MEPs to hold plenary debate on Malta situation after June election

Debate on rule of law was proposed in the wake of corruption allegations against Labour leadership, but political groups argued over whether it should be held before or after the election

The European Parliament is to hold a plenary debate on the situation in Malta in mid-June, after the general election.

The debate, on the rule of law, was proposed in the wake of corruption allegations, but there was an argument within the political groups over whether it should be held before or after the election, amid fears that the parliament would be seen as interfering.

Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People’s Party MEPs wanted the debate next week in Strasbourg with the title 'Situation in Malta: the need for the rule of law,' an allusion to similar discussions that have taken place in the European Parliament about controversial actions taken by the governments in Poland and Hungary.

The Greens made a separate proposal called 'Panama Papers follow up: suspicion of money laundering in Malta involving several politically exposed persons.'

Last week, the EP's Panama Papers inquiry committee said it wanted to speak to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who has been dogged by corruption allegations since his chief of staff and energy minister were implicated in the scandal last April. A letter sent Tuesday expressed “regret” that neither Muscat nor Keith Schembri, his chief of staff, have responded to the request.

Neither Muscat nor Keith Schembri have responded to the request.

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