Shedding light on 'oppression of the press' is MEP Zammit Dimech's vow

Nationalist Party MEP Francis Zammit Dimech has been appointed rapporteur on media pluralism and freedom by the European People's Party and vows to address the 'bullying of the Maltese media', in light of Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder

MEP Francis Zammit Dimech with Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament
MEP Francis Zammit Dimech with Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament

Newly-elected MEP Francis Zammit Dimech has vowed to “shed light” on the oppression of the press in Malta, especially in light of the “recent allegations related to bullying of the local media”.

Although he did not elaborate, his comment was a clear reference to the multi-million law suits filed by Pilatus Bank against some sections of the Maltese media after they reported allegations of wrongdoing directed at the bank made by then Opposition leader Simon Busuttil during the electoral campaign. Slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had also written about the bank. Pilatus denies the allegations.

Zammit Dimech was speaking to European Parliament president Antonio Tajani after being appointed rapporteur for the European People's Party on media pluralism and freedom within the EP's committee on culture and education of which he is already a member.

The PN MEP said that Malta needed “the full support of European institutions” now more than ever.

Tajani confirmed that the European Parliament “will stand firmly” behind the Caruana Galizia family, as well as the Maltese.

Caruana Galizia's assassination was not only an assault on a journalist but an “assault on the Maltese people’s own freedom of expression”, Zammit Dimech said, reiterating the PN's warning that the rule of law in the country was “on the brink of collapse”.

Zammit Dimech criticised the fact that the Police Commissioner did not find time to meet a delegation from the Italian parliament's Anti-mafia commission while they were on a two-day visit to the island.