MEPs call for sacking of V18 chairman Jason Micallef

A group of 72 MEPs said they shared the outrage expressed by PEN International in which a group of some 250 authors said they had profound concerns with the Micallef's behaviour

Valletta 2018 chairman Jason Micallef
Valletta 2018 chairman Jason Micallef

A group of 72 MEPs have called for the sacking of Valletta 2018 chairman Jason Micallef over his comments “vilifying” assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Micallef has been a vocal critic of civil society activists demanding justice for the murdered journalist. He has called for the clearing of the makeshift memorial in her honour set up in front of the law courts, and mocked Caruana Galizia’s last printed words when commenting on the number of people attending last month’s St Patrick’s day celebrations.

In a letter sent to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Commissioner Frans Timmermans and Michel Magnier, the director of Creative Europe, the MEPs said they had taken note of a letter sent by PEN International expressing outrage at Micallef’s behaviour.

“We share the outrage expressed in this letter,” wrote the MEPs. “The vilification of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, even after her assassination, and the calls for the clearing of the memorial in her tribute in Valletta and for banners demanding for justice to be removed are actions that we consider incompatible with those of an official that represents the European Capital of Culture.”

The MEPs added that they had also noted that “merely hours” after the PEN letter was published, Micallef continued “with his outbursts on social media, and ordered banners organised by Maltese civil society calling for justice to be removed”.

“We strongly condemn these undignified and unacceptable actions and call on the European Commission to demand Mr Micallef be immediately removed from the post of Chairman of Valletta 2018 Capital of Culture.”