Socialist MEP critical of Joseph Muscat does not speak on behalf of all, S&D group says

Socialists and Democrats vice president Tanja Fajon says group will make its decisions on allegations of wrongdoing based on clear evidence

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat meeting MEPs at Auberge de Castille led by Socialist Ana Gomes
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat meeting MEPs at Auberge de Castille led by Socialist Ana Gomes

Socialist MEP Ana Gomes has been a vocal critic of Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat following his reluctance to remove two key allies mentioned in the Panama Papers.

This week, she went as far as reacting to former Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil's tweet in which he said Muscat's reluctance to remove Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri was "all about self-preservation".

Ana Gomes's tweet
Ana Gomes's tweet

Gomes, who last November led a European Parliament delegation to Malta for a fact-finding mission on the rule of law, said Busuttil's conclusion was also her own and insisted the Socialists and Democrats should not condone Muscat's behaviour, simply because he was part of the family.

Reacting to these comments, S&D group vice president Tanja Fajon said today that Gomes "does not speak on behalf of the S&D group".

"Like in other areas, we have to and will thoroughly check all allegations and accusations which have been brought to our knowledge. On the basis of clear evidence, we will then take our decision and see if any further steps are needed," Fajon said.

The commentary in Politico speculating on what the European Socialists might do next
The commentary in Politico speculating on what the European Socialists might do next

Gomes's comments were interpreted by the Brussels-based Politico magazine as the start of internal movements within the European Socialists to call for Muscat's head. On Tuesday, Muscat brushed off Gomes's comment, insisting he reacted to what prime minister said not MEPs.

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