The Malta Independent 3 June 2020, Wednesday

Editorial - To those who think EU will condemn Malta’s corruption: Forget it

Tuesday, 31 January 2017, 11:31 Last update: about 4 years ago

It maybe stems from the campaign which led to Malta’s accession into the EU – that joining the EU would protect us from the excesses in our midst.

One must remember that the PN came up with a clear commitment to join the EU at the first opportunity just a few months after 31 March 1979 when the British Forces marched out.

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The EU was thus portrayed as a counterbalance to the vacuum left by the British (and filled by the Libyans).

All through the long and hard campaign till the 2003 referendum and subsequent election, one of the main points was always that membership of the EU would keep Malta in the straight and the narrow. In particular, the rule of law would prove to be a bulwark against playing around with the courts as the Labour government did in the black years of 1984 and the church schools’ case.

Actually, this was mistaken on many levels. The EU does have its inalienable principles and respect for the rule of law is a sine qua non condition. The EU also protects democracy and rejects states who default on these two conditions.

But as regards the fight against corruption, the EU, whatever its apologists say, is quite weak and toothless.

The words of Ana Gomes, Socialist MEP and Vice-chair of the European Parliament’s PANA committee, as quoted in our sister paper on Sunday as well as those by Green MEP and co-member on the PANA committee in yesterday’s issue of this paper, should not overly impress anyone.

The Greens are a minority group inside EP and as for the Socialists, one must remember how they have recently they voted in favour of Leo Brincat (well many of them did) to join the Court of Auditors but then they came down like a ton of bricks on the Leader of the Opposition for not disciplining Salvu Mallia when he mentioned Hitler.

Then last week Socialist MEP Marita Ulvskog chided David Casa for raising the Panama issue for daring to mention Malta at the EPSCO committee, reminding him to focus on Europe not on Malta.

That’s as regards political groupings. What about countries, EU Member States? In the most recent Corruption Perceptions Index, Malta did tumble 10 places in just one year but then even lower than Malta, there are fellow EU member states Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.

And as regards financial deal correctness, so condemned with regards to Malta by Ms Gomes, one must point out the sweet deals with multinational companies done by Luxembourg in the time of Jean-Claude Juncker himself and similar deals by eg Ireland.

So who is going to condemn Malta?

This does not mean that everything in Malta is hunky-dory and above board. It only means it is rather futile to expect the EU to condemn Malta. It is only the Maltese who can rise up against corruption in their midst and take those decisions to eradicate it.

 

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