Social media was awash with reactions on Friday afternoon as news of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's intention to step down broke. 

But who said what?

One of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia's sons, Paul, was among the first to react, posting on Twitter "Barra Barra Barra" [Out Out Out]. 

Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil, who relentlessly called on Dr Muscat to step down, even in recent months after he himself stepped down, said the immediate departure of the Prime Minister is "both inevitable and imperative" for the country to start "a desperately needed cleaning-up and healing process".


There was also no love lost between the prime minister and former Partit Demokratiku leader and MP Marlene Farrugia, who called on Cabinet to continue piling pressure so that what she called the "corrupt clique" is also removed from power. 

While the Nationalist Party has yet to react to the news, PN MEP Roberta Metsola remembered Ms Caruana Galizia in her post reacting to the reports. 

Former Alternattiva Demokratika chairman and independent candidate Arnold Cassola said that it seemed Dr Muscat had "finally seen the light and is resigning, thus sparing our country further humiliation".

"All ports, airport must be monitored and secured," he said. 

What about the activists?

While many online were quick to welcome the news, civil society activists are insisting the Prime Minister stepping down is just the beginning. 

Repubblika president Vicki Ann Cremona said that the protest planned for Friday evening was still on as Dr Muscat stepping down was only the first step. She insisted there remains "more to clean up" in Malta and if the Prime Minister, for some reason, does not step down as reported, the activists will continue to push for him to go. 

And on an international level, a number of foreign journalists shared reports on their personal social media accounts, a number of them saying they will continue to monitor the situation closely.


But journalists were not the only foreigners to react.

PACE rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement saying it was “belated recognition of his political responsibilities and a necessary step to allow investigations into the murder and other serious offences to proceed free of the stench of political interference”.

He called for action in Malta to ensure that justice is done and the whole truth emerges.





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