Index 
 Vorige 
 Volgende 
 Volledige tekst 
Procedure : 2017/2935(RSP)
Stadium plenaire behandeling
Kies een document :

Ingediende teksten :

B8-0596/2017

Debatten :

PV 14/11/2017 - 11
CRE 14/11/2017 - 11

Stemmingen :

PV 15/11/2017 - 13.12
CRE 15/11/2017 - 13.12
Stemverklaringen

Aangenomen teksten :


Debatten
Dinsdag 14 november 2017 - Straatsburg Herziene uitgave

11. De rechtsstaat in Malta (debat)
Video van de redevoeringen
PV
MPphoto
 

  La Présidente. – L’ordre du jour appelle le débat sur les déclarations du Conseil et de la Commission sur l’état de droit à Malte (2017/2935(RSP)).

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Matti Maasikas, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, common values such as human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights are the cornerstone of the European Union. Each Member State must therefore respect, protect and promote them. Three weeks ago I intervened in this Chamber after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. We all condemned this barbaric crime and expressed the expectation that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.

We were all in agreement that media freedom is an indispensable pillar of our democratic societies. For this reason, freedom of expression, media freedom and pluralism are guaranteed in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. They are among the core basic democratic values on which the European Union is founded.

In October, the Council held its annual rule of law dialogue, which was an important opportunity to take a critical look at the rule of law situation in the Member States and the Union. This year the dialogue was about media pluralism in the digital age and about the challenges that the digital age brings to the rule of law. In the context of that debate, all Member States agreed that free, reliable and pluralistic media underpins effective democracy.

The continued debate on these issues shows again that the protection and promotion of the rule of law and human rights are a constant challenge. This challenge requires unwavering attention and efforts across different policy areas. Our core values are put to the test every day. Our societies are still facing multiple inter—related crises, be it in the area of migration or internal security. Discussions such as the one today are important. Our citizens must be able to have trust in the functioning of our democratic institutions.

We commend the Maltese Government for having acted immediately as news broke of the assassination to ensure that justice is done. The Maltese authorities also opened up their investigations and sought international assistance. The police force asked for assistance and teamed up with the American FBI, Dutch and Italian forensic forces, as well as Europol, to make sure that no stone is left unturned in the investigation. I would like to recall the readiness of the Member States to help in all matters as needed.

Malta has shown that its institutions are well—functioning in responding to this challenge. Ensuring the rule of law is an absolute priority and has to be our joint commitment – of the Member States and of EU institutions together. Equally, fundamental rights need to be upheld and defended as our best guarantee for sustaining stable, open and free societies. We trust that the Maltese authorities will ensure that justice will be delivered in the case of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. I will listen to the debate with great interest.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, it has been ten days since the world witnessed Daphne Caruana Galizia’s funeral in Malta. A nation in mourning. We all saw it.

The Commission condemned this brutal assassination in the strongest words possible. The rights of a journalist and blogger to investigate, to ask uncomfortable questions and to report effectively is at the heart of our values and needs to be guaranteed at all times. There can be no free and democratic societies without free media. The Commission takes the view that ensuring an independent and thorough investigation of the facts and bringing those responsible to justice must be the top priority for the Maltese Government. The Maltese authorities and institutions must deliver on their clear commitment to do everything in their power to ensure that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

More generally, Malta needs to show to Europe – and indeed the world – that its rules and regulations are healthy and robust. This is why it is important that the Maltese Government has indicated that the investigation and prosecution should be allowed to run their full course regardless of the consequences. I want to add that, on every occasion that I have to talk to members of the Maltese Government, I make this point and it is acknowledged by them that they will do so and that they will commit to that.

But this also includes making sure that the rules that we agreed at European level are implemented on the ground. The fight against money laundering, for instance, is a key priority for the Commission in this respect. With regard to the issue of money laundering in Malta, the Commission has conducted a fact-finding exercise and an analysis. The guiding principle was to identify quality and reliable data. The facts as they resulted from our analysis – and let me stress this – raise no general concerns on Malta’s overall compliance. However, improvements could be made on various levels. In this context, the Commission recently sent a letter to the Maltese authorities regarding follow-up investigations to recommendations after the Maltese Financial Intelligence and Analysis Unit published its report, and we are now carefully studying their comprehensive reply.

