An anti-corruption MEP called upon the Maltese not live in fear of speaking out and warned people about the danger of getting into a "comfort zone".

Monica Macoveia, a former activist in Romania, also urged society to defend journalists and their work, insisting that investigative journalists had the most important roles in society.

"All over the world, investigative journalists are the most important persons and so they face the highest risk of being arrested, tortured, killed because they reveal corruption by those in power," she said.

The MEP was addressing a public event organised on Saturday by the Civil Society Network at Europe House in Valletta.

"They take the highest risk for all of us, for all the people not only in Malta but all over the world,” Ms Macovei said to those present, which included PN MEPs David Casa, Roberta Metsola and Francis Zammit Dimech as well as former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil.

All MPs were invited to the event but only a handful showed up.

Drawing from her own experiences as an activist and a minister in her own country who fought tirelessly against corruption, the MEP said it was up to the people to take to the streets and make sure that the work by people like slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia is not in vain.

“If Daphne hadn't been alone, maybe she wouldn't have died. So don't leave these people alone. Some might be afraid to speak and to come demonstrations because there are no investigations. But if you are afraid, you will lose your country. Get out of your comfort zone and do something for your country,” the MEP said.

Former PN leader Simon Busuttil at the meeting.Former PN leader Simon Busuttil at the meeting.

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