EU Parliament to send delegation to Malta
Parliament has agreed to send a delegation to Malta to look into alleged cases of money laundering and corruption.
Silent vigil in memory of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia | Photo credit: Press Association
There will also be a plenary debate and resolution on the rule of law and money laundering in the Malta on 14 November.
The twin initiative was announced after a meeting on Thursday in Strasbourg of the Conference of Presidents.
It comes in the wake of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a leading Maltese journalist who had investigated alleged financial wrongdoing by her country’s government.
News that parliament will send a delegation of so far unnamed MEPs to Malta in the next few weeks was greeted by MEPs.
Maltese EPP group member Roberta Metsola said, “We will not rest until there is justice, accountability and change in Malta. It cannot be business as usual.”
ALDE group Chair Guy Verhofstadt said, “This week I met the sons of murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Their account of the situation in Malta was shocking. Corruption seems to be widespread and has a become a profitable business model.
“The European Parliament will send a delegation to Malta to investigate the extent which the rule of law is applied, what steps are taken against corruption and how money laundering is tackled.”
Sven Giegold, the Greens/EFA group spokesperson on financial and economic policy spokesperson, said, “Europe must act and will act to help restore the rule of law in Malta. By sending a delegation, the Parliament shows how serious it is about the situation of the rule of law in Malta. It is high time for the Maltese government to take action against high level cases of money laundering and corruption.”
The MEP added, “The culture of impunity and fiddling between political and economic elites has to stop. Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed, because she shed light on the dirty business of the powerful and unscrupulous people.
“It is now up to us to finish Galizia’s fight for justice. A resolution on the rule of law and money laundering in Malta and a delegation of parliamentarians are the first steps to defend our fundamental principles of democracy, rule of law and justice.”
Giegold commented, “The way Daphne was killed, tells us a lot about the unjust and criminal system which she was fighting: Daphne was killed in the open. There was no hiding, her murderers did not even try to let the attack appear like an accident. On the contrary: This was a brutal demonstration of power by those who consider to stand above the law. It is very clear, why the murders did not place a bomb under the car of the police chief or the attorney general: It was Daphne who shed light on a system of money laundering and corruption in Malta and not these authorities.”
Speaking separately in a debate on the protecting journalists, he told MEPs in Strasbourg, “Let me just name a small selection of illegal or at least illegitimate activities that Daphne has made public: letter box companies by members of the government; the sale of passports to so called investors; tax avoidance for multinational companies and online gambling based on weak supervision and hyper low taxation.”
He said, “All these cases have one thing in common: Malta has sold its sovereignty to dirty money. Malta has replaced the rule of law by a culture of impunity and fiddling between political and financial elite.
“This is Europe, not Russia. Europe must act, when fundamental rights are at stake. It is now up to us to finish Daphne’s fight.”
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