Updated 12.50pm 

The Nationalist Party and European People's Party are preparing a joint attack on Malta's reputation next Tuesday at the European Parliament, MEP Alfred Sant has charged. 

In a strongly-worded statement, Dr Sant said that some within the PN were hell-bent on "inflicting enormous damages on the whole country" and were "circulating texts aimed at poisoning political groups at the European Parliament." 

"A strong faction within the PN that is afraid of losing power, irrespective of whoever may be in government, is trying to avoid this at all costs," he said. 

Dr Sant, a former Prime Minister-turned-MEP, made the accusation during a meeting with General Workers Union secretaries. 

PN MEP Roberta Metsola was quick to reply, dismissing her rival's claims as little more than a conspiracy theory. 

"That he thinks @DavidCasaMEP, @FrancisZD & I are able to control @ALDEgroup, @ecrgroup, @GreensEP, @EPPGroup, @GUENGL is touching but like his views on EU has no basis in reality," she tweeted. 

A joint statement by the PN's three MEPs - Ms Metsola, David Casa and Francis Zammit Dimech - soon followed. 

"Alfred Sant should know very well that all political groups except his own are of the same view concerning the rule of law in Malta," they said. 

"He is therefore either delusional or is intentionally attempting to contort the truth. Allowing criminals to take hold of the country and cause havoc is what damages Malta’s reputation."

The European Parliament is to hold a debate about the rule of law in Malta next Tuesday. The debate was scheduled following the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

Dr Sant warned that MEPs would also be out to shoot down Malta's tax system - which a Pana Committee report earlier this week found was fully compliant with OECD standards - and that the attack would also target Malta's cash-for-passports scheme and rule of law. 

He slammed the EPP for hypocrisy, saying the conservative grouping had consistently defended governments in Poland and Hungary, which have been repeatedly cited for rule of law violations in recent months. 


Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.