Government defends EU funds spending after chief prosecutor flags concerns

Chief prosecutor Laura Kovesi previously said that Malta's crime-detection on the EU budget was 'practically zero'

The Parliamentary Secretary for EU funds has defended its spending after the EU chief prosecutor complained on Malta's lack of reporting on EU funding fraud.

During a brief visit to Malta, European Chief Prosecutor Laura Kovesi complained that the level of crime-detection in Malta related to the EU budget is "practically zero".

To this, the Parliamentary Secretary responded that European funds are managed by "strong structures that monitor the way these funds are spent, from planning to implementation".

"It is a well-known fact that the current government has made the best use of European funds and this is clear from the initiatives and projects carried out in recent years in different fields including health, education, social fields, agriculture, infrastructure, small businesses and other fields," a government statement reads.

Kovesi had revealed during her stay that from 2,200 reports received by mid-October from all around the EU, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) had only received two reports from Malta.

On these reports, no investigations were carried out.

“I do not think that Malta is a clean country when it comes to how it utilises EU funds, although then I do not think that a clean country exists,” Kovesi said. 

The EPPO was set up to investigate serious crimes that affect the EU budget and its disbursement of funds, including corruption and organised crime.

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