EP's visit to Malta to probe Panama scandal welcomed by PN, AD
'The inquiry will hopefully shed light where others failed'
Updated at 11am with PN statement
Alternattiva Demokratika this morning welcomed the European Parliament's decision to approve a request from the committee investigating the Panama scandal to send a delegation to Malta in February.
In a statement this morning, AD said that since the Maltese parliament and the government did not take concrete action on tax avoidance and evasion, even in light of the Panama affair, it hoped the EP inquiry would shed light where others failed.
Minister Konrad Mizzi and the chief of staff in the Office of the Prime Minister Keith Schembri have been implicated in the Panama Papers.
Chairman Arnold Cassola said it was good that since no action had been taken by Malta to investigate the Panama connections of Maltese politicians and politically exposed persons, the European Parliament would be conducting the investigation.
"The Maltese people deserve full transparency with regards to the ethical behaviour - or the lack of it - of their representatives".
The EP yesterday approved the request from the 'Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion' to send a delegation to Malta, from the February 20 to 24.
'The truth must come out'
In a statement later today, the Nationalist Party's MEPs said Dr Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri would have the perfect opportunity to justify their actions with the MEPs of the Panama Inquiry Committee.
“The truth must come out. Corruption and money laundering must be fought. It is right and proper that the European Parliament has taken this direction. The European public, including the Maltese people, deserve no less. This inquiry Committee insisted all along for this Malta visit, which is the first visit of this Committee outside Brussels,” head of delegation David Casa said.
Roberta Metsola added that the investigation would give Dr Mizzi a chance to explain the details of his secret financial set up and why he chose to circumvent EU safeguards by setting them up in third countries on the other side of the world.
The visit would also give a platform to Malta's financial services industry to back arguments as to why Dr Mizzi's case should not be used as a guise to impinge on Malta's financial services systems.
Therese Comodini Cachia said MEPs from the whole political spectrum understood the urgency of the Malta case and this was clear from this decision taken by the Conference of Presidents of all political groups.
The Partit Demokratiku also welcomed the news.