Previous Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo has taken the habit of lecturing people from the press after he failed to get elected in the last general election. Varist was technically my superior as Minister of Education when I was the Executive Chairman of the National Book Council.
His latest article in the Times was about the Italian mafia and the recently arrested mafia boss Matteo Denaro and Varist makes mention of a company that Denaro had registered in Malta of which David Gonzi was a shareholder (son of the ex-Prime Minister, Lawrence Gonzi). This story is basically about how the Italian mafia tried to launder their money via pseudo-legitimate companies in Malta often using prominent individuals and companies to project a respectable facade. It’s a practice that is still ongoing today.
Varist could have had some authority left to lecture people on the mafia had he hadn’t abetted the impunity of the Maltese mafia itself. As Foreign Minister, Evarist Bartolo made Emmanuel Mallia Malta’s high commissioner to the UK, of course knowing in advance that Mallia was a literal criminal lawyer. Mallia was involved in Malta’s illegal oil smuggling trade, and the UK government postponed his appointment over its concerns about him. Malta went on to push for his appointment, irregardless. Emmanuel Mallia was never investigated by the Maltese authorities and was neither charged with anything.
Varist has been fooling people all his life with his virtuous and patronising demeanor as a humble-communist teacher. At the end of the day, I learned that he is just an opportunist like many others whose words are mostly part of a scripted act that does not reflect the reality of their actions.
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