As part of our efforts in the fight against money laundering, moreover, we are making sure that all Member States, including Malta, adopt the necessary provisions to transpose the Fourth Anti—Money Laundering Directive. The Commission decision on infringement proceedings against those Member States which have not yet notified their national transposition laws is imminent. We encourage those Member States to adopt the necessary rules now, without further delay.

The Commission regularly collects data on the functioning of the judicial systems of all Member States in the EU Justice Scoreboard, and we are monitoring corruption in Member States as part of the European Semester. The Commission agrees with Parliament that we need to improve the protection of whistle—blowers throughout the EU. The revision of the Fourth Anti—Money Laundering Directive, currently under negotiation between Parliament and the Council, will enhance the powers of the competent authorities to prevent and fight money laundering. I hope that this legislation will be adopted soon. Finally, the Commission encourages Malta to swiftly join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. This would send a strong positive signal of Malta’s commitment to working actively together in the area of freedom, security and justice.

In conclusion, let me say that every time I have the occasion to meet with the Maltese authorities – I met with the Minister for European Affairs and Equality, Ms Dalli, and the Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government, Mr Bonnici, last week – they have clearly expressed their determination to do whatever is necessary to make sure that these things are implemented to the full, and also to make sure that those responsible for this atrocious crime are brought to justice. The commitment of the Maltese Government on this was made very clear to all its partners in Europe.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Esteban González Pons, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, this Thursday it will be one month since the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and we do not yet know who killed her, who ordered the killing and who supported the killers.

I am ashamed, and we all should be ashamed because without this killing we would never have known here what happens in Malta: journalists being harassed, denounced and even killed, media houses being blackmailed by banks suspected of money laundering and tax evasion, high government officials suspected of being implicated also in the same operations, and police authorities refusing to investigate those allegations because they have been appointed by and have economic and personal ties with the government.

We cannot remain silent, so today we ask for three concrete actions. First, we want the Commission to immediately launch a rule of law dialogue with Malta. Second, we want the Maltese authorities to investigate and to prosecute money laundering, no matter the names or the organisations implicated. Thirdly, we want an independent and international investigation into the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

We have to say, loud and clear, that Europe’s values and principles are much more important than money. Daphne’s moral legacy belongs to Europe now. Europe is about justice, about separation of powers and about the rule of law. Everybody knows that. But Europe is also about freedom, transparency and truth. Every time Europe has faced the abyss, the ballpoint pen of a journalist has been the last defensive line for our democracy. This is the Europe Daphne Caruana Galizia dreamed of and wanted, and so do we.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Tanja Fajon, v imenu skupine S&D. – Brutalen umor Daphne Caruana Galizia je odprl številna vprašanja o svobodi medijev. Svoboda izražanja in medijev je ključ obstoja demokracije, zato me ta vprašanja še posebej skrbijo. Malteški kolegi mi zagotavljajo, da si vlada z vsemi silami prizadeva pri raziskavi umora, v katero je vključila neodvisne mednarodne strokovnjake in organizacije. To močno pozdravljam.

Pozdravljam tudi modernizacijo in korenite vsebinske spremembe na področju medijskih in drugih zakonov, predvsem glede klevetanja, zaščite prijaviteljev, oziroma žvižgačev, ukinitvijo cenzure za umetniška dela, financiranja političnih strank. Umor je poglobil tudi vprašanja glede korupcije, predvsem v političnih vrhovih, pranja denarja, vpletenosti politikov v škandale, vloge bank, zaskrbljujoča so poročila o prodajanju državljanstev in spolitiziranost nekaterih javnih ustanov. In na vsa ta vprašanja pričakujemo odgovore.

