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After demanding OLAF resignation, EPP throws its weight behind Busuttil

Originally using Commissioner’s statement that there was no case against John Dalli to demand Giovanni Kessler’s resignation, EPP now expresses concern at Peter Paul Zammit’s appointment.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
2 October 2013, 12:00am
Joseph Daul had originally stated that Peter Paul Zammit's declaration that there was no case against John Dalli, meant that OLAF chief Giovanni Kessler should resign.
Joseph Daul had originally stated that Peter Paul Zammit's declaration that there was no case against John Dalli, meant that OLAF chief Giovanni Kessler should resign.


The European People's Party has thrown its weight behind Simon Busuttil's parliamentary walk-out over a Speaker's ruling, just months after it had demanded the resignation of the EU's anti-fraud chief over the Dalligate affair.

The EPP's vice-chairman Manfred Weber today called into question a ruling by the Speaker of the House that found Busuttil in breach of privilege after claiming that Commissioner of Police Peter Paul Zammit had been influenced by the government in declaring that John Dalli, the former European Commissioner, should not be charged with bribery.

But at the time of Zammit's statement, the EPP's chairman Joseph Daul had called for the resignation of OLAF chief Giovanni Kessler, after Zammit stated that there was no case against Dalli. Now it is supporting Busuttil's claim that the commissioner's decision has been influenced by Joseph Muscat's government after taking issue with a ruling by Speaker Anglu Farrugia.

Zammit's predecessor John Rizzo last week stated in a court of law that he had wanted to press charges against Dalli, after having charged Silvio Zammit in December 2012 of soliciting a multi-million bribe on his behalf. Latching onto his testimony, Busuttil declared that Peter Paul Zammit's own opinion that Dalli should not be charged had been influenced by the new government, and demanded his resignation.

Busuttil repeated his allegation in the House on Monday, leading to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat demanding that he retract or substantiate the allegation. Busuttil did neither, leading to a Speaker's ruling that found him in breach of privilege. The ruling, delivered Tuesday evening, led to the walk-out of the Opposition from the House.

In a statement, the EPP's vice-chairman Manfred Weber expressed concern at decisions taken by "the socialist government in Malta that are chipping away at the fundamental democratic structures of the country."

The EPP specifically pointed out the replacement of former commissioner of police John Rizzo, and the promotion of four majors up two ranks within just a fortnight, as examples.

"Freedom of expression is essential in a democracy and the national parliament, as the highest institution of the land, should allow for such freedom to be exercised," Weber said referring to Busuttil's walk-out over the Speaker's ruling. "To do otherwise is to undermine the foundations of a system of checks and balances in an EU Member State and the erosion of the rule of law."

