Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti
Katrina Cuschieri, the 23-year-old granddaughter of President George Vella and daughter of disgraced former Malta Financial Services Authority chief Joseph Cuschieri, has been made a government consultant despite her lack of experience and the fact that she has yet to officially graduate.
President George Vella’s granddaughter was engaged as a person of trust and put on a €50,000 financial package by Energy Minister Miriam Dalli just a few days after returning to Malta from under a year spent studying in England.
Sources at Dalli’s ministry expressed their shock over the “blatant case of nepotism” when they were told the 23-year-old would be the minister’s new consultant. They said Katrina Cuschieri started her job a few weeks ago and has already shown that she is “in no position to give any advice to the minister”.
Others pointed out that her university colleagues were shocked that she was given such a position just a few days after returning from London, when they were still trying to find their feet in the employment sector.
“We are still looking for an entry-level job, despite being more qualified than her… it seems the children of ministers or other well-connected people are being given phenomenal starting salaries without competition while mere mortals like us have to struggle to find our first, poorly paid job.”
The Shift is informed that the job of government consultant, generally reserved for employees with years of experience, was approved by the Office of the Prime Minster on the personal recommendation of Minister Dalli.
Miriam Dalli had worked with Katrina’s father, Joseph Cuschieri, for years. The former MFSA chief, forced to resign in disgrace, had given Dalli, a former ONE TV reporter, a job when he was a senior manager at Vodafone, now Epic.
An accountant by profession, Katrina’s father, Joseph Cuschieri, considered part of disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat’s clique, fell from grace soon after Muscat’s resignation and had to step down from a €150,000 job as the head of the Malta Financial Services Authority.
Cuschieri was ordered to resign soon after revelations in court that he, together with his close friend, Edwina Licari, had gone to a working holiday in Las Vegas paid by Yorgan Fenech, who accompanied them together with the secretary of disgraced former OPM boss Keith Schembri.
It had later transpired that Cuschieri had taken a personal interest in employing Licari at the MFSA, giving her a €100,000 job. The pair toured the world together on more than 35 trips, costing taxpayers €500,000.
The original article erroneously quoted Katrina’s age as 21 instead of 23. She is the President’s granddaughter, not his niece.