Ex Labour Minister Reno Calleja took money for ‘facilitating’ Malta visas for Chinese workers

Published: November 1, 2014 at 12:42pm

reno calleja rewarded by china

Reno Calleja (far left) is seen here with Labour Party lackey Godfrey Pirotta and with Joseph Muscat at an event organised by the Malta-China Friendship Society

Reno Calleja (far left) is seen here with Labour Party lackey Godfrey Pirotta and with Joseph Muscat at an event organised by the Malta-China Friendship Society

reno calleja water bottles headline

In-Nazzjon today carries a story in which it describes how “an ex Labour minister with strong ties to China” used to take money to facilitate the issuing of Malta visas for Chinese people, and this when the Labour Party was in Opposition.

The newspaper does not mention who the ex-Labour Minister is, but I can confirm that it is Reno Calleja, who was a minister in Dom Mintoff’s government. He is known for his adulation of the Chinese communists and his passion for Muammar Gaddafi’s totalitarian regime.

When Chinese tanks mowed into a crowd of protestors in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, in scenes which shocked the democratic world and resulted in one of the most iconic news photographs ever, Reno Calleja praised the Chinese government for doing what it did.

For many years now, he has run the Malta-China Friendship society and last year he was given an award by China’s foreign minister, during a visit there, for his “outstanding efforts in promoting Malta-China relations over 38 years”.

In-Nazzjon reports today that he (his name is not mentioned) used to take Lm50 per visa – talk about cheap, but I suppose it mounts up. This was before Malta joined the Eurozone. Calleja used to insist on prompt payment and before one visa-connected meeting, he emailed the Chinese person in question, who spoke to In-Nazzjon, saying: “Don’t forgot to bring me 50 bottles of water.”

In-Nazzjon has seen the email, which is reported on its front page.

His prices for translation of documents related to visa issuance were higher. Calleja asked one person for Eur1,000 to get the translations done.

39 Comments Comment

    • A+ says:

      Goes to prove that before March 2013 Gonzi was running the Government while Muscat was running the country, everywhere and in every aspect – Labour occupation

      • ciccio says:

        I agree with your observation. Labour was running a parallel government in the country from 2008 to 2013.

      • ta minn jahseb says:

        Very correct and the PN were informed about it, for every two steps forward they made the Labour network were taking them 10 steps backwards. This happened on every single initiative and project. Yet they didn’t believe the obvious.

    • Jozef says:

      ‘….dan l-istess eks-Ministru ma jiddejjaq xejn jagħmel arranġamenti biex isiru traduzzjonijiet mill-Ingliż għaċ-Ċiniż, jew viċi versa, u ta’ dan jitħallas sew ħafna bl-iskuża li t-traduzzjonijiet mitluba jsiru fiċ-Ċina stess minn persuni kwalifikati. F’każ partikulari, din il-persuna ntalbet madwar €1,000 għal dokument ta’ paġna waħda biss! Dan meta fil-verità t-traduzzjoni jkun għamilha xi student Ċiniż li jkun Malta, u li għal dan ix-xogħol probabbli lanqas jingħata ċenteżmu!…’

      Konrad’s grandiose plans lost in translation perhaps?

  1. Imxebba' says:

    His nephew, the mayor of Marsascala, is cut from the same cloth. This year he greeted Chinese geishas in Marsascala as a ‘cultural night’, with the help of Ziju Reno, and council funds of course…

  2. R Camilleri says:

    So do we now have Sai Mizzi doing the same but with the government blessing?

  3. Joe Fenech says:

    What do they mean by ‘facilitate’? Who else was involved in this? He didn’t issue the visas himself unless he delivered counterfeit items.

    • Joe Fenech says:

      What was his professional status in all this? Was he ‘facilitating’ on a self-employed basis or was he acting on behalf of the Malta-China Friendship Society?

  4. ciccio says:

    What was Reno Calleja doing toing and froing to China for 38 years?

    Who paid for his trips there, and why?

    • pablo says:

      Some thirty years ago, when this guy was a government minister, he engaged a stonemason to build him a room. The stonemason told me that when he went for payment, Calleja closed the door on him. But then again, what’s a stonemason’s word worth next to the integrity of a Labour Minister.

  5. P Bonnici says:

    Reno Calleja is a lackey of the brutal repressive Chinese government.

  6. Len says:

    Friend of China charging 1000 euros for a translation? No wonder the ‘Outstanding efforts to promote relations with Malta and China.

    A friend in need is a friend indeed, and yes, 100o euros for the envelope, please.

