EU leaders ‘astounded’ that Mizzi hasn’t been sacked, Busuttil says

PN leader holds talks with the Institute of Financial Services Providers and warns of damage to Malta’s reputation

Leader of the Opposition Simon Busuttil
Leader of the Opposition Simon Busuttil

EU leaders members of the European People’s Party are “astounded” that OPM Minister Konrad Mizzi has not been sacked after revelations in the Panama Papers scandal, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said today.

Busuttil on Monday was in Brussels for a meeting of the EPP, ahead of the Brexit summit among EU heads of state or government. The PN leader he was approached by political leaders to ask whether Mizzi was still a minister.

"This is worrying, as it reflects badly on the entire country's reputation," Busuttil told the press, ahead of a meeting at the PN headquarters with the Institute of Financial Services Providers.

He warned that the Panama scandal will continue damaging Malta's financial sector so long as Mizzi and the Prime Minister's chief of staff Keith Schembri - who both own offshore Panama companies - remain in their positions. 

During the meeting, Busuttil also urged Alfred Mifsud to resign as Central Bank deputy governor in light of corruption allegations, and called on the Cabinet to be unequivocal over the position of Joe Bannister as chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Busuttil said that Finance Minister Edward Scicluna – in 2013 – re-appointed him to the role but Education Minister Evarist Bartolo “is constantly attacking him”.

“If government wants to remove him, then it should do so, but the current situation is damaging to the financial services sector," he said.

Juanita Bencini, president of the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners, said that political consensus was required to face the challenges that exist in the financial services sector.

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