The Malta Independent 15 April 2024, Monday
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TMID Editorial: Desensitised to political scandals

Tuesday, 5 March 2024, 11:05 Last update: about 2 months ago

The country has become far too desensitised to political scandals. Over the past few years, there have been far too many to count, yet political responsibility is lacking.

Under former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s reign, there was one scandal followed by another with little political responsibility to be seen. From the Café Premier issue right at the start of Muscat’s tenure, to the Panama Papers, the hospitals deal… the list goes on.

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People took to the streets following the arrest of Yorgen Fenech in connection with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, bringing about Muscat’s resignation.

Now our current Prime Minister, Robert Abela, seems determined to give second chances to politicians who do not deserve them. He is all for welcoming back Rosianne Cutajar, even after leaked chats clearly showed the close ties she had with Fenech, and even after the National Audit Office (NAO) had issued a damning report about Rosianne Cutajar's former employment as a consultant by the Institute of Tourism Studies, stating that there were "concerns of negligence in the disbursement of public funds by all involved in this contrived engagement."

Abela welcomed back Joseph Cuschieri into another high-end post. Cuschieri served as the CEO of the Malta Financial Services Authority until 2020, when he resigned after it was revealed that he had flown to Las Vegas with Fenech in 2018, with the now alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder mastermind having paid for the trip. He was found to have breached the MFSA’s ethics over that trip two days prior to his resignation in 2020, although Cuschieri had expressed reservations as to whether he was in breach of the ethics framework referred to in the authority’s investigation.

And Abela is even ok with the idea of Joseph Muscat running for the MEP elections under the Labour Party ticket, when he had resigned following mass protests and under whose watch a journalist was murdered, the country was thrown into the FATF Grey List, and the government entered into a deal declared to be fraudulent by the courts regarding the running of three of the country’s hospitals.

Let’s not forget Abela’s statements regarding the driving licence scandal, defending customer care officials and Minister Ian Borg.

The country has become desensitised to all that is wrong in politics as there are just too many scandals to keep up with. The norm is to expect nothing to be done. The norm is to expect that there will be no real political responsibility upheld. The Jean Paul Sofia inquiry led to resignations of some officials, but not of politicians.

But when the people do stand up for what they believe in, such as was seen in the calls for a public inquiry into Jean Paul’s Sofia’s death, the pressure mounted resulted in it taking place, and this has now resulted in a push for changes in the sector.

Politicians in this country need to act more responsibly and, moreover, must have the integrity to carry responsibility for mistakes they make and for grievous errors which occur in areas that fall under their remit.

 

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