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Watch: Rule of law 'slap in the face' must be debated in parliament - PN

PN presents motion to debate report it describes as a 'slap in the face'

Read: European Parliament resolution

It recommended the granting of whistleblower status to former Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit investigator Jonathan Ferris and the strengthening of the law granting such protection.

It also recommended that there should be an investigation into government employment and the issuing of permits.

The report was drawn up after an EP delegation came to Malta to assess the rule of law in Malta.

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Video: Chris Sant Fournier

Updated 5pm - Added video

A European Parliament report on the state of the rule of law in Malta was a "slap in the face" which had to be debated by the nation's lawmakers, the Nationalist Party said on Wednesday. 

The PN presented a motion calling on Parliament to debate the EP  report  to Speaker Anġlu Farrugia on Wednesday afternoon.

It describes the report, discussed by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in January, as “a slap in the face and a grave threat to workers in Malta and Gozo”.

Presenting the motion, environment shadow minister Jason Azzopardi said it was shameful that the government had not discussed it yet. 

The unprecedented report makes “serious and grievous recommendations”, Dr Azzopardi said, adding that Parliament cannot pretend it never happened.

“It is in the national interest for Parliament to analyse the report and apply the recommendations as soon as possible,” he said. 

The Labour Party reacted to the PN motion by dismissing it as an attempt by Dr Azzopardi to ensure "his buddy" David Casa remained relevant. Mr Casa was one of the MEPs who drafted the report. 

"The delegation's conclusions have already been discussed by several government represenatatives," the PL said. "If the Opposition would like to dedicate one of its parliamentary sittings to debating this, the government has no problem doing so." 

MEPs pushed for EBA to look into Malta's financial regulator 

The report had laid down 13 recommendations on subjects such as money-laundering and SLAPP.

Watch: MEPs pass resolution on rule of law in Malta with large majority

Among those recommendations was for the European Banking Authority to look into the Malta Financial Services Authority and for the European Commission to take note of threats to media houses made by Pilatus Bank and Henley & Partners.

The European Banking Authority and the European Central Bank should also investigate whether Pilatus Bank should retain its licence to operate, the EP recommendations had said.

Another recommendation was for the European Commission to analyse the implications of the Individual Investment Programme and how it was affecting corruption, organised crime and money laundering. The names of new citizens under the IIP scheme should be published, it said.

The report had also called for Maltese officials implicated in corruption to be removed from their post.

Read: European Parliament resolution

It recommended the granting of whistleblower status to former Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit investigator Jonathan Ferris and the strengthening of the law granting such protection.

It also recommended that there should be an investigation into government employment and the issuing of permits.

The report was drawn up after an EP delegation came to Malta to assess the rule of law in Malta.

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