Patrick Dalli, a boutique hotelier and artist who is married to European Commissioner Helena Dalli, has hit out at the new Economy Minister for “ignoring” his request for a meeting.
“A bit of power and they start looking down on people,” Dalli wrote on Facebook. “I tried setting up a meeting with the brand new minister Silvio Schembri and he ignored me. Arrogance at its best. Rest assured that I wasn’t going to request some sort of favour. Watch out, ‘my friend’, because it’s the people who elect you and the people who remove you, and arrogance brings you down.”
It is believed that Dalli wanted to complain to Schembri after his son Luke Dalli”s legal consultancy at the Economy Ministry wasn’t renewed.
However, Luke Dalli, a lawyer and TV presenter, publicly disassociated himself from his father’s statement in a since-deleted Facebook post and stood by Schembri’s decision.
“The Minister explained his decision to me early last week and besides, it’s his own prerogative to decide which people to keep around him. At this particular moment, he felt he needed technical experts in other sectors.”
“I’d like to apologise for this behaviour [of my father]. A government as strong as ours should be united for the country’s best interests and not lose ourselves in such childish arguments.”
Dalli’s wife Helena Dalli is a former Cabinet colleague of Silvio Schembri and she was recently nominated by Malta as the country’s representative on the European Commission, where she has been entrusted with the equality portfolio.
Schembri was appointed Economy Minister when new Prime Minister Robert Abela announced his Cabinet last week, succeeding Chris Cardona. Abela also expanded Schembri’s portfolio to include responsibility for Air Malta, something which used to fall under the Tourism Ministry.