The Malta Independent 21 July 2018, Saturday

'The time for excuses are over' - PN calls on PM to shoulder responsibility over EBA report

Julian Bonnici Thursday, 12 July 2018, 13:49 Last update: about 8 days ago

The damning report published by the European Banking Authority with regards to the FIAU meant that the time for excuses was over, the PN has said, calling on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, and Ministers Konrad Mizzi and Edward Scicluna to shoulder political responsibility. 

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An independent investigation into FIAU must also be launched.    

"Malta cannot wait longer for effective action as more damage is done to our reputation and institutions," a statement read. At a press conference held by MPs Mario de Marco and Kristy Debono, the PN said that the report called for resignations from a government who had promised accountability in both the 2013 and 2017 general elections.

Debono, who is the party's spokesperson for financial services, said that the report showed the general and systematic failings of the way authorities allowed Pilatus Bank to break European laws against money-laundering. 

The reaction from the FIAU was 'pathetic and arrogant', Debono said stressing that the unit should have shoulder responsibility and begun the positive action to repair Malta's reputation and institutions. 

De Marco explained that institutions that are meant to protect the people and the country ended up sheltering a number of grave abuses in the last few years. 

The PN's Finance Spokesperson then said that the report shows that the FIAU has failed miserably when it comes to European laws on money laundering.

He stressed that the Labour Government and the Prime Minister, who he said is close to the owner of Pilatus Bank, must shoulder political responsibility, especially given that previous FIAU reports provided evidence of money laundering from people in government, specifically Schembri, Mizzi, and Brian Tonna. 

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna should also shoulder political responsibility, he said, while the report also showed that the AG and Police Commissioner did nothing.

De Marco also said that an independent investigation must be launched into the FIAU and its deficiencies 

Earlier, this newsroom reported how PBS had all but ignored the EBA's report.

In reply, the Labour Party saud that the European Commission said that Malta has a solid reputation, so much so that foreign companies of good reputation were choosing Malta to expand their operations.

The PL said that Maltese institutions had taken severe steps against Pilatus Bank when it became known that its owner was under arrest in the United States.

 

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