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'Children born in Malta should automatically qualify for citizenship' - Comodini Cachia

Ask the MEP • Nationalist MEP Therese Comodini Cachia All children born in Malta, no matter who their parents are, should automatically qualify for Maltese citizenship

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
26 January 2017, 10:06am
PN Therese Comodini Cachia
PN Therese Comodini Cachia
How did Panama Papers impact upon Malta’s defence of its taxation system? Can Malta withstand the European Commission’s plans for a common corporate tax base?

It’s so sad that the Maltese Presidency has been overshadowed by Panama. Panama is an issue for many MEPs, who are questioning how the Maltese government can be trusted to retain the financial services industry with the highest standards if it is incapable of even sacking Konrad Mizzi.

MEPs are linking Konrad Mizzi and the Panama Papers with Malta’s financial services, a sector that employs thousands of people. Jeopardizing its future just to keep Mizzi as a minister doesn’t make sense.

Malta’s financial services sector isn’t a race to the bottom but has improved its standards over the years. Obviously, Malta cannot have the same taxation system as Germany, as the economic realities are completely different in both countries. Sacking Konrad Mizzi will improve Malta’s negotiating position when combatting the EC’s plans for tax harmonization because it will be able to state with a straight face that it is against tax evasion. 

Malta’s name has been tarnished; Panama Papers isn’t just an issue for the PN but for many foreign MEPs who repeatedly raise the issue both in public and in private – in vociferous private discussions and as jokes over a coffee. This is worse, because it means that the link between Malta and the Panama Papers has become deeply rooted here.

'The link between Malta and the Panama Papers has become deeply rooted'
'The link between Malta and the Panama Papers has become deeply rooted'
How realistic is Joseph Muscat’s plan for the EU and the Libyan navy to conduct joint patrols in the Mediterranean to repatriate asylum seekers intercepted outside Libyan territorial waters?

The migration situation is urgent, and if Muscat manages to reach a solution during Malta’s Presidency, it will be greatly welcome. There is no doubt that Libya must play a role, because of its vast shoreline and large stretches of land that many migrants pass through. There are obviously doubts on how much the EU can reach a deal with Libya right now, and a degree of stability in the country must first be reached, yet it is positive that such a deal is at least being spoken about.

'There is no doubt that Libya must play a role'
'There is no doubt that Libya must play a role'
Do you agree with providing legal channels for refugees to claim asylum?

From a humanitarian point of view, migrants shouldn’t be pushed back to Libya from the sea. Instead, legal channels should be set up in third countries, that will screen migrants and ensure that only allow people who qualify for asylum get to enter the EU. The European Parliament in general agrees with that viewpoint.

Do you agree with the accession of Turkey to the EU under the present circumstances prevailing in the country under Erdogan?

No country should gain EU membership if they don’t respect human rights, and there are grave doubts on how much they’re being respected in Turkey right now. Erdogan’s reaction to the failed coup by jailing journalists and certain groups is non-justifiable, and the EU has been very clear in this regard.

How concerned are you about Russia’s meddling in European and American politics? Should the EU loosen its sanctions on Russia if Trump goes down that route?

Putin hasn’t minced his words about what he thinks about the EU and about how he would welcome a Trump presidency. The European Parliament is undergoing discussions on how it should react to Russia, yet the EU should trade its principles where Russia is concerned – no matter how the US acts. The US doesn’t border Russia but we do, which places us in very different situations. As for Russian interference, ultimately the largest threat to the EU’s existence would come from its own citizens. If we all keep in mind how the EU has provided economic and social growth over the years, then no one will be able to threaten it.

'The European Parliament is undergoing discussions on how it should react to Russia'
'The European Parliament is undergoing discussions on how it should react to Russia'
Should citizenship be granted to children of migrants born in Malta?

All children born in Malta, no matter who their parents are, should automatically qualify for Maltese citizenship. It is the most inhumane thing possible for the government to leave children stateless. We are talking here about children who were born in Malta and who grew up in Malta. What makes them foreign?