Former Prime Minister and Maltese MEP Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that the rule of law in Malta is alive and well as anywhere else in the European Union. Dr Sant speaking at the Plenary in Strasbourg during the debate on the ‘Panama Papers follow-up and the rule of law in Malta’, said that members of the European Parliament wishing to criticise the Maltese government, might say that it has adopted policies with which they disagree.

“Yet under Dr Joseph Muscat’s administration the Maltese economy has reached unprecedented rates of growth at the top of the EU league. It is delivering prosperity to all segments of the Maltese population. Reforms have been implemented very quickly. On social liberalisation, on LGBT rights, on access to education, the reduction of poverty, progress has been rapid,” remarked the Maltese MEP.

Dr Sant said the Maltese government has declared it will correct for any mistakes made. Critics of the Maltese administration have no basis to claim that the rule of law is being undermined. That rule is as alive and well in Malta as anywhere else in the EU.Currently, four magisterial inquiries are investigating allegations of improprieties in public management. They are proceeding in total independence, in accordance with the rule of law.
“The Maltese Prime Minister is committed to respect their conclusions. Some might dislike the fact that Malta is excelling in financial services. Yet the sector operates in full conformity with EU and OECD rules.Individual cases are being wrongly generalised.
The grounds for this debate are non-existent. If they are given credence,future statements we might make about the rule of law anywhere risk becoming devalued.”

Romanian EPP MEP Cszaba Sogor asked Dr Sant whether he agrees with Konrad Mizzi’s appointment as tourism minister given that he had called on him to resign a year ago. Alfred Sant replied to this question: “The Prime Minister must respect the verdict of the people…I note that this has been done in this case too.”

Maltese Version – IL-ĦARSIEN TAL-LIĠI F’MALTA HIJA ĦAJJA U B’SAĦĦITHA DAQS KEMM HI FIL-PAJJIŻI TAL-UE

Il-Kap tad-delegazzjoni Laburista fil-Parlament Ewropew qal li l-ħarsien tal-liġi f’Malta hija ħajja u b’saħħitha daqs kemm hi b’saħħitha fil-pajjiżi l-oħra tal-Unjoni Ewropea. Dr Sant, li kien qed jagħmel intervent fil-plenarja ta’ Strasburgu waqt id-dibattitu ‘Panama Papers follow-up and the rule of law in Malta’, qal li taħt it-tmexxija ta’ Dr Joseph Muscat l-ekonomija Maltija laħqet rati ta’ tkabbir li qatt ma rajna bħalhom, riżultat li jitfagħna fil-quċċata tal-pajjiżi tal-Unjoni Ewropea. Il-prosperita` sejra f’kull fergħa tal-popolazzjoni Maltija. Ir-riformi ġew implimentati malajr ħafna. Il-progress fil-liberalizzazzjoni soċjali, id-drittijiet LGBT, l-aċċess għall-edukazzjoni, it-tnaqqis tal-faqar kien mgħaġġel.” qal Alfred Sant.

Dr Sant qal li l-membri tal-Parlament Ewropew li jixtiequ jikkritikaw lill-Gvern Malti jistgħu jagħmlu dan billi jgħidu li l-gvern Malti addotta politika li huma ma jaqblux magħha. Iżda saħaq li l-gvern Malti ddikjara li se jikkoreġi l-iżbalji li saru. “Kritiċi tal-amministrazzjoni Maltija ma għandhomx bażi jgħidu li l-ħarsien tal-liġi qed tiddgħajjef. Din il-liġi hija ħajja u b’saħħitha f’Malta daqs kemm hi fil-pajjiżi tal-UE. Bħalissa, erba’ investigazzjonijiet maġisterjali qed jistudjaw l-allegazzjonijiet dwar tmexxija ħażina fl-immaniġġjar pubbliku. Qed jipproċedu totalment b’mod indipendenti, skont kif titlob il-liġi tad-dritt.”

Dr Sant qal li l-Prim Ministru Malti wiegħed li jirrispetta l-konklużjonijiet tagħhom. “Ħafna tista’ tiġihom ir-reqqa li Malta qed teċċella fis-settur tas-servizzi finanzjarji. Madanakollu s-settur qed jaħdem b’konformita` sħiħa mar-regoli tal-UE u tal-OECD. Każijiet individwali qed ikunu ġġeneralizzati b’mod inġust. Il-bażi ta’ dan id-dibattitu l-anqas biss jeżisti. Jekk jingħata kredtu, stqarrijiet li nistgħu nagħmlu dwar il-ħarsien tal-liġi x’imkien ieħor jista’ jnaqqsilha mill-valur tagħha.”

L-Ewroparlamentari Rumen Cszaba Sogor (EEP) staqsa lil Dr Sant jaqbilx mal-kariga ta’ Ministru tat-Turiżmu li ngħata Konrad Mizzi peress li sena ilu qallu biex jirreżenja. Alfred Sant għal din id-domanda wieġeb: “Il-Prim Ministru jrid jirrispetta l-verdett tal-poplu…..jien ninnota li din il-ħaġa saret f’dan il-każ ukoll.”