Kljub temu pa ne morem pozdraviti močno pretiranih reakcij kolegov, predvsem iz EPP, ki po umoru novinarke naznanjajo, da je na Malti prišlo do kolapsa pravne države in sistema. S tem se, kolegi, ne strinjam. Dejstvo je, da se številne države v Evropski uniji soočajo z ožanjem prostora svobode medijev, korupcijo, vpletenostjo v finančne škandale in zmanjšuje neodvisnost sodstva, dejavnosti civilne družbe. Samo na primeru Madžarske ali Poljske, ki imata kar nekaj resnih sistemskih problemov v zagotavljanju temeljnih pravic, je jasno, da imamo lahko skupaj upravičene skrbi v delovanje pravnih držav.

V tem trenutku je pomembno prvič, da malteška vlada transparentno izvede in predstavi preiskavo umora ter z državami članicami in EU institucijami sodeluje pri naslavljanju vseh omenjenih skrbi, in drugič, da smo v boju za vladavino prava in skrbi za državljane enotni in v vseh državah uporabljamo enake vatle.

(Govornica je zavrnila vprašanje z dvigom modrega kartončka, ki ga je postavil Paulo Rangel)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, en nombre del Grupo ALDE. – Señora presidenta; Malta: 436 000 habitantes y un puñado de héroes. Desde el 16 de octubre, una persona íntegra menos.

Daphne Caruana se vio obligada a tener un comportamiento heroico porque algunos habitantes no quisieron ni quieren saber, otros consienten, otros callan, mientras algunos van corrompiendo bancos y espacios de poder.

Las filtraciones del blanqueamiento de capitales a nivel internacional han puesto a Malta ante el espejo y en el punto de mira. El Estado de Derecho ha fallado y Daphne sufrió muerte civil y económica, querellas, cuentas bloqueadas antes de su asesinato. Cada ciudadano europeo debe conocer el asesinato de Daphne, porque sus inductores no pueden controlarlo todo.

El comisario Moscovici, esta mañana, ha indicado que existen prácticas sistemáticas mundiales y organizadas de elusión y evasión fiscal. Una filtración tras otra, una investigación periodística tras otra... Sabemos que fallan los órganos supervisores, fallan los Estados miembros, fallan las listas de paraísos fiscales. Pero, en algunos lugares, la corrupción alcanza el corazón del Estado y, cuando esto ocurre, la libertad de expresión formalmente existe, pero entraña riesgos.

Daphne colaboró con este Parlamento a través de la comisión de investigación de los papeles de Panamá que dirige el señor Langen, que está aquí. Gracias a las filtraciones hemos podido tener una panorámica sistemática de cómo se eluden las legislaciones nacionales y las normas de los organismos de control y supervisión nacionales e internacionales; cómo el crimen organizado y ciertos oligarcas actúan a nivel mundial.

Desde hace más de un año, en la comisión de investigación sobre los papeles de Panamá hemos indiciado que existe en Malta un problema estructural que debilita la democracia, por esta lacra mundial. En Malta, pero no solo en Malta —y lo digo con tristeza—, también en mi país, con dinero suficiente se compra a la ciudadanía, y eso debe ser prohibido.

Daphne trabajó las pistas maltesas. Ella contó todo lo que sabía, y ahora nuestra obligación es no olvidar, evitar la impunidad, pero no solo de su asesinato, también de lo que denunció y por lo que la mataron. Debemos hacerlo en defensa propia, porque estas formas de delito que denunció pueden pudrir cada una de nuestras democracias. Contra la impunidad no valen las lágrimas de cocodrilo, ni de la Comisión ni del Consejo.

Señor Timmermans, el señor Juncker debe poner en cuarentena su amistad con el señor Muscat hasta que se aclare el asesinato y la situación de la democracia en Malta. En el siglo XXI la democracia se la juega contra los populistas, pero también contra la delincuencia internacional. Nuestra Resolución debe traducirse por tanto en hechos.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Patrick Le Hyaric, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Madame la Présidente, le lâche assassinat de notre confrère la journaliste Daphne Caruana Galizia ne fait que soulever le couvercle sur le non-respect de l’état dit de droit par le gouvernement de Malte.

C’est parce qu’elle dénonçait de multiples pratiques contraires à ce que nous appelons «nos valeurs», dont la vente de la nationalité au plus offrant, le changement à cinq reprises du chef de la police en quatre ans, l’évasion fiscale et le blanchiment d’argent, et le camouflage de la corruption d’Azerbaïdjan qu’elle a été assassinée.

