More than Moneyval report is damaging Malta’s reputation – PN

The Nationalist Party (PN) said in a statement today that the Moneyval report alone is not the only thing which is damaging Malta’s reputation.

The PN statement was signed off by Kristy Debono, the Opposition’s spokesperson for economic development and the party’s Forum Professjonisti Partit Nazzjonalista (FPPN)

The party also expressed support and solidarity to the call by IGen, the association of iGaming companies, which some days urged for decisive action.

News has been making the rounds in local media about Malta receiving positive feedback on reforms the country introduced in recent months in a bid to avoid grey-listing. This follows the scrutiny brought upon Malta’s anti-money laundering regime over the past years, and its failure to comply that may have major repercussions on the financial services sector.

Malta’s damaged reputation, according to the PN, was not limited to the Council of Europe Moneyval’s report, but was more widespread. The Opposition said that the government has failed to address this inflicted damage. And damage perpetrated by ‘dubious and shady’ conduct of some of the Government’s most powerful people. The PN warned that the price will be borne by several professionals and employees in the gaming and financial sectors.

The statement pointed out that the tax revenues from the iGaming industry exceeded 12% of the country’s GDP, besides the fact that the sector has offered several job opportunities for fresh graduates. The FFPN expressed its dismay at Economy Minister, Silvio Schembri, who according to the forum failed to address these growing concerns.

It added that resignations are no proof of institutions actually working, and that neither attempts at prosecution were proof of this.

“It is only the delivery of justice that proves that the institutions are truly working. What Malta is at present experiencing is late, to say the least, and is miles away from putting paid to the international doubts on Malta’s rule of law situation,” the statement reads.

Furthermore, the FFPN urged Minister Schembri to understand and appreciate that the situation is getting out of hand, and he needs to prepare a contingency plan, warning that for the government’s shortcomings, many hard working employees will pay the price.

“The Labour Party (MLP) government has hidden behind a never ending litany of excuses ranging from political stunt resignations, to media-driven charades to a never ending blame game for too long. The MLP needs to live up to the fact that it is single handedly the biggest threat to Malta’s livelihood in both the short term and the long term future,” the FFPN said.