‘Crime, not business, led the country to its present predicament’

Chamber of Commerce decries abuse of power to conspire in criminal activity "and do so under the guise of being pro-business"

The Chamber of Commerce reacted with revulsion to the news of collusion between former Chief of Staff and the alleged mastermind of the Caruana Galizia assassination
The Chamber of Commerce reacted with revulsion to the news of collusion between former Chief of Staff and the alleged mastermind of the Caruana Galizia assassination

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry has welcomed President George Vella’s Republic Day speech, saying it was “crime, not business, that led the country to its present predicament.”

“Let us remember that the Republic of Malta is far bigger than the gang of people who brought shame on our country,” Vella said yesterday, in a reference that could not have excluded Muscat’s former chief of staff Keith Schembri, who is now known to have leaked intelligence to Yorgen Fenech, the alleged mastermind of the assassination.

“To just say we are sorry for what happened, is definitely not enough,” Vella said. “We will ensure that justice is done, and that it is seen to be done.”

The Chamber said it was “truly appalling” to see those in positions of power “abuse their authority and promote, facilitate and conspire in criminal activity and do so under the guise of being pro-business.”

“The business community stands steadfast with the President when he said that Malta is far bigger than the “gang of people” who have brought shame on the country.”

The Chamber said it also shared Vella’s hope that all those who have to shoulder the responsibility for their actions will do so and suffer the consequences, irrespective of who they are.

The Chamber said it had expressed its “unremitting belief” in the pillars of good governance: accountability, transparency and the rule of law, over the past three years and committed itself to provide its active input and support to the reforms that must be undertaken to ensure that these three pillars are restored and upheld in the future.

With this in mind, the Chamber said, it is scheduled to meet the President of the Republic in the coming days, in an effort to express its concern on the national situation and to express “outright and unequivocal condemnation of all corrupt practices and criminal activities driven by people close to power and money, as well as any attempts to delay or obstruct justice, mitigate criminal liability and negate political responsibility on the part of politicians and political appointees who are directly or indirectly implicated.”

The Chamber said it was committed to ensure that Malta’s name “prevailed over the criminal actions of some and that the country is a worthy flagbearer of transparent, ethical and professional standards across all levels and in all walks of life.”

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