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Of untenable positions - Miriam Dalli

Standing by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat throughout the Egrant saga was a choice made out of conviction. That choice became a decision that I am responsible for.

It meant standing up to other members of the European Parliament whenever Malta was on the agenda – in European Parliament plenary sessions, meetings of the civil liberties committee, bilateral meetings and even group meetings of the Socialists & Democrats Group.

It even meant explaining to them the difference between allegations and facts: explaining the stark difference between lies being fomented for partisan reasons, or whatever personal gain one may get out of it, and the reality on the ground.

At times it was frustrating, at others outrageous and simply disgraceful.

Often, it felt like even the most basic and logical arguments were being turned upside down, with people who were being fed partisan propaganda repeating that propaganda like it was the truth.

It was ironic: discussing the mechanisms of the rule of law while some MEPs repeated every storyline that had been thrown at them and other, Maltese MEPs defending things that now have turned out to be mere fabrications.

This was impacting and literally poisoning every aspect of the political discussion related to Malta, especially when it came to issues related to our financial services sector and our taxation.

There are different protagonists intricately involved in the process of naming and shaming Malta. What I will never accept is seeing Maltese, Nationalist MEPs – publicly and behind the scenes – pushing forward this agenda.

Simon Busuttil should resign because he made that allegation his without attempting to conduct his own due diligence

The damage will not be erased at the snap of one’s fingers. It will take harder work to repair the damage inflicted on our country and our citizens. The very least the PN can do now is to start to make good for all the harm its representatives caused.

The reparation shall include shouldering responsibility for the damage caused, including the resignation of people whose position is no longer tenable.

Why should former PN leader Simon Busuttil continue representing my country in Malta and the EU? I’m asking this question since he made a seriously wrong and dangerous judgement call. He jumped to conclusions which could have thrown our country into a crisis.

This is not about the economy alone. This is about the livelihood of our citizens. It is about the message that politicians want to convey. What does it mean to our citizens when they see that politicians will resort to anything – even fabricated lies – to quench their thirst for power?

Busuttil should not resign because he believed what the late journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had written. He should resign because he made that allegation his without even attempting to conduct his own due diligence.  He was the leader of the Opposition party: he had responsibility to shoulder and he was not powerless.

His position gave him power. And he used that power. He made that allegation his, it became his battle cry during the general election. He called the Prime Minister a liar and he hysterically called for the Prime Minister’s ousting over and over again.

And just to continue adding to the myriad reasons that the people who pushed this allegation and made it theirs must resign, suddenly we have the so-called whistleblowers themselves accusing each other of lying.

When we argued that you do not become a whistleblower by making a couple of statements and snapping your fingers, others claimed that the Labour government was “harassing” and “intimidating” them.

Serious news continues to emerge: MEP David Casa was in possession of a doctored and incomplete FIAU report. The simple fact that he made a show of a doctored and incomplete report without even questioning the veracity of the documents he had continues to confirm what lengths some PN representatives are prepared to go to.

If they care the least about their country, they should start by repairing the damage they inflicted and resign from positions which are no longer tenable.

Miriam Dalli is a Labour MEP.

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