Nationalist MEPs on new tax committee vow to defend Maltese system

David Casa and Roberta Metsola will sit on the special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance, also known as TAXE3

Nationalist MEPs David Casa (right) and Roberta Metsola (centre) will be members on the TAXE3 committee
Nationalist MEPs David Casa (right) and Roberta Metsola (centre) will be members on the TAXE3 committee

The Nationalist Party’s MEPs David Casa and Roberta Metsola will be full and substitute members respectively on a committee following up on the work of the Panama Papers, known as TAXE3.

The committee is expected to take a harsh look at aggressive tax planning structures in countries like Malta, but Casa has insisted Malta’s system is approved by the EU Commission and that he will “double [his] efforts” in defending the system now that it will be under the spotlight.

“It is unfortunate that our credibility when speaking about the robustness of our regulatory and supervisory authorities is hindered by the continued presence of persons connected to crime at highest levels of the Maltese government. And licensed institutions such as Pilatus Bank and Nexia BT continuing to hold licenses to provide services in the EU despite the body of evidence implicating them in criminal activity. The longer it takes for these issues to be addressed the more difficult it is to safeguard Malta’s rights and position.”

Casa also accused the European Commission’s current position on Malta’s VAT regimes on the yachting lease system of being discriminatory. “Malta has a strong case on this issue and it must be presented effectively,” Casa said.

MEP Roberta Metsola stated: “It is important for Malta’s voice to be heard on this Committee, which is why the PN delegation will be represented. Our aim in the Committee is to build on all the work that we have done so far in fighting financial crime while protecting Malta’s interests and defending our sovereignty on tax issues.”

Metsola said the Maltese economy was built on competitive taxation policies that predated EU membership. “We will always defend our rights in this regard, whether it is pushing back against those who want to label us a tax haven or those who want to force through tax harmonisation across the board. We have always been clear and consistent that smaller economies like Malta’s will be the hardest hit and we will keep fighting our corner.”

Metsola said the MEPs would concentrate on measures to stamp out abuse, ensure proper law enforcement and close any loopholes that allow politicians like disgraced Minister Konrad Mizzi to get away with opening secret offshore companies and allowing his accountants to promise annual deposits of money that he did not have, nor could he legally earn while Minister.”

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