Euro­pean Par­lia­ment Panama Pa­pers In­quiry Com­mit­tee in Malta in Fe­bru­ary

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Since the Mal­tese Par­lia­ment and government have not taken con­crete ac­tion on tax avoid­ance and eva­sion, even in light of the Panama Pa­pers 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 20 to 24 Fe­bru­ary.

“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 a 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 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 from 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.”

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