Watch: Bartolo rushes off when quizzed on fellow minister
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Watch: Bartolo rushes off when quizzed on fellow minister

He avoided reporters and did not utter a single word

Video: Chris Sant Fournier

Updated at 8.15am with video

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo opted not to answer questions on the positions of Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri following the Panama Papers leaks and their link to 17 Black.

Mr Bartolo refused to entertain questions and instead avoided reporters after an activity in Mqabba and rushed off to his awaiting ministerial car.

Mr Bartolo did not utter a single word when asked whether he still maintained his position on Dr Mizzi’s and Mr Schembri’s resignations or if he had changed his opinion about the matter.

Other Cabinet members and Labour MPs share the same opinion as Bartolo

In 2016, when the Panama Papers leaks first revealed that both Dr Mizzi and Mr Schembri had opened a secret company in Panama and failed to declare them with the tax authorities, Mr Bartolo was the only member of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s Cabinet to publicly declare that the two officials should leave their posts.

He reiterated his position a few months later in an interview with The Sunday Times of Malta, repeating his call and saying that he stood by his belief.

Although Mr Bartolo was the only Cabinet member to publicly call for resignations in connection with the Panama Papers revelations, Times of Malta is informed that other Cabinet members and government MPs share the same opinion as Mr Bartolo.

It has been reported that Mr Bartolo is one of the main contenders on the Prime Minister’s shortlist to replace Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca as the next President.

 

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