Newest minister hires his brother’s wife

One of the first decisions made by Labour’s newest minister, consultant surgeon Jo Etienne Abela, was to give a job to his brother’s wife by appointing her as his private secretary.

Minister Abela was sworn in on 30 March and made responsible for active ageing. His brother’s wife, Mariella Abela, was given a contract as the minister’s private secretary on 1 April, fewer than 48 hours after her brother-in-law’s appointment.

Some of those expecting the newly elected politician to try to distance himself from his Gozitan colleagues – Ministers Clint Camilleri and Anton Refalo – were shocked by Minister Abela’s first move.

“We just couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw the first contract the minister passed on for signing was to engage his private secretariat staff,” a senior government official told The Shift on condition of anonymity.

“The first name he presented to us was that of his brother’s wife, Mariella, who, until becoming his private secretary, was a facilitator in a government school,” the official said.

According to the Ministerial Code of Ethics, cabinet members cannot employ relatives within their private secretariats. They are also barred from giving them public appointments.

Yet, these rules have been easily bypassed as ministers started employing the wives of their relatives instead of their ‘banned’ parents, siblings, or children.

Another method being used by ministers is to ask their colleagues to put their relatives on the government payroll in their secretariats. Minister Clayton Bartolo was exposed by The Shift as having his girlfriend, Amanda Muscat, employed through the secretariat of his friend, Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri. Muscat never turned up at the Gozo ministry and instead assisted her boyfriend at the tourism ministry.

Government boards are also inundated with relatives, including the children of sitting ministers. Minister Chris Fearne’s son, Julian, is a case in point, among others.

As a result of Minister Jo Etienne Abela’s move, his brother’s family will now earn €46,000 a year through the employment of Mariella Abela.

The minister’s brother and Mariella’s husband, Christian, an employee of Gozo Channel, has reportedly already been giving instructions at his brother’s ministry even though he has no official role.

This situation had led the minister’s former chief of staff, Alex Vella Muscat, to resign three weeks into the job, as he soon realised that he was not the one calling the shots at Minister Abela’s secretariat.

The minister’s brother is known to have helped significantly during his brother’s electoral campaign.  In the past, Christian Abela had also been a canvasser for Gozo’s first Labour minister, Anton Refalo.

                           
                               
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David
David
21 hours ago

Gozo channel is employed with Christian and not Christian employed with Gozo Channel !! Shame on Abela.

joe tedesco
joe tedesco
20 hours ago

EVERYTHING THE PL GOVERNMENT DOES IS TO
ENCOURAGE VOTERS NEVER TO TRUST THE PEOPLE’S
REPRESENTATIVES.

Robert
Robert
14 hours ago

Nepotism, corruption, impunity, tribalism.

Just watch all those politicians running their BMW, PM having a security escort as if he was Mugabe dictator himself. Street guys on hire to take down Caruana Galizia’s memorial. No political liability for MEP voting Laws against the interest of the people. Joseph Muscat has reached such an indignity level that he pretends to weigh into the country’s future while spending his holidays with supposedly unknown people with a Europol arrest warrant. Mizzi and Schembri runnning free and still enjoying tax payers’money.
Times of Malta used as a laundromat censoring the information about their legal problems…Abela, a lawyer for low level mafia members and pumping out tax money and distributing cheques and public jobs before elections.

Portelli’s illegal construction, illegal kiosks in Comino, are strong evidences of a mafia institutionalized system. How come PA members were never subject to a judicial investigation? Can politicians and judges justify their sources of wealth while acquiring millionaire in real estate? How come MEPS never adopted an incrimination concerning fake jobs given as a reward? No wonder why citizens do not vote as much as they used to. The system has been totally diverted to the benefit of criminals.

Last edited 14 hours ago by Robert
viv
viv
6 hours ago
Reply to  Robert

I agree wholeheartedly.

Bamboccu
Bamboccu
13 hours ago

B’onesta’ u Integrita’…..
Vera Ministru izda lejn FAMILTEK BISS.

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
13 hours ago

Surgeon Abela thinks that anyone who decides to be moulded as a politician will succeed to become one. But this notion is very wrong. And if he wants to be honest with himself, he knows very well that he can never become a true politician because he has none of the ingredients needed to succeed. He is no visionary, not convincing and lacks the art of effective communication which is vital. He has no experience at all, and his new role in politics is going to ruin his reputation for a long time. What a pity!

David
David
8 hours ago

100% correct. Spot on comment. Last December Surgeon Abela suspended his own race for the electoral campaign and decided not to contest the election since he was expecting to be co opted in Parliament. Robert Abela got confused and panicked. Immediately he pushed and pulled into the race Dr Christian Zammit to become his sacrificial lamb. Days later Surgeon Abela was convinced to continue his electoral campaign. Surgeon Abela is not fit for this new role.

Francis Said
Francis Said
9 hours ago

Ms. Mariella Abela’s prior job as facilitator is commendable.
But with due respect, does she have the necessary qualifications and experience as a private secretary to her brother in law, a sitting Minister?
Ultimately what seems to be important in Government’s employment policy is: Keep it in the family.

David
David
6 hours ago
Reply to  Francis Said

In this Minister’s office it is full of relatives and related persons.

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
9 hours ago

“Thou shalt not covet thy brother’s wife”,

But there’s no harm in giving her a public appointment, is there! Even if the Ministerial Code of Ethics specifically prohibits it!

Joe Borg
Joe Borg
9 hours ago

When a party is trash, it is trash that it attracts towards it. No just, moral person would join PL after all these scandals. Therefore all the new joiners as well as most of thos who remain are corrupt, immoral and well, by default also incompetent or at best mediocre.

Lino Vella Clark
Lino Vella Clark
31 minutes ago

The Auditor General & the Ombudsman offices what are waiting to investigated these corrupt practices???

Aggie
Aggie
13 minutes ago

At least in the UK you have to apply for a job and declare any relationship with an employee with a government official. Conflict of interest, nepotism and out & out corruption, yet no one does anything about it.

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