Si vraiment l’Union européenne est une communauté de droit, elle ne peut tolérer des manquements aussi manifestes à ses principes et doit d’urgence modifier ses instruments pour faire respecter précisément cet état de droit, tout comme elle ne peut davantage tolérer les pratiques fiscales d’États qui sapent une des bases de nos démocraties, et sans doute de la civilisation, l’égalité devant l’impôt.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Sven Giegold, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, I would like to say clearly why we are here today, and why we are here today again after such short notice. The last discussion focused, also in the response by the Council and the Commission, very much on the precise death and murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, but we did not discuss seriously the wider issues. Today again, the Council has not answered the questions concerning the rule of law we have raised in our resolution, and therefore I was very disappointed by your response.

While the Commission today has given much clearer answers than last time, I would like to stress that several issues are still open and, Mr Timmermans, I hope your notebook is open for these issues. How is it possible that the Head of the Financial Services Authority, Mr Bannister, is, at the same time, the vice-president of the Financial Development Agency of Malta? This is basically saying that the boss of the supervisors is at the same time the boss of those who should develop the sector. Therefore, the Commission should take action to clarify what the status of a financial supervisor is, and what conflicts of interest in that area mean.

Malta has recently had big financial and economic success with online gambling and I would like to say on behalf of our Group that there is nothing wrong with online gambling as such, but there is a problem if the cross-border provision of these services is based on hyper-low taxation, and secondly, on the illegal provision across borders through the internet, which allows financial companies to make at least EUR 1 billion just for the transfers to the respective societies. So the question is: isn’t there a hole in the application of national and European law in the area of online gambling?

There were also important questions about the buying of voters in the last Maltese elections, and there is the question why do Nexia BT and Pilatus Bank still have licences in Malta? So there are serious issues which were not on your list, Mr Timmermans. Will you commit today to look into these subjects and take seriously the questions that Parliament is raising?

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Monica Macovei, în numele grupului ECR. – Doamna președintă, mii de oameni au ieșit în stradă cerând dreptate pentru Daphne Caruana Galizia, omorâtă, reamintesc, în cruciada împotriva corupției din Malta. Au protestat împotriva corupției care ucide. Colegii ei au spus: „ucigașii nu i-au omorât spiritul, nu vor putea să ne amuțească pe noi toți!” și oamenii au strigat: „ nu luați în deșert democrația!” Ce s-a întâmplat după moartea lui Dahpne? Au apărut Paradise Papers și avem peste treisprezece milioane de noi documente care ne arată dimensiunea enormă a corupției și a spălării banilor. Totul se întâmplă aici, sub ochii noștri și în Europa și cu complicitatea noastră, dacă nu facem nimic.

Daphne avea dreptate și tocmai de aceea a murit. Suntem complici pentru că nu luptăm până la capăt, dacă nu luptăm până la capăt, pentru desființarea paradisurilor fiscale, pentru eliminarea acțiunilor la purtător, pentru accesul public, total, la beneficiarii reali ai acțiunilor din toate companiile private sau de stat și pentru multe alte lucruri care ar putea elimina acest război împotriva oamenilor, a oamenilor cinstiți, acest război al celor care se îmbogățesc și fac miliarde prin corupție, fraudă, spălare de bani și reușesc să scape de lege. Pe noi nu ne-au redus la tăcere și vom merge mai departe și mai mult având în noi spiritul lui Daphne.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Raymond Finch, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Madam President, obviously our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The murderers and those who instructed them to carry out this awful deed must be found and brought to justice, whoever they may be. This situation, though, must not be used as an oyster knife to open the judicial system of Malta and the other nation states to interference by the European Union. Rather, it is an opportunity for Malta itself, as a sovereign nation, to expunge the taints of gangsterism.

