Minister Dalli pushing disgraced former MFSA boss to take over Project Green

Steve Ellul to step down for MEP elections


Energy Minister Miriam Dalli is pushing for appointing disgraced former Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) CEO Joseph Cuschieri as the head of the Project Green Agency despite his less-than-stellar track record.

Dalli wants to install Cuschieri as the new CEO of the €700-million agency in the place of Steve Ellul, who will resign to concentrate on his Labour Party MEP candidacy in the 2024 EU elections.

So far, Prime Minister Robert Abela has resisted Dalli’s nomination due to Cuschieri’s forced resignation from the MFSA over claims of nepotism, abuse of power and public funds.

Project Green CEO Steve Ellul and Minister Miriam Dalli.

Asked by The Shift to confirm her nomination and to justify how the disgraced former MFSA boss can be trusted again with the management of a government agency, including public funds, given his track record, Minister Dalli did not respond.

Abela and Dalli clashed recently over the CEO of Enemalta, Jonathan Cardona. Abela won the feud,  ordering Dalli to sack Cardona.

Joseph Cuschieri was appointed to the Malta Gaming Authority shortly after the Labour Party came to power in 2013. He was then chosen by the then-prime minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, to manage the MFSA.

In 2020, after revelations of his links with Yorgen Fenech and a private holiday he took with the MFSA general consul Edwina Licari, financed by the business mogul, Cuschieri was forced to step down.

An independent inquiry into his conduct, commissioned by the MFSA, found how Cuschieri continuously broke all rules, including those related to recruitment and procurement, and abused public funds.

He was found to have been paid extra for attending board meetings, which were a part of his salaried role. Then, he bypassed all procedures to recruit Licari as General Consul at the MFSA and put her on an indefinite contract worth over €120,000 a year.

While the government tried to shield Cuschieri from his erratic behaviour, even by resisting the publication of the inquiry, he was kept on the board of government entities by Miriam Dalli.

Cuschieri was pictured at the launch of the Maltese chatbot project last month. His daughter, a Miriam Dalli consultant, sits in front of him. – Photo: TVM News

Minister Dalli’s special relationship

The closeness between Dalli and Cuschieri goes back many years. Cuschieri, at the time a senior official of telecoms company Vodafone (now Epic), had given a job to Dalli while she was working at Labour’s TV and studying to become a lawyer.

Cuschieri also helped Dalli and canvassed for her when she contested her first election to become an MEP.

When she became Minister, Dalli made Cuschieri’s daughter, Katrina, one of her advisors even before she graduated, despite having zero work experience.

At the same time, Dalli also made Cuschieri chairman of the ECO Contributions Appeals Board despite his reputation.

Just a few weeks ago, Cuschieri also appeared prominently in launching a €3 million project sponsored by Malta Enterprise, also under Dalli’s remit, to create a new AI chatbot in the Maltese language.

Dalli refused to state what Cuschieri’s involvement in the project was. Cuschieri also declined to provide details, saying that his involvement is private.

The decision on who will head Project Green Agency ultimately lies with Prime Minister Robert Abela.


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2 months ago

Let us not forget that in his term of executive chairman of the MGA, mr Cuschieri’s office had issued the infamous gaming licenses to the betuniq group, headed by people accused in Italy to have had close connections with the mafia. It was well known at the time that such licenses should have never been issued due to failure to provide clean police/court reports from Italy.

D. Borg
D. Borg
2 months ago

and being the current President’s son in law, may be pure unfortunate coincidence

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
2 months ago

Ħmieġ fuq ħmieġ.

Albert Mamo
Albert Mamo
2 months ago



2 months ago

The special thing about the PL is that they always find an even more incompetent, an even less qualified and an even more simple-minded applicant.

And these are not 3 applicants, they even manage to combine these 3 ‘qualifications’ in one person. 

It takes a lot to do that.

Carmelo borg
2 months ago

Nispera li il BOBBY GHANDU IL COOKIES u jifqila lil din ?????
Jekk le hu jaqa ghan nejjj

2 months ago

Isn’t “disgraced” a PRIME qualifier to be given an MLP job for the boys. Konrad Mizzi will be next for a plumb job; he has the EXACT c.v. to join Abela’s gang of crooks. Miriam Dalli? a classic bottom feeder.

Last edited 2 months ago by wenzu
El Ninho
El Ninho
2 months ago

Miriam Dalli is another corrupt politician

Carmelo borg
1 month ago

Meta il president George VELLA f diskors kien qal li MALTA inhakmet min grupp ta mafjosi . Illum insaqsi ghal min kien qieghed JIRREFERI ?????

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