Sant hits out at ‘orchestrated effort’ at damaging Malta inside the European Parliament

Former Labour prime minister says EPP is defending Poland and Hungary on accusations of undermining the rule of law, while hitting out at Malta • PN says Sant 'delusional'

Labour MEP Alfred Sant
Labour MEP Alfred Sant

Former Labour prime minister and MEP Alfred Sant is accusing the Nationalist Party and their European political family the EPP of “orchestrating a joint effort to attack Malta’s reputation” with a resolution on the rule of law in Malta next Tuesday.

Sant said the resolution, authored by all European political groups bar the Socialists & Democrats, was part of an effort to ‘inflict enormous damage’ on Malta.

“MEPs from other groups who previously criticised Malta’s tax system, mainly from the Greens and the far left, have joined this effort which is endangering thousands of jobs in the financial services sector, which constitutes 20% of Malta’s economy,” Sant said.

In a meeting with the General Workers Union, Sant said MEPs will “attack the government” on its tax imputation system for foreign companies, its sale of citizenship, and also the rule of law.

He accused the EPP of defedning the Hungarian government led by the hard-right prime minister Viktor Orban, also being accused of undermining the rule of law in the EU country.

“The European Conversatives are also defending accusations levelled by the European Commision at the Polish Government on the rule of law. For the last months they have defended Poland and Hungary who have consistently being accused of breaking the rule of law in their countries,” he said.

“Now they have grabbed the opportunity to level the same accusations at the Maltese government and pay back the S&D in which Labour MEPs play an active role.”

Sant also said that labelling Malta as a ‘mafia state’ was an attempt at “poisoning” the EP’s political groups. He said he had informed the European socialists’ group that the damage inflicted on workers benefiting from Malta’s economic growth would be “irreparable”.

In a reaction, the Nationalist MEPs David Casa, Roberta Metsola and Francis Zammit Dimech said all political groups except the socialists were of the same view concerning the rule of law in Malta. 

“He is therefore either delusional or is intentionally attempting to contort the truth. Allowing criminals to take hold of the country and cause havoc is what damages Malta’s reputation. Appointing and refusing to sack a puppet, incompetent Police Commissioner to save the skin of those in power is what damages Malta’s reputation. Allowing a bank strongly suspected of laundering money for Maltese PEPs and Azeri dictators to operate in Malta is what damages Malta’s reputation. Systemically, intentionally, weakening Malta’s institutions is what damages Malta’s reputation.

“The only people damaging Malta’s reputation are the criminals in Castille. If Sant had any backbone he would ensure his S&D colleagues support the resolution on Wednesday and stand with the Maltese people and not the criminals in government.”