‘Malta Files a result of Muscat’s inaction on Panama scandal’ – Busuttil

Simon Busuttil on Malta Files: 'As soon as foreigners saw that there was a cloud of corruption hanging over the Prime Minister, they turned against us'

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
20 May 2017, 2:33pm
Simon Busuttil insisted Malta is not a tax haven
Simon Busuttil insisted Malta is not a tax haven
Journalists would not have published the Malta Files had Joseph Muscat taken decisive action when the Panama Papers scandal broke last year, PN leader Simon Busuttil claimed.

“The only possible explanation as to why we have reached this situation is because Muscat let Malta’s reputation get destroyed,” he said at a press conference earlier today. “Had Muscat taken an immediate decision as soon as the Panama scandal broke out, then we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in today, and no one would have tried to attack Malta’s reputation.

“However, as soon as foreigners [sic] saw that there was a cloud of corruption hanging over the Prime Minister, they turned against us.”

Relying on 100,000s of documents published by the European Investigative Collaborations, the Malta Files details how the island is used as a European centre of tax avoidance. The research was undertaken by 13 European media houses, including MaltaToday.

Busuttil said he strongly disagreed with the reports, arguing that no offshore companies are registered in Malta and that the island is not a tax haven.

“Such reports are very damaging to the country, and I reiterate the PN’s full support to the financial services sector in these hard times,” he said. “It is now in the hands of the Maltese public to get our country out of this situation.”

He added that the PN will announce its emergency plans for the financial services sector after meeting with financial practitioners next week. He also pledged that, if elected, he will immediately set up a high-level group composed of financial services experts to take stock of the current situation and advise him on how to clean Malta’s reputation in the sector.  

“Everyone knows that the PN has a track record in turning all challenges into opportunities, and I am convinced that the financial services sector has faith in us,” he said.