Since the Maltese Parliament and government have not taken concrete action on tax avoidance and evasion, even in light of the Panama affair, Alternattiva Demokratika said it hopes that EP inquiry will shed light where others have failed.
Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson, Prof. Arnold Cassola, said: “The European Parliament administration yesterday approved the request from the ‘Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion’ to send a delegation to Malta, from the 20 to the 24 of February 2017.
“It is good that, since no action has been taken by the Maltese parliament or government to investigate the Panama connections of Maltese politicians and politically exposed persons, the European Parliament will be conducting the investigation. The Maltese people deserve full transparency with regards to the ethical behaviour – or the lack of it – of their representatives”.
In another reaction, PN MEPs said “Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri will have the perfect opportunity to justify their actions with MEPs of the Panama Inquiry Committee”.
In February 2017, Members of the European Parliament will be travelling to Malta as part of their work in the Panama Inquiry Committee. They are tasked with investigating the shady dealings revealed by the Panama Papers and make recommendations to improve anti-money laundering legislation.
“The truth must come out. Corruption and money laundering must be fought. It is right and proper that the European Parliament has taken this direction. The European public, including the Maltese people, deserve no less. This inquiry Committee insisted all along for this Malta visit, which is the first visit of this Committee outside Brussels,” said the Head of Delegation David Casa MEP.
MEP Roberta Metsola said, “the European Parliament investigation moving to Malta, will give Konrad Mizzi a chance to explain the details of his secret financial set up and why he choose to circumvent EU safeguards by setting them up in third countries on the other side of the world. The visit will also give a platform for our financial services industry to back our arguments as to why Konrad Mizzi’s case should not be used as a guise to impinge on Malta’s financial services systems.”
MEP Therese Comodini Cachia said; “David, Roberta and I worked from the very beginning in this inquiry committee in order to make sure that instances like these do not happen again in Malta and in Europe. MEPs hailing form the whole political spectrum understood the urgency of the Malta case and this is clear from this decision taken by the Conference of Presidents of all political groups.”
Partit Demokratiku (PD) also welcomed the news that a delegation from the EU will be coming to Malta to investigate Panama Papers.
The government has fallen short on taking action against a high ranking public official and a minister within his cabinet whose names appeared in the Panama Papers, it said in a statement. The government has also failed in taking concrete action when it comes to tax avoidance and tax evasion. This has resulted in shifting the whole scandal onto the government due to their inaction. Furthermore the people deserve to know the outcome of the supposedly investigation announced earlier on this year.