Several Maltese invitees have not yet committed to meet the European Parliament Panama Papers committee (PANA) in Malta on Monday 20th of February. As part of a fact-finding mission to the country, Members of the European Parliament requested a meeting with Members of the Maltese Parliament who so far have not responded. Additionally, PANA asked to meet with members and former members of the Maltese government but only Finance Minister Edward Scicluna as well as Former Minister of Internal Affairs and Nationalist Party deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami confirmed their participation. Ninu Zammit, former Minister of Energy has not responded to the invitation yet. Answers from Minister Konrad Mizzi and Prime Minister chief of Staff Keith Schembri involved in the Panama Papers are still pending.The same is true for Nexia BT, the audit, tax and advisory firm which provided Mizzi and Schembri with services in setting up offshore structures.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“The failure to participate in serious inquiries suggests that there is something to hide. All Member States have the duty to cooperate sincerely with inquiries of the European Parliament. It should be considered an honour not a pain to be invited by the European Parliament. I expect all persons invited to accept our invitation. If countries don’t play ball with the inquiry, we need to consider other methods of encouraging cooperation.”
Arnold Cassola, chairperson of the Malta Green party “Alternattiva Demokratika” added:
“It is shameful that all the Maltese politicians invited, apart from Minister Scicluna and Beppe Fenech Adami, are all avoiding the meeting, thus reinforcing the impression that they have something to hide. And then they have the nerve to speak about transparency and openness. As for Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, the more they run away, the more they convince all Maltese that they were involved in dirty business.”