Malta's reputation will deteriorate if Rosianne Cutajar remains an MP, Bernard Grech says

'There is no way out for Cutajar other than to step aside,' he said

Photo: Partit Nazzjonalista
Photo: Partit Nazzjonalista

Rosianne Cutajar must resign as an MP, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said on Sunday, after the Standards Commissioner found that Cutajar breached ethics when brokering a property sale for Yorgen Fenech.

"There is no way out for Cutajar other than to step aside. If this is not done, Robert Abela needs to tell Cutajar to step aside if he wants what is good for our country," Grech said during a radio interview on NET FM.

He added that both Cutajar and Carmelo Abela should have resigned pending investigations by the Standards Commissioner. 

Cutajar was found to be in breach of the Code of Ethics over a property transaction with Yorgen Fenech, whereby Cutajar pocketed almost €50,000 in brokerage fees.

Earlier on Sunday, Cutajar confirmed that she will stay on as a Member of Parliament, and will contest the next general election. Meanwhile, Yorgen Fenech is facing charges for allegedly masterminding the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Grech was highly critical of Labour's handling of corruption allegations over the years. He said that it is the culmination of these scandals, including Joseph Muscat's handling of the Panama Papers fallout, that have damaged Malta's reputation.

"We’ve reached a stage where Abela gives the impression that issues of credibility and trust from foreign countries and investors boils down to just a few people who are evading tax," Grech said. 'This is an immature way of looking at the problem."

"The more such people remain in these positions, the more we damage our reputation," he asserted. 

Grech added that Abela was being "arrogant" in his tackling of Malta's FATF greylisting, and said that Abela must address the issue with wider consultation.

"Greylisting will continue to drag down our international reputation, and we need to pause and discuss what has brought us here and how we can get back on track."

He mentioned a recent cordial meeting with the MCESD, emphasising the importance of proper consultation.

"Wider consultation is important for having a good plan for the country. In government's absence, the Nationalist Party feels that it should be the one to encourage credibility and offer assistance in the process," he said.