[WATCH] Government downplaying Moneyval report repercussions, Delia insists

The PN leader said the Opposition will be keeping the government on its toes, in order to make sure that the recommendations presented in the report are acted upon 

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has warned that an evaluation of Malta’s anti-money laundering framework by the Council of Europe’s Moneyvel committee will have long-term future repercussions on the country.

Speaking during an interview on the party’s radio station NET FM, Delia said that instead of looking to fix the problem, the government has chosen to play down the gravity of the situation. 

The report found that Malta’s supervisory authorities do not have the resources to carryout risk-based supervision of a financial sector the size of Malta’s, concluding that fighting money laundering was not a priority for local authorities, among other conclusions.

“If the issues are not addressed, the country faces blacklisting, which will ultimately deter investors from coming to Malta,” Delia warned. 

According to the PN leader, the party would not only be criticising the government, but would also be putting forward its own solutions.

“We must keep the government on its toes, and make sure that the recommendations made in the report are implemented,” he said. 

The PN, according to Delia, would also be looking to defend the country’s reputation internationally, and will work to make sure that people looking to invest in Malta are not deterred by the government’s actions. 

“You can’t have people who are preforming the necessary audits, appointed by the PM, this doesn’t happen in Western and Democratic countries,” Delia said. 

Delia also made reference Eurostat statistics on labour costs published on Friday, which showed Malta registering the second lowest increase in the European Union.

 “This is not a sustainable model, and the government must address this,” he said, adding that the government’s economic strategy was to increase worker numbers, while keeping the wages low. 

“This will register a higher GDP, but wages will remain low, while costs keep rising,” Delia said. 

The survey showed Malta registered a 1.1% increase, while others had percentages of 15% or higher, according to Delia. 

Turning to the environment Delia said the country was being led by a government without a strategy.

“It is worrying to see that the government is not removing trees for a reason, but semmingly because it is on a chopping spree,” Delia said.

He said the Prime Minister’s definition of a cosmopolitan Malta meant a country bursting with roads and tall buildings. The Opposition’s vision was of having a strategy that places the environment at the centre of its priorities.

The PN leader said that the silver-lining from the government’s lack of environment strategy is that Malta has shot up as one of the most climate change conscious countries in the EU.

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