Malta has proven itself in the past to be a proud and brave nation, and this is an opportunity to show that it is still that nation, and to honour the life and the memory of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Edouard Ferrand, au nom du groupe ENF. – Madame la Présidente, mes chers collègues, l’île de Malte est un des berceaux de la civilisation européenne. C’est une île stratégique en Méditerranée, à une époque où la Méditerranée est complètement bouleversée. Cependant, malheureusement, l’île de Malte ne vit pas aujourd’hui ses meilleurs jours dans l’actualité.

L’île de Malte, aujourd’hui, connaît deux problèmes. D’une part, l’évasion fiscale et, d’autre part, la corruption. L’évasion fiscale, parce que nous en avons parlé avec les «Paradise Papers», mais aussi pour la fraude à la TVA. Quant à la corruption, malheureusement, c’est un problème répandu dans un certain nombre d’États qui composent l’Union européenne.

Peut-on ajouter que c’est un gang criminel qui dirige aujourd’hui ce petit État?

À une époque où on attaque violemment Madrid et Varsovie, où l’Espagne et la Pologne sont les victimes de l’Union européenne, je crois qu’il est temps, aujourd’hui, de désigner les vrais coupables et qu’il est temps que l’Union envoie une mission de parlementaires européens pour examiner ce qui se passe sur l’île de Malte.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Frank Engel (PPE). – Madam President, Ms Fajon has said that the European People’s Party (the PPE) is insinuating that the rule of law in Malta has collapsed after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The truth is, we insinuate that the rule of law collapsed a long time before that murder and that this murder is one of the consequences of the total collapse of the rule of law in Malta, that it is one of the consequences of the privatisation of state institutions, the subjugation of institutions of state to the private interests of the highest actors of the state, and of one particular party that created the atmosphere, created the circumstances in which such a heinous crime could take place in the 21st century in the middle of the European Union.

The contempt in which the Maltese Government holds this House, by the way, has never been more visible than by the fact that Mr Maasikas has to defend Malta in this debate. Have we ever seen the Hungarian Prime Minister – and everyone knows that I am not carrying him in my heart – refusing or cowing out from defending his country or a potential attack on his country in this House. We have never seen anything like that. We now see Mr Maasikas, who has nothing to do with the corrupt practices of the Maltese Government, having to stand up for something which is indefensible and unjustifiable.

Some of Daphne’s last written words were: ‘there are crooks everywhere you look, the situation is desperate’. Well, depending on where you looked, you always saw the same thing and that is prominent people from Azerbaijan – very prominent people from Azerbaijan – in the company of very prominent people from Malta – virtually half the leadership of the Labour Party, be that the Prime Minister, be that the Prime Minister and his small party who travelled there unaccompanied and brought back I don’t know what, or be that Mr Farrugia, who is still the speaker of the Parliament of Malta and who has nothing better to do than regularly travel there and applaud them for the brilliant elections that they hold.

This is what has rotted Malta through – the fact that a country like Azerbaijan could insinuate itself in the form of a bank called Pilatus, in the heart of a European democracy, and from there reach out its tentacles to stifle democratic expression. This is what we are confronted with. This is why this murder needs to be investigated. And this is why no angle needs to be left untouched in this investigation.

(Applause)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Alfred Sant (S&D). – Madam President, this House prides itself on being strong in the defence of human rights and the rule of law according to our common human European values, but to remain strong the action it takes must be based on due process that collects facts as evidence, puts them in context and assesses them as a whole. Otherwise this Parliament risks losing credibility. Worse, it risks devaluing the values that we all claim to believe in.

A brutal assassination has taken place in Malta. It has shocked us all. Justice needs to be done. In the investigation the Maltese Government has called upon the Dutch and US police authorities, as well as Europol, for help, but the outcome of one murder investigation, whatever and whenever it is, cannot be held to reflect on the rule of law here or wherever. Malta is being assailed for perceived deficiencies in the rule of law on the basis of jumbled facts and semi—facts, unproven allegations taken at face value, innuendos and issues irrelevant to the rule of law. Is this being done as a tit—for—tat related to processes about the rule of law that other Member States are being subjected to?

