Si­mon Busut­til takes Com­mis­sion­ers to task on Panama Pa­pers Scan­dal

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The EU Com­mis­sion’s in­abil­ity to prop­erly tackle cor­rup­tion has left a sour taste among Mal­tese cit­i­zens, Leader of the Op­po­si­tion Si­mon Busut­til told the Col­lege of Com­mis­sion­ers dur­ing their meeting in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives yes­ter­day.

Dr Busut­til said that “Brus­sels should find it un­ac­cept­able for an EU min­is­ter to have an ac­count in Panama”, point­ing to­wards Min­is­ter with­out Port­fo­lio Kon­rad Mizzi and the Prime Min­is­ter’s chief of staff Keith Schem­bri’s in­volve­ment in the scan­dal.

It was also un­ac­cept­able, that a Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Com­mis­sion would hold a press con­fer­ence with the min­is­ter in ques­tion.

He went on to say that it is this in­abil­ity to act that has led to euro-scep­ti­cism and in­di­rectly Brexit.

Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Junker said that he “could not dis­agree more” with Dr Busut­til’s state­ments. He said that the com­mis­sion has “been asked for decades to fo­cus on real Euro­pean is­sues, we are not re­spon­si­ble or pos­sess the com­pe­tency for the le­gal and par­lia­men­tary sys­tem of in­di­vid­ual mem­ber states.”

The Vice-Pres­i­dent of En­ergy Maroš Še­fčovič, who was at the press con­fer­ence with Mr Mizzi, said that he “went there be­cause we want to talk about the things which are im­por­tant for the peo­ple. Cleaner, more ef­fi­cient en­ergy which fights against cli­mate change and re­duces the use of heavy fuel oil is some­thing to be proud of”.

Mr Še­fčovič went on to say that the in­ter­con­nec­tor is a fine ex­am­ple of what Euro­pean na­tions can achieve when work­ing to­gether.

In the same meeting, Op­po­si­tion MPs Clau­dio Grech and Paula Mif­sud Bon­nici, who form part of the So­cial Af­fairs Com­mit­tee, said that it was the Mal­tese gov­ern­ment’s in­ten­tion that the EU Pres­i­dency will pro­vide a plat­form to dis­cuss poverty and so­cial ex­clu­sion, in light of the 2020 tar­gets.

Mr Grech went on to say that it is im­por­tant to pro­mote the ex­change be­tween na­tional par­lia­ments and look to im­ple­ment the best prac­tices of other mem­ber states to act as a cat­a­lyst for other ar­eas.

Pres­i­dent Junker praised Malta’s com­mit­ment to cham­pion so­cial af­fairs dur­ing the Pres­i­dency.

Gov­ern­ment whip Gov­ern­ment Far­ru­gia, who was rep­re­sent­ing the com­mit­tee for eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial af­fairs said that the EU should look to fo­cus on eco­nomic co­or­di­na­tion, sta­bil­ity, sus­tain­able growth and em­ploy­ment.

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