Panama Papers | Nationalist youths tell EP president of Malta crisis

MZPN writes to European Parliament regarding the on-going political crisis 

European Parliament President Martin Schulz
European Parliament President Martin Schulz

The Nationalist Party’s youth section (MZPN) has written to the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, drawing attention to what it said was the “ongoing political crisis” prevailing from the international fallout from Panama Papers.

The leak of over 11.5 million papers from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca confirmed that both the energy minster Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri, set up offshore companies for their offshore trusts in New Zealand in July 2015.

Both men are facing calls for their resignation, while the Opposition on Sunday launched its second protest in two months demanding that Mizzi and Schembri step down from their roles.

The MZPN’s president Mark Grech told Schulz in his letter that the Labour government had taken the Maltese nation for a ride by its “sheer indifference in absolutely refusing to answer any queries on this matter, let alone the possibility that these politically exposed persons should shoulder any form of political responsibility.”

Grech said questions had been left unanswered as to whether Schembri and Mizzi opened their offshore companies days after the 2013 elections – something which has been denied by Schembri and auditors Nexia BT – and on attempts to open bank accounts in Dubai and Panama.

“The very fact that a member state which up until recently prided itself in being an exemplary model to the rest of the European Union and is very active in the work of the European Parliament is being subjected to a situation whereby government is simply shutting up shop and refusing to heed the deafening pleas for accountability is simply not on.

“It is our understanding that as the highest institution of the European Union, the European Parliament is to address the Panama Papers scandal in Strasbourg this week for and we are formally requesting that this local matter be given the adequate level of importance.”

Grech then said that former prime ministers as well as international news agencies “had hit out” at the Maltese government’s lack of action, and “stood by” the Opposition’s call for the resignation of those involved.

“We strongly feel that the European Parliament should never, in this or other cases, turn a blind eye to such political developments. The EU has succeeded through thick and thin because it has always stood up for what is right and has always been on the right side of history, be it with its own members and also with others who have required the voice of the European institutions.”

The youth section said it would “stand with the citizens of Malta who demand that political responsibility be shouldered by those who have run our nation’s reputation through the mud. We have taken this stand as it seems that others lack the courage and integrity to stand up for what is ultimately right and just.”

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