The Malta Independent 22 February 2020, Saturday

‘We blocked EP resolution from asking Commission to trigger Article 7 against Malta’- Dalli

Saturday, 13 April 2019, 13:20 Last update: about 11 months ago

It was the Socialists & Democrats Group that blocked a European Parliament resolution from pushing the European Commission to trigger Article 7 against Malta, Labour MEP Miriam Dalli said today.

"Had it not been for pressure made through the S&D Group, and personally sitting down with MEPs, the outcome would have been very different," Dalli said whilst addressing an activity in Luqa.

The Labour MEP was referring to the resolution adopted in the European Parliament on the situation of the rule of law in Malta and Slovakia.

"The first draft that was circulated following the monitoring group's visit to Malta, pushed the European Commission to trigger Article 7 - a process that would eventually result in the suspension of voting rights and access to EU funds. A suspension of voting rights would mean that Malta would not be allowed to have a say on decisions taken by Member States, particularly in issues where unanimity is required. The final resolution adopted by the plenary in Strasbourg however encouraged the Commission to enter into dialogue with the Maltese government."

"For years we saw PN MEPs trying to attack the government, but in reality they were harming the country. As MEPs, our job is to help improve our country and communities and not inflict attacks with serious repercussions, simply to score partisan points," Dalli said.

"With their positions, the Nationalist Party and its MEPs cannot be credible because they are not consistent."

After years of repeating the same accusations against Malta in concert with a number of MEPs, the PN tried to distance itself from statements against Malta by German MEP Sven Giegold, with whom they worked and addressed press conferences on Malta, she said.

"The same German MEP accused the PN MEPs of political cowardice when the latter condemned Giegold's calls to trigger Article 7 against Malta after they themselves had been complaining "about corruption and impunity for years".

"If anything were to happen to Malta, it would be our families and our workers who would suffer. If our economy were to suffer a hit, it is the jobs that will suffer. That is why I always stood up against the PN's attacks," Dalli said.

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