Labour Party media stalwart and former ambassador to Belgium, Ray Azzopardi, will be adding more than €14,000 a year to his government pension in his new position as the Argotti gardens chairman, The Shift is informed.
The Shift reported a few weeks ago that Environment Minister Miriam Dalli, Azzopardi’s old colleague at the party’s ONE radio, had given him a new public appointment as chairman of Malta’s national botanic garden in Floriana, better known as Argotti gardens, even though he’s no botanical expert.
Following a request for information on how much Azzopardi will be earning in his new public position, Dalli’s ministry said the former Labour Party master-of-ceremonies will be paid €14,345, on top of the pension he already receives.
Azzopardi’s appointment will last for the next three years.
Considered a veteran Labour stalwart from the faction of disgraced former Labour leader Joseph Muscat, his latest appointment, made soon after his return from Brussels, seems to form part of Prime Minister Robert Abela’s plan to make way for his own loyalists.
Azzopardi’s appointment came alongside a similar move concerning former ONE TV chairman Jason Micallef, who has been put out to pasture at the Ta’ Qali National Park.
Azzopardi, known chiefly for his decades-long role in Labour media, particularly on ONE radio, and as a compere of Labour’s mass events, including electoral campaign mass meetings, was immediately rewarded for his services when Joseph Muscat assumed power in 2013.
Soon after his husband, Clint Flores, was sent to work at Malta’s permanent representation to the EU in Brussels, Muscat appointed Azzopardi as Malta’s ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium in July 2014.
Both the Permanent Representation and the Embassy to Belgium are situated in the same building in Brussels.
Even though Azzopardi had no diplomatic experience and had never worked in foreign affairs, his ambassadorial posting, which usually lasts three years, was extended several times. He stayed in Brussels until last year.
In 2017, Muscat also promoted Flores to an ambassadorial post as a representative to the Political and Security Committee of the EU, remaining in Brussels but holding a much higher rank and with much better remuneration and perks, including a private residence and a car with chauffeur.
Azzopardi returned to Malta last year, leaving his diplomatic post soon after Flores was given a new position at Bank of Valletta, also controlled by the government, as Head of ESG – a new post created for him.
In the meantime, Flores started appearing on the public broadcaster TVM and the Labour Party’s One TV, speaking as an economist. It is being said in Labour circles that Flores is planning to contest the next MEP elections on the party’s ticket.
What a farce and incompetent and possibly fraudulent use of public funds.
An invented position so as to appease a member of the elite regime. Yet the government is taking great pains so as to economise on those of us of lower rank…..!
We might as well ask Medac at the University of Malta to stop offering its highly rated diplomacy masters courses. Who needs them when there are so many nincompoops around to fill the posts in the diplomatic corp?
It really pays to be an MLP crony.
Apparently it does, but it can never fill the vacuum inside those money greedy people they must carry with them. It is like compensating something that is lacking inside oneself with all the materialism and money grabbing they can get.
I am not a religious person myself, but this quotation really has it:
‘What does it mean to gain the whole world but lose your soul?’
I think that there are plenty of ‘broken souls’ in politics.
Azzopardi tafx kien f 80s nursing aid innaddaf x rays dept SLH. Kie jogbor il bandisti jahdmu mal gvern ta mintoff birx immoru idoqqu f xi attivita tal lajbut
I thought the botanic garden was part of the University of Malta. In any case, it would be nice of Mr Azzopardi to share with the press his research and publications profile as a botanist. I searched on Google Scholar but his name did not come up.
And Joseph Muscat prior 2013 General elections promised meritocracy. Labour Government in wasting millions in creating fanthom jobs for Labour close persons of trust. Corruptions from the deepest roots!!!
Farce tal’ Partit Laburista at its best. It really gave me some laughs while reading the article, but seriously, it also tells how the PL regards the EU and how people who have neither qualification nor any sort of experience, are put in top positions.
‘Chairman of Malta’s botanic garden in Floriana’. One can expect the next PL rallies being shifted to that place, not too far from the Granaries, but all in a more or less green environment. I can imagine the attendies trampling all over the flowers there, never mind that, as the chairman himself is also no botanical expert, but a supposed master-of-ceremonies, mass meetings of fanatical Laburisti.
Then being placed to Brussels as ambassador of Malta, with no diplomatic experience and no record in working in foreign affairs, I wonder who had been in a position to rely on the non-existing qualifications of such an ambassador. The best part of it was to rea that his appointment was extended for a couple of times until last year. The PL certainly regards the EU (as for the other chap getting an EU posting by Muscat) as partly a pain in their neck and partly as ‘source of income’ but they are not really committed to the values and standards of the EU. Therefore, I am not really surprised to read what the article tells.
This is just another story that adds up to the way Joseph Muscat selected his personnel for top jobs and how he ignored the demands for qualifications to it by the person concerned to fill in the vacancy. I would even think that Muscat has chosen his successor, present PM Robert Abela, back in time as being his legal advisor in order to find the loopholes for the way Muscat run the country.
Ma ninsewx li Ray kien zammu GEORGE VELLA illum president. Tghid George kien KUNTENT b Dan l ambaxxatur bravu LABURIST mur ghara kemm gab xogholh u stinka ghal Malta. Minjaf kemm jidhqu Bina il barranin meta jaraw is CV ta Dan il genju NURSING AIDE
Tiskanta dawn in-nies tal-qalba laburista kemm huma multi-tasking. Alla jbierek kemm jafu jaghmlu affarijiet u jifhmu f’kollox. Salarji u percacci ta’eluf ta’ ewro u hawn min jghix bilkemm jiekol. Ghadda hajja komda Ray Azzopardi dawn l-ahhar ghaxar snin!!!
“, it also tells how the PL regards the EU and how people who have neither qualification nor any sort of experience, are put in top positions”.
Whilst those with the right qualifications are ostracised. Ridiculed, bullied etc., You really fu…d up big time labour. A place in hell is currently being designed to keep this vile lot…..!
Does it come with a watering can at least?
Ray Azzopardi…Alla jbierek f’kollox tifem…….Jack of all trades imma master of NONE….u minn Hu bil kwalifiki taraw kif tehilsu minnu halli jidhol xi bazuzlu injorant pesti…..viva il-h.x. !!!!!!!!!