The Minister for Finance is the most important Minister after the Prime Minister. Indeed, the person in the role is the first person to blame when things go bad and is generally used as the scape goat in bad times. In good times, he is glorified together with the Prime Minister.
There are Prime Ministers and Prime Ministers, those of a more democratic nature and the dictators. It is interesting that three of the last four Labour Prime Ministers were apparent dictators in terms of their Minister for Finance. Two of these that is Joseph Muscat and Domenic Mintoff that used the Minister for Finance as a puppet on a string. Alfred Sant tried to do the same but Lino Spiteri quite rightly did not oblige.
Wistin Abela does not seem to have been a guru of finance. Some think that the only reason for being appointed as such was the fact that he would be a yes man for Mintoff. Indeed the Minister for Finance de facto was Mintoff himself. Fast Forward a few decades and we find ourselves in 2013 with Joseph Muscat humiliating Prof Scicluna. Prof Scicluna is a very intelligent person and the ideal man for the job. However, on more than one occasion he was embarrassed by Muscat with the direct appointment of Bannister and his cronies, the unclear position of FinanceMalta and to which Minister they report as well as the no say for Scicluna on any other area that may be of politically strategic. He was obliged to keep or employ persons known for the John Dalli connection and certainly to keep on the Labour Spies within the Ministry that used to leak information to the Labour Party pre-2013. Regrettably, these certain unprofessional and unethical persons in the Ministry became the most powerful in the eyes of the Prime Minister.
It is not known why Prof Scicluna has accepted to be humiliated in this manner. He deserves much better, yet today he is the puppet on a string of the Prime Minister.