Sven Giegold

Journalist murders in Malta and Slovakia: Social democratic governments must finally get to the root of the problem

Today the plenary of the European Parliament endorsed a resolution on the rule of law in Malta and Slovakia by a large majority. The resolution follows two murders of journalists in the two countries and is the result of a working group on the rule of law in Malta and Slovakia.

Sven Giegold, economic and financial spokesperson for the Greens/EFA Group and member of the working group on the rule of law in Malta and Slovakia in the European Parliament, commented:

„The European Union must not tolerate journalist murders and attacks. We call for an independent international investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

We welcome that the Maltese government intends to implement many recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, but the Maltese Labour party is not getting to the worst of the problems. The corrupt members of Joseph Muscat’s Labour government are still in office. The Maltese government continues to not seriously tackle rampant corruption, money laundering and tax avoidance. Malta as a safe haven for the money of financial criminals is a threat to European security.

In Slovakia there has been progress in clearing up the murders of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová, but threats and intimidation of journalists happen every day and freedom of the press is in acute danger. The clear-up rate of fraud cases is the lowest in the European Union, and corruption, impunity, conflicts of interest and revolving door effects are of grave concern. The problems are organised crime, corruption and nepotism, but the ruling Socialists do not want to get their fingers burnt over influential power circles.

EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans must finally do his job and present an EU mechanism for ensuring democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. European Socialists remain untrustworthy advocates of the rule of law as long as they hold their protective hand over Social Democratic governments that trample the rule of law underfoot.“

The full Resolution on the rule of law in Malta and Slovakia will soon be available on my website.

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