In July of this year, the FIAU were warned of serious systemic shortcomings by the European Banking Authority. In their recent visit, the European Commission learnt that the government, despite the promises of the Minister of Finance, has not been taking effective steps to monitor the financial sector.
The regulatory authorities have remained under intense scrutiny by both the EU and the US after the Panama Papers revealed that high ranking government officials in Malta were personally involved in the Pilatus Bank scandal, which saw the chairman eventually arrested in the US for his part in sanctions evasion schemes connected to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Also implicated were the Prime Minister and his wife.
At the same time, the government is trying to buy the loyalty of its voters by handouts in the form of tax rebates and promises of increased pensions before the Budget is presented next month.
Those not conversant with the financial world do not realise that such an unprecedented step by the EU towards a member state is not, as stated by the government, a mere case of jealousy due to economic growth. A solid financial reputation is key to any country’s growth and stability. If Malta’s name continues to be tarnished in this manner, with a government that is clearly for sale to the highest bidder, then all Maltese banks stand to lose; bona fide companies will not want to be associated with a country which name is synonymous with money laundering and lax financial regulations.
Partit Demokratiku has, on more than one occasion, shown its unwillingness to be a part of shady deals, of using the country’s name and reputation for the benefit of the few in favour. It was the first to reveal the SVDP deal, and continues to pledge to fight for a clean country, a transparent country, a country that its citizens deserve to be proud of.