At the end of the two-day ad-hoc mission of a delegation of the European Parliament to Malta, Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“We have seen progress in Malta in the investigation of the Galizia murder, but no improvement when it comes to corruption and financial crime. There is still a culture of impunity for corruption and money laundering. There are hardly any police investigations or even convictions – even if there are convincing indications in the public domain. A gateway to corruption is the sale of EU passports. The worrying state of the rule of law in Malta requires action by the EU Commission. Corruption and financial crime are a first test case for Ursula von der Leyen and her Commission’s stance on the rule of law. She has put this issue at the centre of her agenda and now she has to deliver. The announcements at her first press conference in the new office were vague and therefore disappointing.
The European Commission should open an investigation into the rule of law. Preparations must now be made for Article 7 proceedings against Malta. The EU Commission must also no longer tolerate the breach of agreements reached between Malta and the EU on the sale of passports by Malta. EU passports may only be issued to people who live in a country or have a genuine link with that country. The German government must use the EU summit next week to call on the EU Commission to act consistently.
There have to be direct consequences for Malta: Maltese citizens rightly demand the immediate resignation of Muscat. He should resign sooner rather than later. I do not agree with him staying in office for weeks. Given the many indications of corruption in his surroundings, he should not have the opportunity to leave his office in order.
The rule of law remains under pressure in Malta in other areas too. The Maltese islands are being concreted over and over. Conflicts of interest and corruption play an important role – to the detriment of nature and the environment.
Journalists face increased hostility. Malta needs media laws that weaken the influence of political parties and protect journalists from libel claim that threaten their very existence”.
Note for journalists:
I cordially invite all journalists to my telephone press conference on Thursday, 5 December at 9:30 a.m., at which I will report on the Malta mission.
When: Thursday, 5 December, 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Where: in my phone conference room
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