Bernard Grech pledges to get Malta off the greylist in three months

Bernard Grech says those who put Malta on the FATF greylist cannot fix things as he promises a Nationalist government will put Malta back on the whitelist within three months

PN leader Bernard Grech
PN leader Bernard Grech

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech has reiterated a pledge to get Malta off the greylist within three months of becoming prime minister.

“Those who broke the system cannot fix it and so I promise again that a government led by me will put Malta back on the whitelist within three months,” Grech said in a Facebook post.

He was reacting to news that the UK placed Malta among the list of high-risk countries for money laundering and terrorist financing as a result of the country’s greylisting.

The UK decision means that any business with Malta will require enhanced customer due diligence. It follows a decision last June by the Financial Action Task Force to place Malta on its greylist, citing lack of action on the ground in the fight against tax evasion as one of the reasons.

As a result, Malta faces increased monitoring and will need to demonstrate progress on a list of recommendations to be removed from the greylist. Malta has until January 2023 to demonstrate progress.

Grech said the UK decision was confirmation that the Prime Minister’s business as usual attitude was not working.

“Robert Abela’s continuity is leading to jobs being put at risk. I do not want my country’s name to be tarnished… the Maltese must not be the victims of the Prime Minister’s arrogance and pride,” Grech said.

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana has ruled out getting off the FATF greylist by October, insisting that what is expected of Malta requires time to be fulfilled.

It is very likely that when Malta goes to the polls, sometime within the next 11 months, the country will still be on the greylist.