malta where he acted as chief salesman of Maltese passports to multimillionaires.
He immediately recruited Monica Farrugia to act as his assistant and later promoted her to Chief Commercial Officer of the cash-for-passports scheme.
In 2020, The Shift reported that Cardona and Farrugia spent months globetrotting, ‘promoting’ the sale of Maltese passports across four continents from Asia to South Africa, the Caucasus and South America.
In four years, Cardona and Farrigia ran up a travel bill of almost €300,000 in luxury hotels and business class travel, visiting places such as Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Monaco, China, Brazil and Ukraine among others. Their travels were mostly related to sales pitches organised by Henley & Partners.
Farrugia was also appointed to serve on the Board of Governors of the National Development and Social Fund (NSDF) – the government fund that controls millions of euros in income from the sale of passports, soon after Cardona was made chairman of the same board.
Separately, Farrugia was also appointed by the government to serve on the Board of Directors of Gozo Channel.
Enemalta sources told The Shift that Farrugia’s latest move to Enemalta was made on the personal initiative of Cardona who made it an “unwritten condition” to Minister Miriam Dalli in order to agree to move to Enemalta.
Farrugia is now considered “the second in command” at the state energy company after Cardona.
Enemalta is currently experiencing major financial problems and is only being kept afloat by direct monthly subsidies from the government.