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Watch: Muscat says nobody should rejoice in Malta Files reports

Admits people were disappointed with good governance pledge

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat today said he hoped the country would come together in the face of damning allegations surrounding Malta's tax system.

"I hope no one is rubbing their hands in glee with this news. Our tax system is one that has long been established, it was approved unanimously in Parliament, and I will be defending my country," Dr Muscat said.

The Malta Files report which broke yesterday evening is an expose of Malta's tax system, based on 150,000 documents that show how international companies used Malta as a pirate base for tax avoidance in the EU.

Dr Muscat said he was informed that a number of people close to the PN leadership were expected to be named in the files but he would not be using this matter to score political points.

This has nothing to do with the Panama Papers

He said any links between with story and the Panama Papers were false.

“This has nothing to do with the Panama Papers,” he said.

Dr Muscat said he wanted to have political consensus to work in the best interest of the financial services sector. The PN, he charged, had “broken the census”.

Dr Muscat was speaking during a press conference unveiling the Labour Party’s list of candidates and finalised electoral manifesto. 

He said the party’s new electoral manifesto was “more ambitious and complete” than the vision of ‘Malta for All’ presented in 2013.

He gave an overview of the election proposals which range from civil rights to improved connectivity and internet rights, to major infrastructural plans.

“This country is fed up of governments thinking from election to election, it wants a government that plans for a whole generation,” he said.

He gave an overview of issues that he felt had been “swept under the rug for too long”. These included people who were slaves to prostitution and recreation cannabis use.

He also said the government wanted to focus on the environment, after some felt this had been ignored over the past legislature.

The same was true of housing, where the government he said, would be making “the biggest housing effort of a generation”.

Ultimately, he admitted there was an issue that had let people down – good governance.

“What better way to assure ease of mind of the way the country is run than to introduce constitutional reforms,” Dr Muscat said.

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