The autonomy of yet another institution has been vaporised

Published: May 25, 2016 at 11:45am

Alfred Mifsud, who for years chaired the Labour Party’s television and radio stations, and who gave Joseph Muscat the only job he ever held (briefly) in the private sector at his embattled operation Crystal Finance, is to be the new chairman of the Central Bank.

Read more about it here.

This should never be a political appointment because of the particular heavy responsibilities of the Central Bank. The governor, in fact, does not technically report to the government of Malta but to the European Central Bank. Though he is appointed by the government, he cannot be removed by the government. Muscat’s incoming government had formally requested the resignation of the incumbent, Josef Bonnici, in March 2013, but was informed that the request was abusive because the government has no authority to remove the Central Bank governor.

Muscat’s solution was to install Alfred Mifsud, his former employer both at Crystal Finance and at Super One, as a second deputy governor alongside the existing deputy governor.

Mifsud’s businesses, Crystal Finance Ltd and Allcare Insurance, have faced a slew of serious problems over the years, leading to Allcare’s near-bankruptcy despite the tsunami of government insurance contracts it ‘won’ since March 2013. The company was in the end taken over by Middlesea Insurance.

Mifsud is a close associate of corrupt disgraced former European Commissioner John Dalli, whose daughter Claire Gauci Borda sits on the board of directors of Crystal Finance as a representative of her father’s ‘silent’ shareholding in the company.

Mifsud, who until recently was living with the mother of his second round of children in a flat at Fort Cambridge, is now of no fixed address, having been turfed out by her in a ‘Chris Cardona’ scenario. However, he has been a consultant of sorts to the Tumas Group for many years – so has John Dalli, hence the connection between the two – and I am quite sure that one of their number would be delighted to offer free ‘rented’ accommodation to the governor of the Central Bank just as they did to the Minister of the Economy.

alfred mifsud