Yet the Maltese Government has repeatedly agreed to receive delegations of this Parliament to investigate issues that are raised and it is still doing so. It has accepted – indeed invited – Commission scrutiny over a variety of areas, as Mr Timmermans has told us. Partisanship over the rule of law will undermine the moral basis of this House, when it has to raise issues related to it. This is being done because, in the wash of interests and allegiances that define this House, it is easiest for EU Member States to overlook Malta’s realities and to cast doubts on the motives of the Maltese Government.

Yet that Government has just been re—elected with an absolute majority, possessed by no other party that is represented in this House. It has guided the Maltese economy towards growth rates that are among the highest – if not the highest – in Europe.

Attitudes in a debate like this should be objective. They are being tendentious. We need well—informed assessments. Instead we have prejudice and polemical opinions brewed like instant coffee. Subjected to such a methodology, all Member States can be made to smell foul. If the joint motion before us passes as written, the credentials of this Parliament to really show how to defend European values transparently and honestly could well be put at risk.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Bernd Lucke (ECR). – Frau Präsidentin! Es ist ein schrecklicher Mord in Malta geschehen. Aber der Gegenstand dieser Debatte ist nicht dieser Mord, über dessen Verurteilung wir uns ja alle einig sind, sondern der Gegenstand dieser Debatte ist die Frage, wie es mit der Rechtsstaatlichkeit in Malta bestellt ist. Herr Engel hat das sehr gut ausgeführt, Herr Sant hat gerade eine andere Meinung dazu von sich gegeben. In diesen beiden Redebeiträgen – und ich hoffe in vielen, die jetzt noch folgend werden – werden die entscheidenden Fragen gestellt: Wie steht es mit der Rechtsstaatlichkeit in Malta? Wie steht es mit der Rechtsstaatlichkeit in einem Staat, der seine Staatsbürgerschaften einfach verkauft? So, wie die katholische Kirche früher ihre Ämter verkauft hat, so werden die Staatsbürgerschaften verkauft! Und dann hört man in der Debatte sogar noch, dass es in Spanien auch so geht, was ich bislang nicht wusste.

Wir müssen fragen: Wie steht es mit den Verleumdungsgesetzen in Malta, von denen behauptet wird, dass sie die Pressefreiheit einschränken? Wir müssen doch fragen: Was macht diese Pilatus Bank in Malta, und setzt man ihr die angemessenen Grenzen? Das sind doch die Fragen, die hier gestellt werden müssen. Hat Malta noch die Kraft, seine Gesetze durchzusetzen, und sind die Gesetze so beschaffen, dass sie unseren Ansprüchen in der Europäischen Union genügen? Das ist das Thema der Debatte und nicht die Verurteilung des Mordes.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Louis Michel (ALDE). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, je dois vous dire que je suis un peu troublé, voire inquiet, de l’intervention de notre collègue S&D qui semble minimiser le trouble qu’inspire la situation à Malte.

L’assassinat lâche et abject de Daphne Caruana Galizia exige que l’Union européenne et au-delà la communauté internationale agissent d’une manière déterminée et urgente pour mettre fin aux flux financiers illicites et aux paradis fiscaux.

Le travail des lanceurs d’alerte et des médias est essentiel pour révéler l’ampleur de la fraude et de l’évasion fiscales. Leur protection doit être juridiquement garantie et renforcée sur tout le territoire de l’Union.

Je suis évidemment très heureux que nous ayons voté en faveur d’un mécanisme général de protection au niveau de l’Union européenne, mais il faut aller plus loin et mettre en place un statut légal des lanceurs d’alerte, qui pourrait, le cas échéant, donner lieu à des dédommagements.

Un élément me trouble particulièrement, Monsieur Ferrand, c’est que – et je le regrette – Malte ait choisi de ne pas participer au Parquet européen, qui apporte une réelle plus-value dans la protection des intérêts financiers de l’Union. Une fois mis en place, il nous permettrait de renforcer les enquêtes relatives aux fraudes financières et serait comptable d’investigations indépendantes.

Alors que la protection des intérêts financiers de l’Union relève de la responsabilité partagée de l’Union et de tous ses États membres, je trouve choquant, inacceptable que des États membres puissent se soustraire à leurs obligations de lutte contre la fraude, sachant qu’ils bénéficient des aides européennes. Je le dis clairement, je pense qu’on devrait conditionner le bénéfice de ces aides à la participation de ces pays au Parquet européen.

