Richard Cachia Caruana, Malta's former permanent representative to the EU, is continuing to serve as part-time adviser to the prime minister, but has refused remuneration.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said in reply to a parliamentary question that the government considered that it was in the national interest to continue to make use of Mr Cachia Caruana's vast experience in EU affairs.

He said that Mr Cachia Caruana had agreed to serve as consultant on EU matters, but he had requested to do this only on part-time basis and without a salary.

No contract has been drawn up and none is planned.

Dr Gonzi, however, tabled a letter by Dr G. Grima, principal permanent secretary, where he directed that Mr Cachia Caruana should be given the necessary support to carry out his work and should be reimbursed for any spending. 

Dr Grima also said that Cachia Caruana had retained the title of ambassador.

Mr Cachia Caruana ha resign his post as permanent representative to the EU after an Opposition motion of no confidence was approved in parliament with the backing of Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando.

MP Franco Debono briefly referred to the prime minister's reply, saying in parliament that the fact that M Cachia Caruana had retained his title of ambassador constituted contempt of the House.

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