Busuttil's walk-out came in protest at Anglu Farrugia's ruling that he was in breach of privilege for claiming that Peter Paul Zammit had been politically influenced in declaring that there was no case against John Dalli. Zammit's statement had originally been welcomed by the EPP.
matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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Rebecca Muscat
Avukat, maybe he didn't take them to Għadira, but he took them back a 100 years.
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Rebecca Muscat
Avukat, maybe he didn't tahe them to Għadira, but he took them back a 100 years.
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Rebecca Muscat
Avukat, it's a pity that Simon didn't took them to Bidnija and organize a Strip Show. I'm sure that he could have found a contender to please him.
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Running home to mummy. At least this time he didn't take them to Ghadira.
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Daniel Cassar Darien
Shame on EPP for not trying to investigate the facts but just blatantly supporting Simon Buzullotti. Do they know what he tried to do in Parliament. Can anyone throw mud at a politician in Parliament without substantiating his accusations the way the PN leader has done? These people never learn. Since day 1 they have tried to mine the new Labour Government. They won't succeed as the Maltese people are now aware of their tactics. Jason Azzopardi on TVM also repeated his master's voice and accusation on Thursday. Let's teach them a lesson for good. His comments were most libellous, then sue him.Let them say and get all the support they want from their fellow EPP if they want to say they are being gagged. Even by the accusations about the promotions in the army and their blatant lie that the Army chief Xuereb has been forced out, it is a case of trying a coup d'etat. Shame, shame on these nuts.
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Christina Barbara
Besides being a personal friend of Simon Busutill, manfred weber has a dream......and the dream is to destroy and erase the social democrats in europe and have the christian democrats ruling the whole of europe. Mr.Weber must realize that Europe is not Bavaria. I would take his comment with a pinch of salt.
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Mr.Daul just one sentence for you, butt out of our affairs.in simple language, do us all a favor and get lost.
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Manfred Weber should better inform himself about the PN's unorthodox tactics, inside and outside of Parliament. It is a blatant lie to mention decisions taken by "the socialist government in Malta that are chipping away at the fundamental democratic structures of the country." Weber should better be concerned on unemployment, the ruin and hardship that the EPP and ally conservative and right wing governments across the EU have brought on European families. Weber should better focus on how his EPP will dismantle the anti-social policies that have brought about unprecedented high unemployment among youths and the miserable standard of living conditions of pensioners!!!
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John Demajo
What is the promotion of four majors in the army got to do with freedom speech. Malta does not expect and accept lessons from Mr.Weber on democracy and free speech. Where was this guy during the sixties. Anyway the times of the Malta file and is the report is Malta burning are long gone.
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Beatrice Gatt
Fed up of Labour!! playing with democracy.Simon is truly proving to be a great leader and is growing well in this field.
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Manuel Cini
@[email protected] Now you are claiming that parliament is the highest institution on the island? Are you suffering from acute dementia??? Where were you a year ago, when GonziPN avoided taking any votes in parliament because your government didn't have a majority in the house? That was shameful not to call an early election, and the people didn't forget. Came March and you reaped what you sowed!!!! Shame on you! You party is restoring to political tactics used 30 years ago, but this time aroung your party is not going to fool anyone anymore!
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The ball started rolling. In less than twenty four hours the EPP of which the PN forms part issued a statement accusing the PL Government "at chipping away at the fundamental democratic structures of the country". At this point crops up the question whether the Government informed the European Social Democrats and Progressives of which the PL forms part, how the PN are abusing freedom of speech and the real reason why Dr Busuttil walked out of the House. If they have been informed, which they should have been, why did they not issue a statement in support of their peers, the Government of Malta led by a Social Democrat and Progressive administration?
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john spiteri
@[email protected] Defending 'freedom of speech'? Hlief Simon tiela u niezel ma narawx fuq TVM u il-gazzetti bl-ingliz? Fejn kien il-freedom of speech meta kull ma kienx Nazzjonalist ma kienx ikollu job fuq l-iscreen ta TVM...25 shah! Fit-TVM il-gurnalisti kollha li hemm huma minn-Net News u Nazzjonalisti ippatentjati. Vera Freedom of speech ghax tghidx kemm qed niehdu pacenzja bihom; Norman Vella kien jonqos maghhom halli il-freedom of Speech ikun aktar partigjana. Illum smajna li il-Gvernatur tal-Bank Centrali hu 'newtrali: in-Nazzjonalisti biss jisthgu ikun 'newtrali. il-laburisti le!Halluna nghixu u oqghodu ghal mandat tal-poplu ghax ghazel lil PL biex imexxi. Intom tikkritikaw b'mod kostruttiv suppost mhux kollox negattiv!
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Isabella Camilleri
The walkout was by the party in opposition, so one should not refer to it as 'Busuttil's' walkout, as it would give the impression that SB walked out of the House on his own which, you very well know was not the case. Secondly the EPP is not throwing its weight behind 'Simon Busuttil's walkout'.EPP is supporting Malta's opposition party, which forms part of the EPP group, in its efforts to uphold freedom of speech in the whole of Malta and, particularly, in the highest institution of the land. A respected reporter should stick to facts.
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john spiteri
Mar jigzana lill-mama? Vera pwerili. L-ipeakers appuntati mill-PN kollha newtrali u oggettivi: dawk tal-PL ? Le! Flok jaghti is-suggerimenti biex Malta issir ahjar milli hi, qed jipprova ikisser u ikun negattiv! Jidher car li l-bloggers tal-PN rega hadu over biex jghattu xturhom! Xi dwejjaq ta Simon!