The Malta Independent 18 September 2019, Wednesday

Government's ultimate disservice to financial services – PN

Tuesday, 24 April 2018, 19:23 Last update: about 2 years ago

Minister Edward Scicluna is putting the interests of the Government before the interests of the financial services sector and before the national interest, at a time when Malta's reputation as an international financial jurisdiction with good reputation is being eroded, the Nationalist Party said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

“This erosion of the financial services sector is caused Joseph Muscat's decision to retain Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri despite revelations that they set up financial structures in Panama and New Zealand soon after Labour coming to power in 2013. These structures were set up to receive funds from 17 Black, which in turn received €1.3 million from the company that operates the LNG tanker that services the new power station and from an Azeri company.

“The possibility of money laundering in these payments was also highlighted in an FIAU report. Instead of following up on the conclusions reached in the report, the FIAU, which then formed part of Minister's Edward Scicluna ministerial portfolio, fired Jonathan Ferris the FIAU officer that drew up the report. Minister Scicluna has avoided giving clear answers on his involvement in this dismissal, except for the statement that in his view, certain FIAU reports were written to be leaked.”

The press release, signed by Mario de Marco as finance spokesperson and Kristy Debono as financial services spokesperson, highlighted how the bank was given a licence under Scicluna’s watch, and also noted how the bank’s owner is subject to investigations both locally and abroad.

The PN chastised Scicluna for failing to take the opportunity “to denounce outright and to call for the immediate sacking of Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri”.

“Minister Edward Scicluna chose to hide behind the ongoing investigations which will not and cannot determine political responsibility. By refusing to call for their resignations despite the most recent revelations, Scicluna has aligned himself with them in defiance of the national interest”.



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