Socialist MEP Ana Gomes on Tuesday hit out at the fact that “two demonstrated corrupt crooks” remained in government.

Speaking during a debate on a rule of law report on Malta and Slovakia, Ms Gomes, a vehement critic of Malta's government, said she could not understand why the Prime Minister continued to protect his chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.

She said revelations about their plans to receive payments from 17 Black confirmed that they were indeed “crooks and criminals”.

The MEP said there were still big questions about the course the investigation into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder was taking.

She said the masterminds had not been caught and some leads that should have resulted in interrogations had not been pursued.

Dutch MEP Sophia in 't Veld, who led the missions to Malta and Slovakia, called for a clear statement from the police about the status of the murder investigation.

Ms Veld said it was very difficult to establish what was true and what was not about the investigation.

The MEP said she was “personally” deeply concerned about the situation in Malta.

She said it was very difficult to establish if there were any investigations into well publicised allegations and suspicions.

The recent revelations linking 17 Black’s ownership to power station investor Yorgen Fenech meant it was now time for Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi to step down, she said. 

“I am deeply, deeply worried about the sheer number of areas that we have concerns over money-laundering, corruption, fraud, possible undue influence over elections, the attitude towards journalists, the fact that a lot of nominations are made directly or indirectly by the Prime Minister or his office… All this put together makes for a very worrying situation”, the MEP said.

She called on the European Commission to publish its long-awaited proposals on how to improve the various golden visa schemes across the EU and questioned whether schemes such as passport sales were compatible with Schengen.

MEP Roberta Metsola, who was a delegation member, said it was time for disgraced minister Konrad Mizzi to move on.

She called for the publication of a standalone list of Maltese passport buyers and endorsed calls for the immediate publication of the Egrant inquiry report.


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