  7. ZambiTwo says:

    The press needs to investigate what happens to Chinese sex-slaves who are made pregnant by Maltese men.

    • ken il malti says:

      We get Maltese people who look like Jimmy Magro, that is what happens.

      Or they are very much Maltese and look totally Asiatic, like the non-relative Maltese gentleman that I met a while back in Malta, that shared the same Maltese surname that is on my mother’s side.

  8. Kevin says:

    The more I think about it and read these posts, the more I am convinced that Sai Mizzi is probably a covert Chinese operative repatriated for some dark and shady reason.

    • ta minn jahseb says:

      Good morning, I have been repeating this for years, her target was konrad mizzi and the fourth floor in hamrun.

  9. jerry says:

    U jien kont nahseb li Reno kien wiehed mill ftit ministri nodfa li kien hemm dak iz-zmien.

    • ciccio says:

      Hadd ma qal li ma kienx jinhasel. B’50 flixkun ilma ghal kull visa, kien ikollu biex jinhasel, specjalment meta tikkonsidra li dak iz-zmien l-ilma tal-vit iktar kien ikun maqtugh milli le.

    • A.Attard says:

      Int bis-serjeta?

      Ha naghtikom ftit ezempji bhal l-prova tal-verita’.

      Dan li gej quote mill- artiklu ta Peter Darmainin ippublikat fil Il-Mument, il-Hadd, 9 ta’ Frar, 1992 mis-serje Imhatra li diga’ nsejt bit-titlu “Jekk int favur il-vjolenza, ivvota Labour”

      “L-ex kolonna tal-Partit Mintoffjan, Reno Calleja, f’artiklu li deher f’l-orizzont tat-2 ta’ Novembru 1989 kien qal; “Ahna ghandna nies li kif tghidilhom kemm intom sbieh jaghtuk daqqa ta’ ponn.” Kemm huma helwin hux? Kompla Reno: “Ahna impulsivi, dak li nhossu naghmluh.” Jekk ihossu li ghandhom ikissru xi stamperija, jkissru xi kazin, jaghmlu xi bomba, ikissru xi Kurja, jaghtu n-nar lil Qorti, isawtu lil min jipprotesta … jekk ihossu hekk, hekk jaghmlu!!”

      • White coat says:

        That quotation by that great intellectual socialist should have been stuck on a billboard for 25 whole years.

  10. Antoine Vella says:

    Perhaps Reno Calleja meant these bottles.


  11. RF says:

    We should all by now know that Labour men are pimps and ruffians and do everything for their own personal gain. And yet they have been trusted with the country’s future and finances.

  12. White coat says:

    I trust that Reno Calleja is immediately divested from all positions on government boards and any other publicly-financed institutions. I know that he is on the University board; I know, you are saying but how many PhDs has he got? Well he has one, in Chinese shadows:


    Members appointed by the Prime Minister to represent the general interest of the Country
    Mr Carmel Cachia
    >>Mr Reno Calleja<<
    Mr Reginald Fava
    Ms Antonia Formosa
    Ms Josanne Ghirxi
    Mr Godfrey Grima
    Mr Charles Micallef
    Mr Malcolm Miller
    Mr Maurice Mizzi
    Dr Nadine Sant
    Mr Anthony J. Tabone
    Mr Godfrey Vella
    Dr Michael Vella Haber
    Mr Winston Zahra
    Dr Jonathan Zammit

  13. Joe Fenech says:

    Would it be right to say that Reno Calleja is the Golden-Years’ Joe Mizzi?

  14. J.A.Gauci says:

    Shame on the Labour Party

  15. C.G says:

    Dawn jafu JISTHU tal-Labour! Dawn huma t-terremoti li wieghduna qabel l-elezzjoni?

    Partit made in China ghandna. Tal-qamel.

  16. chico says:

    Rest assured, it’s not the worst thing he did.

  17. Gahan says:

    Reno’s son lived/s in China if I’m not mistaken in Shanghai.

  18. Not Sandy:P says:

    Fancy giving Reno Calleja a call?

    Profession: Consultant on the Chinese Market
    Tel: (+356) 2164 1004
    Mob: (+356) 7944 9975 – See more at: http://www.mccc.org.mt/index.php/en/members/9-general-secretary-mr-reno-calleja#sthash.E1uwIYL4.dpuf

    • Natalie Mallett says:

      David Thake tried but his wife answered the mobile stating that he left his mobile behind him. Listen to David Thake everytime he is on air. Best radio person the PN have ever had.

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