After today’s debate and remarks by the Maltese Minister of Justice, the need for reforms to protect the rule of law in Malta is evident more than ever. The EPP Group will continue to insist that politicians who are found to be involved in cases of corruption and money laundering take responsibility for their actions, and that the course of justice should leave no stone unturned.

Reacting to the debate on the rule of law with the Maltese Minister of Justice, Owen Bonnici, former Chair of the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA), Werner Langen, said: “This performance was a disgrace and a purely diversionary tactic. In his answers, Owen Bonnici revealed his refusal to listen and his superficiality. He lacks the will to uncover the deplorable state of Malta’s legal system. In the presence of two sons of murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, he even denied the results that were published following a visit by a delegation of the European Parliament. This report reveals the ugly truth about problems in the area of corruption, compliance with EU law and the “golden visa” that the smallest EU Member State has to deal with. The European Commission must now be active and present a comprehensive report on the legal situation in Malta as soon as possible. We owe that to Daphne's sons. We must tirelessly continue the fight against corruption in Malta, in the spirit of their mother, in order to bring the fight to a successful conclusion.”

EPP Group Coordinator on the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Roberta Metsola, said: “Today’s debate reconfirmed how urgent reforms are needed to protect the rule of law in Malta, which has so deteriorated under this administration. We all saw the Justice Minister attempt to defend the indefensible and wave survey results at MEPs as if having an electoral majority gives you the right to run roughshod over the rule of law, but it does give an insight into how this administration operates.

I will not be silent, the EPP Group will not be silent and neither should the European Commission - 100 days from the assassination of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta, the situation remains desperate”.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States

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