Updated 6.09 with reactions
Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba has accused European Parliament President Roberta Metsola of "hypocrisy and double standards" for what he says is her continued silence on the behaviour of the conservative Greek government.
In a press release on Friday, Agius Saliba said that Metsola and the European Parliament have remained silent while the Greek government has "hindered and jeopardized" a visit by members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), who were in the country to examine the state of rule of law, governance, as well as a wiretapping scandal that rocked the Greek ruling party last year.
The Greek government is currently headed by the New Democracy party and forms part of the European People's Party (EPP) in Europe. Metsola is also a member of the EPP.
The Greek government, he added, had used the excuse of a deadly train crash that killed 57 people on February 28 to cancel all the meetings it had scheduled with MEPs.
During a visit to Greece, Agius Saliba rapped Metsola as well as the rest of the parliament for staying silent on the matter and failing to condemn the decision by Greek authorities and institutions to not meet the LIBE Committee.
The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), of which Agius Saliba is a vice-president, plans to move forward with a resolution in the EP next week condemning the Greek Government in the face of Metsola's silence, he said.
What applies to Malta should also apply to all other EU member states, Agius Saliba said, recalling that the EPP had previously been adamant about investigating the situation of governance and rule of law in Malta. However, the EPP has said that it will not be participating in the mission to examine the state of rule of law in Greece, despite all other parties in the EP committing to doing so, he said.
The EPP and Metsola are acting hypocritically and with double standards when it comes to the Greek Government, Agius Saliba said and have tried to deviate people's attention from the matter by trying the present a resolution about the hospitals situation in Malta.
In reaction, Maltese MEP David Casa, who also forms part of the EPP said it was mind-boggling how Agius Saliba could claim concern for the rights of Greek citizens while defending "his corrupt Labour Government to the detriment of the people of Malta and Gozo".
"And he has the gall to accuse others of hypocrisy," Casa said.
Labour and its MEPs are the only hypocrites - PN
In a reaction on Friday, the Nationalist Party hit back at the accusations of hypocrisy levelled towards Metsola, saying that it is the Labour Party and its own MEPs who are the hypocrites.
"The hypocrites are those who involve themselves in fraud and deceit to sell off the country's hospitals and continue to betray the Maltese by failing to try and get the stolen money back," they said.
Members of the Labour party, the PN said, were hypocritical when they made a deal with Electorgas and tied itself to a price for 18 years, defended Putin and Russia in Malta then voted in favour of Ukraine in Brussels, defended corrupt people like Konrad Mizzi, used taxpayer's money to pay for an office and a car for a prime minister who resigned and continued to defend the killers of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
"The allegations in Labour's statement are not true. Whoever wrote it has no idea what is happening and is trying to deceive the Maltese and Gozitan people," they said.