Out-spoken National Book Council chairman Mark Camilleri revealed that former Education Minister Owen Bonnici had already planned to axe him but couldn’t speak out because of financial consequences.
“I have some bank loans and I feared that if they would cut me off instantly, I may have had a problem paying off my loans, unless I would start eating at my savings,” Camilleri said.
This comes after a fiery online exchange with one of Yorgen Fenech’s lawyers led to the current Education Ministry’s calls for his resignation.
Juliette Galea, one Yorgen Fenech’s lawyers, lashed out at Camilleri after he publicly defended the Caruana Galizia inquiry. After he posted on Facebook, she sent him an article quoting her recent demand for the suspension of the inquiry, arguing it breached her client’s rights.
Camilleri told her to “shove this letter up her arse”, Galea called him stupid, and the Book Council chairman then proceeded to publish the entire exchange online.
“I took Frank Fabri’s request for my resignation very seriously and that is why I circulated it to the press.”
“I took it very seriously because Justyne Caruana’s predecessor, Owen Bonnici, had already decided to fire me with the 31st December of this year set as my last day in the job,” he wrote.
He continued saying they refused to provide an alternative job at the Council.
“I begged for jobs, sent CVs to private companies, I was very depressed. I felt a bit helpless and vulnerable and my enemies relished in this,” he continued.
Camilleri said he felt he could now defend his position after “gaining financial freedom” to make the hostility he experienced public, after liquidating his property in Malta to pay off his loans.
He also thanked the public for the overwhelming support and said the Minister withdrew its call for his resignation on the condition that he refrained from using “foul language” in public again.
“I don’t think that using foul language is wrong,” Camilleri clarified, “so if you don’t have any conditions like I do, I support you in your use of foul language to make strong points against corruption and rent-seeking.”
“The inquiry should be allowed to go on as long as it needs to,” he reiterated.
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