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‘I’ll Be Back’: Mark Camilleri Unceremoniously Dropped From National Book Council

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The outspoken former Chairman of the National Book Council has opened up about being dropped from his role after his contract ended.

“Today was my last day as Executive Chairman of the National Book Council. My contract expired and Minister Justyne Caruana simply asked me to hand over the keys to the Book Council’s employees,” Camilleri said.

“Makes me sad I didn’t get a proper send-off, but I don’t expect much in life. I regret nothing. And I will be back.”

Camilleri delved into some of the highlights of his tenure in his role within the Education Ministry.

“I spent more than seven years building this entity which didn’t even have any employees when I had entered office,” he continued. “I built an entity with virtually zero budget to an entity with a budget of more than one million euros per year.”

“I was a work-martyr for our book industry which literally needed saving and we ended up increasing sales and revenues for the industry substantially.”

Camilleri, a self-declared Marxist who has often spoken out against government corruption, clientelism and other failures, said he only lasted so long due to the support of Malta’s writers.

“The only reason why I survived in my post during the Labour’s new administration was only thanks to the authors and publishers who have supported me since then.”

“I thank you deeply from my heart. I also thank my fellow team members who have been great and extremely supportive.”

Camilleri’s contract was due expire this month, with the former chairman under the impression that he would be called in to discuss the future of the role, and whether any elections would be held going forward.

What do you make of Camilleri no longer forming part of government?

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Johnathan is interested in the weird, wonderful, and sometimes dark realities late capitalist society forces upon us all. He also likes food and music. Follow him at @supreofficialmt on Instagram, and send him news, food and music stories at [email protected]

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