Je vous ai connus, Monsieur Ferrand et le S&D, plus vigoureux, quand il s’agissait de dénoncer les failles de l’État par rapport aux droits humains.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Τάκης Χατζηγεωργίου (GUE/NGL). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, κύριε Timmermans, επικεντρώνεται δικαιολογημένα η προσοχή στη Μάλτα, καμιά αμφιβολία γι’ αυτό, όμως νομίζω ότι το θέμα δυστυχώς ξεπερνά τα σύνορα αυτής της χώρας. Ζούμε σε μια εποχή καταβύθισης σε ανθρώπους υπερβολικά πλούσιους, την ώρα που εκατομμύρια άνθρωποι βρίσκονται κάτω από το όριο της φτώχειας. Αυτά τα χρήματα, τα τρισεκατομμύρια -όπως υπολογίζονται από πολλούς- που χάνονται από τη φοροδιαφυγή θα μπορούσαν να ενισχύσουν κάλλιστα σε μεγάλο βαθμό την οικονομία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης.

Είπα ότι ξεπερνά κατά πολύ τα σύνορα της Μάλτας και επιτρέψτε μου να αναφερθώ σε ένα δημοσίευμα του Spiegel, όπου έπειτα από αξιολόγηση χιλιάδων σελίδων εγγράφων, αναφέρεται σε επιλήψιμες τακτικές διάσημων επιχειρήσεων και κάνει λόγο για εικονικές θυγατρικές ομίλων και υποκαταστήματα εταιρειών, όπως οι διάσημες και πασίγνωστες BMW, BOSCH, BASF, Deutsche Βank και PUMA που είναι εγκατεστημένες στη Μάλτα. Όπως αποκαλύπτει το Spiegel, πολλές από αυτές δεν αναφέρονται καν στον τηλεφωνικό κατάλογο, ούτε έχουν προσωπικό, ενώ 3 εξ αυτών μοιράζονται το ίδιο κουδούνι. Πρέπει να επικεντρωθούμε σε συγκεκριμένους κανόνες, ώστε να κατασπαραχθεί -αν είναι δυνατόν- αυτό το σύστημα της φοροδιαφυγής, του γκανγκστερισμού και του εγκλήματος.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Eva Joly (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, j’ai trois mauvaises nouvelles pour le premier ministre maltais, Joseph Muscat.

Premièrement, une réélection ne remplacera jamais le travail de la justice. Les soupçons de corruption et de blanchiment d’argent pesant sur ses proches entachent son action politique. L’absence d’enquête la décrédibilise.

Deuxièmement, les règles fiscales de Malte doivent changer. Elles mettent à mal la cohésion européenne et, plus largement, l’avenir de l’Union. Les révélations des «Paradise Papers» ont fini par dégoûter les citoyens, à qui on impose l’austérité et qui voient leurs services publics se dégrader. Une procédure d’infraction, telle qu’évoquée par le commissaire Moscovici, serait un minimum. L’Union européenne doit aller plus loin et faire cesser la concurrence fiscale déloyale en son sein.

Troisièmement, le gouvernement maltais doit savoir que le travail d’investigation de Daphne Caruana Galizia ne cessera pas avec son assassinat. D’autres journalistes le termineront avec le soutien des citoyens européens choqués que de telles horreurs puissent se produire au cœur de l’Union européenne.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFDD). – Žurnalistės mirtis, nepriklausomai, kurioje valstybėje tai įvyko, yra tragedija, kuri neturi pasikartoti. Lygiai taip pat neturi pasikartoti ir teisėjų, ir prokurorų, ir policijos pareigūnų tiriančių korupciją, kitus kriminalinius nusikaltimus, mirtys. Gal mūsų siūloma rezoliucija pagaliau galėtų būti tas atskaitos taškas, nuo kurio prasidėtų konkretūs žingsniai apsaugant atskirus visuomenės narius, nepaisant jų profesijos, užimamos statuso, nuo persekiojimo ir susidorojimo. Tikiuosi, kad šis tragiškas atvejis nebus tik galimybė pigiam politikavimui ir garsiems pareiškimams. Tegu rezoliucijos žodžiai krinta į vyriausybių vadovų širdis ir tampa tinkamai veikiančiais teisės aktais. Žmonių žūtys turi būti sustabdytos.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Georg Mayer (ENF). – Frau Präsidentin! „Was geht hier vor, im schönen Malta?“, möchte man ausrufen. „Was geht hier vor?“, möchte man die sozialistischen Familienmitglieder des sozialistischen Regierungschefs Muscat hier im Haus fragen.

