Economy Minister’s Priceless Self-Promotion: Taxpayer Funds at Work!

Economy Minister's Priceless Self-Promotion: Taxpayer Funds at Work!

In a stunning display of frugality, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri has once again dazzled us with his selective disclosure of information to Parliament. This time, he graced us with a glimpse into the lavish amounts of taxpayers’ money he spent on his own publicity during the last election year. How considerate of him!

When questioned by Opposition MP Jerome Caruana Cilia, Schembri conveniently stated that his ministry did not employ a photographer. However, he did admit to contracting various “media services” related to the publicity of his activities in 2022. These services, including photography, came at a hefty price tag of nearly €35,000. But fear not, dear citizens, for Schembri is here to assure you that every euro was well spent.

But wait, there’s more! The Government Gazette, that treasure trove of information, reveals a different tale than the one Schembri so graciously shared with Parliament. It turns out that our media-savvy minister issued not one, not two, but at least three different direct orders to fuel his insatiable appetite for self-promotion.

Enter Franklin Cachia, a renowned wedding photographer and a trusted member of “Team Silvio.” This paragon of media expertise was awarded a staggering €35,000 direct order to provide the ministry with unspecified media services. Who needs experience when you have loyalty, right? And let’s not forget, dear readers, that ministers are absolutely prohibited from dipping into taxpayer funds for their own political campaigns. But hey, rules are made to be… creatively interpreted.

Not to be outdone, Gareth Degiorgio, a photographer turned television producer, also managed to secure a direct order worth €9,900 for videography services exclusively for Schembri. How fortunate we are to witness such artistic endeavors captured on film, courtesy of our beloved minister!

But let’s not forget the pièce de résistance. A €9,900 photography tender was graciously awarded to Eleven 54 Studio, a company conveniently located in the heart of the minister’s district. And who might be one of the directors? None other than Edward Zammit Tabona, the esteemed CEO of the Fortina Group. Coincidence? I think not. It’s heartwarming to witness the minister’s commitment to nurturing meaningful professional relationships, especially when it involves turning a popular bathing area into a private yacht marina.

Oh, Minister Schembri, your knack for self-promotion knows no bounds. We, the taxpayers, are eternally grateful for the opportunity to fund your photography escapades and media extravaganza. Keep up the good work, dear minister, and continue to show us the true meaning of fiscal responsibility.


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