The European Parliament is now discussing with the Commission and the Council’s Presidency the worsening situation of media freedom in Malta, which escalated last week with the murder of Maltese investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Esteban González Pons, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group, said: “The loss of Daphne Caruana is much more tragic than just the murder of an unpleasant journalist with money and power. It is a direct threat to all those who dedicate their lives to free and independent journalism. It is an attack against freedom of expression.

The European Union failed Daphne. Being a European citizen on European soil was meaningless for her. No one protected her enough, especially the Maltese government. But we cannot remain silent anymore. Our silence would mean the victory of Daphne’s murderers and the defeat of democratic institutions. That is why the EPP Group has been asking the European Commission to guarantee an independent judicial investigation. We want to know who is responsible and who protects the murderers.

The EU must also urgently act on the state of the rule of law in Malta because, as Daphne reminded us with her last words, the situation is desperate. Without good journalism and good journalists, no democracy is complete. That’s why our democracy will always miss Daphne.”

Daphne Caruana Galizia was known for revealing corruption scandals, including the Panama Papers, which involved money laundering allegations against Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his family and his staff. Following several threats on her life which remained without response from the Maltese police, on 16 October Caruana Galizia became the victim of a car bomb. Thousands of Maltese citizens have been protesting in the streets of Malta against the limitation of freedom of speech since the murder.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 216 Members from 27 Member States

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