Bartolo again hits out at EPP: ‘Weber ignores Deutsche Bank scandals to pick on Malta’

Malta’s foreign minister once again accuses EPP leaders in Brussels of putting heat on Malta without considering German financial scandals

Evarist Bartolo (centre) in conversation with counterparts in the European Council
Evarist Bartolo (centre) in conversation with counterparts in the European Council

Malta’s foreign minister Evarist Bartolo has delivered a jab at European People’s Party leader Manfred Weber, accusing him of being absent on scandals that have dogged German financial institutions and other companies.

Bartolo, who last week accused the European Parliament of ‘picking on small Malta’ by being used for partisan reasons, once again accused the Nationalist Party MEPs of being selective in their international criticism.

“I have no doubt that (EPP-group secretary-general) Simon Busuttil, Roberta Metsola and David Casa and Weber are preparing some resolution on the fraud and money laundering scandals at Deutsche Bank and Wirecard, now that time has passed since the VW-Dieselgate and Siemens scandals were first discussed,” the minister said in a sarcastic post on Facebook.

He was referring to various scandals that hit Germany’s largest bank, Europe’s second.

The EP has previously discussed the Wirecard case as well as the role of the European supervisory authorities.

“One scandal in German can be as big as our entire GDP,” Bartolo said, saying that Malta’s small financial system had been placed under a magnifying glass that did it little justice when compared to billions lost by Deutsche Bank in various money laundering scandals, as well as industrial espionage, breaches of international sanctions, and internet rate manipulation.

“I get it that they want to first condemn Malta before discussing the scandals in Germany… only yesterday Germany’s regulator BaFin ordered Deutsche Bank to fix its anti-money laundering controls,” Bartolo said.

“I’m sure Weber won’t take it to heart that I, who hails from a country that is just 0.9% the size of Germany, broadcasts his country’s scandals. I don’t think his colleague Simon Busuttil, Malta’s ‘biggest-ever patriot’, will waste Weber’s time in translating what I’m writing here… we could put on Mozart’s ‘Così fan tutte’ and adapt the parts for Germans and Maltese: we’ll split the parts according to the size of each other’s scandals.”

Bartolo this week railed against a resolution approved by over 600 MEPs, including Labour’s socialist colleagues, on Malta’s state of rule of law after the island avoided a much-feared greylisting from the Council of Europe’s Moneyval.

Bartolo posted a missive against the promoters of a European Parliament resolution on rule of law in Malta, which was approved by a landslide of over 600 MEPs.

“There are people who are pleased at the senseless resolution against Malta that was pushed by the PN in the European Parliament, rather than at Malta passing its Moneyval test, which safeguards thousands of Matese jobs,” he said on Facebook.

The Labour veteran said the EP had been instrumentalised by the partisan detractors who refused to acknowledge Malta’s success in addressing shortcomings identified by the Moneyval report on money laundering rules. He also accused the two Nationalist MEPs David Casa and Roberta Metsola of piloting the resolution.