Foreign ministry spends €26,000 on designer ties among list of expenses

Another €55,000 were spent on flights alone for one occasion

 

The prospect that the Foreign Affairs Ministry will decrease its spending and cut extravagance as part of an ongoing government effort to stem the spiralling of national debt appears to be slim as direct orders have increased exponentially with the arrival of Ian Borg at Palazzo Parisio.

The latest information on direct orders dished out by the Foreign Affairs Ministry during the first six months of the year shows hundreds of thousands spent on direct orders, with a few suppliers and ministry officials benefitting from taxpayer handouts, luxury travel and five-star overseas accommodation.

The direct orders listed in the Government Gazette show the Foreign Affairs Ministry indulged in a €26,000 direct order to purchase ‘themed’ men’s ties, women’s scarves and bags to use as merchandise for Malta’s – uncontested – UN candidacy.  Malta was the only country vying for the seat.

The Maltese delegation at the UN.

The order went to designers Charles & Ron, known to be close to the Labour Party, particularly the wife of disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat.

Yet what the ministry spent on scarves and ties pales in comparison to the amount spent on travel arrangements for the minister and his delegation for the occasion.

While other governments, including some in the EU, such as Ireland,  are implementing cost-cutting measures in preparation for an expected recession and making it a point to fly their politicians economy class rather than business or first class, Ian Borg’s secretariat does not seem too preoccupied with such issues.

Before flying to New York to attend Malta’s ceremonial UN election, Ian Borg, accompanied by Ray Attard, his personal photographer employed through another direct order, flew via Brazil to look at Malta’s new embassy in South America.

One-way business class travel for Borg’s delegation cost taxpayers almost €23,000, while another €32,000 were spent on flights from Brazil to New York and back to Malta, totalling €55,000. These exclude thousands spent in five-star hotels and other related expenses.

A few months earlier, the Foreign Ministry decided to fly a handful of Maltese diplomats posted in Australia in business class to cast their vote in last general elections held in Malta in March.

Taxpayers had to fork out a staggering €32,000 for flight tickets for Malta’s High Commissioner in Canberra, former Labour candidate Mario Borg, and the island’s consul generals in Melbourne and Sydney.

Some decided to make a holiday out of it, with the Melbourne consul flying back only on 19 April, a full month after he arrived in Malta to cast his vote.

Other lavish direct orders issued by Ian Borg just a few weeks after becoming Foreign Affairs Minister include the hiring of his new ministerial car through a lease agreement with Gauci Automobiles of Birkirkara.

The car will cost €64,000 for five years, or more than €1,000 monthly.

Ian Borg also had no issue renewing an €18,200 contract given to Alex Sciberras Trigona to serve as Malta’s ‘Thematic Ambassador’ to the World Trade Organization.

This post for the 72-year-old notary, Foreign Affairs Minister in the Dom Mintoff era, was given to Sciberras Trigona by disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat.

Sciberras Trigona already receives a state pension reserved for former members of Cabinet and MPs.

                           
                               
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Winston Smith
Winston Smith
1 month ago

Its so sad that while the cronies pig out in their tax funded trough it is the university budget that had to be cut. A government that doesn’t want to get its priorities right.

C. Fenech
C. Fenech
1 month ago
Reply to  Winston Smith

You still have about five years in limbo

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
1 month ago
Reply to  C. Fenech

Not only Ian Borg, I am sure that others, especially the young ones who have been spoilt for long now, are doing the same, perhaps spending public funds on other commodities. Who knows?

Francis Darmanin
Francis Darmanin
1 month ago
Reply to  Winston Smith

All the University has produced the last two decades is masses of spoilt “graduates” many of whom can’t even think logically. I’d rather that we invest heavily in primary, secondary and technical education.

JoScic
JoScic
28 days ago

Don’t generalize! I am the proud mum of 2 hard-working women who graduated from the U of Malta, 10/13years ago and for sure were never “spoilt”! They make their country proud 😊

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 month ago

ROBBER Abela silent as ever.

Maybe he is also speechless or he is on vacation again or he is doing his own “special business”?

Greed
Greed
1 month ago
Reply to  KLAUS

He is awaiting his orders from burmarrad

carlos
1 month ago

Dan aqwq mil-lorrysant. veru poplu gifa biex ihalli gvern korrott jisraq il-haddiem biex iqawdu ftit tal-qalba. ian, ghadek ma tghallimtx x’inhi l-onesta?

Carmelo Borg
1 month ago

Ministru Caruana ghadek hawn Malta. Bil cafe te u zokkor trid tifrank €200 miljun???

Ġwanni Fenek
Ġwanni Fenek
1 month ago

Oqgħod ħallas it-taxxi, Ġaħan, biex il-ministru jgħix ta’ prinċep.

Ivvota Lejber u tieħu abbuż ta’ poter. 🙂

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 month ago

I am surprised that no tanga was included in the list.

Orgasmed
Orgasmed
1 month ago

Such expenditure must have caused Ian Borg multiple orgasms. One hopes it did the same to Clyde Caruana and his new Permanent Secretary.

Carlin
Carlin
1 month ago

Experts at raping and pillaging . There’s no stopping them. Once a crook always a crook!!!

Mariatheresa Micallef
Mariatheresa Micallef
1 month ago

This really looks like Ian Borg is vindicating his removal from his previous portfolio with a vengeance.

doreen
doreen
1 month ago

ghax dawn qatt maraw xejn u allura make hay while thesun shine ja imgewhin. ARANI MUMMY

Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

Unfortunately this complete mis-management of public funds continues unabated.
Only in dictatorships do you find this type of fraud. Five more years of this type of management will continue to make Malta a third world Country. The reserves that Malta held in gold bullion are completely depleted.
Might as well not have a Minister of Finance as the position carries no weight and no guts, this applies to both the former and now Clyde Caruana to stand up and say NO.
International economists predict that 2023 the world will still be in recession. The recovery in 2024 will be slow and will take long to reach normal levels.
So the fat cats are pillaging our economy to continue filling their pockets whilst the middle class and those on low wages and pensions will suffer the most.
I pity future generations as they will carry the burden. Unless, as it is likely will look overseas to build a career.

Last edited 1 month ago by Francis Said
Bamboccu
Bamboccu
29 days ago

Jiffangaw sa ma jirremettu bil flus il poplu u l Gahan Laborist jifrah.

Jennifer Farrugia
Jennifer Farrugia
29 days ago

Where is the Audit officer? Who drafts the travel policy and why should they travel in Business Class all the way to Brasil and Australia? Why are they treating themselves as celebrities???? Wake up Audit office, make them payout of their own pocket. Travel policy should cap claimable expenses to a reasonable amount. They are after all government employees.

Annie
Annie
28 days ago

Malta needs to be governed and audited by non Maltese. The nepotism on this island is getting out of control.

Vela
Vela
28 days ago

Golden Vote Holders Only!
Engaged with the public sector, no office work experience needed and it is non existent, invented job descriptions by their Ceo’s. Double/ Triple your pay at your expense. Well done Unions.

More expenditure Air Malta
Workers who opt for a golden handshake are being offered anything between €40,000 and €300,000.
The government is offering €40,000 to those who have served up to five years; €80,000 to those serving 5-10 years; €120,000 for 10-15 years of service; €150,000 for 15-20 years of service; €180,000 for 20-25 years; €210,000 for 25-30; and €240,000 for those of over 30 years of service.

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