Panama Papers is a blemish on this government’s legacy and the latest to admit this is Education Minister Evarist Bartolo.
The minister, who had called for Minister Without Portfolio Konrad Mizzi’s resignation when the scandal broke several months ago, told The Sunday Times of Malta that he still stood by this belief.
However, Mr Bartolo volunteered no explanation as to why he had voted against a motion of no confidence in Dr Mizzi last April despite being a vocal critic of his actions.
Significantly, the longest pause for Mr Bartolo as he was answering questions was when it was pointed out to him that Dr Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri were still in office.
“Yes, the reality is still that,” he replied with an air of resignation after listing some of the government’s initiatives to introduce checks and balances on politicians.
Dr Mizzi and Mr Schembri opened trusts in New Zealand and companies in Panama, using the same financial intermediary. The process to acquire the Panama companies was started by the intermediary some months after the 2013 general election when the Labour Party was returned to power.
Both men could expect to be summoned by a special committee of the European Parliament that will be looking into the Panama Papers scandal after the summer recess.
Read the full interview here.
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