‘Muscat’s obstinacy harming Malta’s reputation’ – PN

PN implores Prime Minister to apologise for tarnishing Malta’s reputation following resounding votes against Malta’s nominees to the European court of Auditors, Leo Brincat and Toni Abela.

PN leader Simon Busuttil [pictured] has said he would openly support candidates who were not tained by the Panama Papers revelations, such as Ombudsman Anthony Mifsud and Auditor General Charles Deguara
PN leader Simon Busuttil [pictured] has said he would openly support candidates who were not tained by the Panama Papers revelations, such as Ombudsman Anthony Mifsud and Auditor General Charles Deguara

The Nationalist Party has implored Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to apologize for “tarnishing Malta’s reputation” after the resounding votes against Malta’s nominees to the European Court of Auditors.

In a statement issued on Sunday following the Prime Minister’s confirmation that Leo Brincat’s nomination to the European Court of Auditors would go before the European Council, the Nationalist Party said the decision to plough ahead was evident of Muscat’s “obstinacy.”

“Instead of apologizing at the way Malta’s reputation has been tarnished by he resounding votes against the government’s two candidates, Muscat is instead persisting with Leo Brincat ahead and continue to harm Malta’s reputation,” the PN said.

On Tuesday, MEPs rejected Leo Brincat’s nomination for the Court of Auditors was rejected by the European Parliament in what was a sign that Malta’s stain by the Panama Papers revelations had also tarnished Brincat after the former environment minister voted against a confidence motion against minister Konrad Mizzi, a subject of which he was asked about by MEPs in the Budgetary control Committee.

The European Parliament’s vote is not binding or conclusive, and Leo Brincat said he would plough ahead with his nomination and refer his nomination to the Council of Ministers for consideration. Brincat was the second Maltese candidate to be rejected for the European Court of Auditors post, after former Labour deputy leader Toni Abela was rejected at the initial Budgetary Control Committee stage.

“The European Parliament’s decision was a vote against the corruption of Joseph Muscat’s government and the Panama Papers scandal,” the Nationalist Party said.

The PN said that resounding vote against Leo Brincat included not only MEPs from the European People’s Party, the European Parliament’s largest grouping, but also socialists such as Portuguese MEP and Panama Papers committee member Ana Gomes.

“Simon Busuttil is ready to support a serious candidate untainted by Panama, such as Ombudsman [Anthony Mifsud] and Auditor General [Charles Deguara],” it continued.

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