Pana Committee chair Werner Langen this morning vented his frustration about "the lack of cooperation and progress" during last month's fact-finding mission in Malta, most notably the refusal of the Prime Minister's top aide to meet the committee.

Mr Langen, a German MEP, expressed his disappointment during a discussion on good fiscal governance being held as part of the Europe People's Party congress being held in Malta. European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis was on the panel.

The discussion focused on recent developments in combating tax evasion, the blacklisting of tax-haven countries, as well as "profit shifting" by large companies like Apple and Amazon.

One said he did it to hold family assets and the other did not even turn up

The committee's mission in Malta included an investigation into the setting up of shell companies in Panama and a New Zealand trust by Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister's top aide Keith Schembri "just three days" after the Labour Party was elected to government.

"We came here to talk to them. One said he did it to hold family assets and the other did not even turn up. Unfortunately, we have no way to investigate further as we do not have the right to summon people," a disappointed Mr Langen remarked.

In his reply, Commissioner Dombrovskis dodged the issue and focused on other points raised which were not related to Malta.

Leaders and top officials from the European People's Party are meeting in Malta to discuss the ever-changing face and challenges of Europe.

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