The Malta Independent 22 September 2021, Wednesday

Credibility

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 5 August 2021, 08:00 Last update: about 3 months ago

Matters have rightly been taken in hand to strengthen the professional and regulatory potential of the Malta Financial Services Authority. Times have changed hugely since when the first agency was set up to carry out the functions assigned to the MFSA. In those days it was not considered at all strange for the agency to promote financial services, authorize operators and oversee (or regulate) the sector.

ADVERTISEMENT

We took time to comprehend that the same authority could not remain equally responsible for all these functions. We took time too to understand what exactly was required by the regulatory function and how it needed to be carried out with transparency and effectively.

Meanwhile, across the world – or at least all over countries with which we desired to achieve the best economic and diplomatic relations – an awareness was growing about how, with the global liberalisation of the financial system, an urgent need had developed to install controls against money laundering. This was taking place on a colossal scale in order to evade taxes, enable the easy appropriation of criminal proceeds and finance terrorism.

It is now in this framework that the MFSA must strive to consolidate the skills needed to manage the services under its remit in ways that will establish for it an international credibility.

***

“BUSINESS FRIENDLY”

It would have been quite comic were it not indeed somewhat perverse, indeed confusing. The Labour Party or some of its exponents are being accused of having been (still are?) too “business friendly”. A description which then gets recast as “money friendly”.

In this view of things, how Labour gets slugged is a choice between the raw and the burnt.

I remember times... not so long ago... when the LP leadership was proclaimed the contrary and assailed as being antagonistic to the interests of business by people close to those now making the claims just mentioned.

In reality, the allegations made in the past and doubtless those being alleged today were and are off the mark. To be clear about what happened yesterday, I need only rely on my own personal experiences.

***

REGARDING TWO MOTHERS

Rarely if ever have I praised some statement made by MEP Roberta Metsola. However I cannot but agree with and applaud what she wrote about the case of the two Turkish mothers who were sent to prison for six months for having travelled to Malta with false passports. They left behind them outside the prison doors two small boys who can only understand and communicate in Turkish while having no relative in the country.

I agree totally with Metsola’s astonishment and revulsion at how this outcome was allowed to happen, when in much more blameworthy cases either procedures were allowed to lose all steam or less “cruel” solutions were discovered.

It is true that at present, the use of a false passport is considered to be a major crime, but extenuating circumstances could be pleaded in favour of the accused for what they did. It seems like the two Turkish women could call on the protection of no patron saint.

Actually it was the two young children who ended up as victims and were punished for this.

 

 

  • don't miss