The Malta Independent 24 June 2018, Sunday

Juncker says Malta must ensure anti-money laundering rules are implemented ‘on the ground’

Sunday, 14 January 2018, 09:30 Last update: about 6 months ago

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker this week launched a broadside against Malta in response to a European Parliamentary Question about the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In response to a parliamentary question tabled by British MEP Margot Parker, of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group, regarding what action the Commission would consider in the wake of the murder, Juncker – completely unprompted by the question itself – said: “More generally, Malta needs to ensure that the rules agreed at European level are implemented on the ground.

“This includes the fight against money-laundering which, is a key priority for the Commission and which we are addressing jointly with the Maltese authorities.”

The remark is somewhat strange and univited, considering the fact that the MEP had simply asked: “Following the assassination of the investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia recently in Malta, does the Commission think that the minute’s silence and naming of the Press Hall in her memory is sufficient action for what is clearly no longer a local issue for Malta?

“What further action would the Commission consider?”

The issue of money-laundering and Malta appears to more on the EC’s radar than what is generally let on.

About the murder itself, Juncker added: “The Commission is horrified by the brutal assassination of Ms Daphne Caruana Galizia, which it has condemned strongly.

“The right of a journalist and a blogger to investigate and to report effectively is at the heart of the [EU’s] values and needs to be guaranteed at all times.

“There can be no free and democratic societies without free media.

“Ensuring an independent and thorough investigation of the facts and bringing those responsible for this atrocious crime to justice must be the top priority for the Maltese government.”

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