[WATCH] Labour government determined to destroy financial services sector, Adrian Delia says

The Nationalist Party leader accused the government of accepting the European Socialists’ manifesto despite its support for tax harmonisation, which he said would ruin Malta

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has accused the government of trying to destroy the country’s financial services sector, through its support for the European Socialists’.

Speaking at a political activity in Birkirkara, Delia said it was the Nationalist Party that had built the country’s reputation, insisting that what was the jurisdiction of excellence in Europe and the world now risked becoming a “tax haven and a black haven”.

“This means that serious investors won’t touch our country. Good business, and not dirty money, will no longer come to our country,” Delia said.  

He said that the European Socialists’ manifesto clearly stated that “they wanted to take away [Malta’s] tax system”.

“They want to decide from Europe,” he said, referring to a declaration by the Socialists’ lead candidate for president of the European Commission Frans Timmermans during a debate yesterday, that he favoured an 18% flat corporate tax rate across the European Union.

“This is detrimental to our country and will destroy an industry that employs 35,000 jobs,” he said. “It’s an industry that pumps €1 billion into the Maltese economy every year, 12% of our GDP.”

He accused the government of wanting to see the sector dismantled by supporting the European Socialists’.

“[This government] went to Madrid and accepted and signed off [on this manifesto]. It then invited Timmermans and hugged him and told him it would wholeheartedly support him in destroying this sector,” Delia said.

Not only had the government supported the socialists, but it also had the cheek to accuse the PN’s MEPs to be the ones “bringing about this disaster”.

“Who can believe you, when it was a Nationalist government that wanted Europe and that created this sector,” Delia said. “How can anyone ever believe that it is the PN’s MEPs that won’t fight till the last breath for us to keep deciding about our tax.”

The PN, he said, was committed to convincing Europe that “this would be a tax against our country and a proposal that would hurt a small country without resources”.

The country could not gamble with the jobs of thousands of youths, who had studied to have a good life. “This government wants to destroy their lives,” he insisted, adding that there were also many that indirectly depended on the sector.”

Turning to the government’s decision to suspend parliament for two weeks until after the elections, Delia said the move was one that made it seem like a dictatorship.

“It isn’t acceptable for, the Prime Minister to wake up in the morning on the day of a debate, and decide to suspend parliament,” Delia said, insisting that this showed Malta was not a normal country.

He further accused Muscat of having no intention of ever publishing the Egrant inquiry report, suggesting that it contained “facts” that the Labour Party did not want out in the open.