Eines ist jedenfalls klar: Es sind sehr ernst zu nehmende Dinge, die wir in Malta erleben. Da wird eine investigative Journalistin am helllichten Tag mit einer Autobombe gesprengt. Das erinnert doch eher an die Netflix-Serie Narcos, wo es um den Drogenhändler Pablo Escobar geht, als an die politische Realität in der Europäischen Union. Das ist aber leider die Realität in Malta.

Dazu kommen immer mehr neue Tatsachen und Vermutungen an den Tag: Drogenhandel und Korruption. Es wird dort zwar gegen Drogendealer und korrupte Politiker ermittelt, es wird aber nie zur Anklage gebracht. Da frage ich mich schon: Was liegt hier im Argen in Malta? Ich denke, da sollten wir dringend dafür sorgen, dass wir Licht ins Dunkel bringen.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  David Casa (PPE). – Is-saltna tad-dritt hija waħda mill-iżjed valuri importanti u essenzjali għaliex mingħajrha, jikkrolla kollox. Kummissarju Timmermans, is-saltna tad-dritt tinqered:

meta bank li jinqabad jaħsel il-flus ta’ dittaturi mill-Ażerbajġan, jitħalla jopera f’Malta. Għaliex? Għax qed jaħsel ukoll il-flus ta’ nies fil-Gvern Malti.

meta l-Kummissarju tal-Pulizija jintgħażel speċifikament minħabba l-inkompetenza tiegħu.

meta l-FIAU, aġenzija ta’ kontra l-ħasil ta’ flus, tirrapporta korruzzjoni estensiva u bla preċedent li timplika lill-Gvern; u l-Pulizija ma jieħdu l-ebda azzjoni;

meta l-korruzzjoni titħalla għaddejja għaliex in-nies implikati huma nies fil-Gvern;

meta l-kultura ta’ impunità issir in-norma f’pajjiż, jikkrolla kollox.

Kummissarju, illum qegħdin hawn magħqudin, biex ngħidulek li l-istat tad-dritt f’Malta għandu bżonn l-intervent immedjat u urġenti tiegħek.

Dan mhux kliem ġdid għalik, Mr. Timmermans, għaliex jien u l-kollegi tiegħi ktibnilek uffiċċjalment xhur ilu, u ma sar xejn. Jien u l-kollegi tiegħi issottomettejna mistoqsijiet parlamentatri fuq din il-kriżi, u ma sar xejn. Tkellimna fuq din is-sitwazzjoni f’dibattitu parlamentari f’Ġunju li għadda, u ma sar xejn.

Tkomplux intom u l-Kunsill tiddefendu l-indifensibbli. Nappellalkom kollegi tiegħi f’din il-Kamra, ftakru fil-valuri li jgħaqqduna u jagħmluna Ewropej. Ieqfu lil korruzzjoni u kunu fuq in-naħa tal-poplu. Din mhijiex ġlieda kontra il-poplu Malti, din hija ġlieda għall-poplu Malti, u lill-familja Caruana Galizia li qiegħda hawn magħna llum ngħidilhom, ommkom u l-mara tiegħek kienet mara bla biża, b’saħħa u kuraġġ fenominali. Ma beżgħet qatt mit-theddid, abbuż, redikolaġni u tgħajjir.

Iżjed iva milli le, kienet tispiċċa one-woman army, waħidha, tiġġieled il-korruzzjoni u l-abbuż tal-poter għax ħadd iżjed ma kellu l-kuraġġ li jagħmel dan magħha. Lil uliedha nixtieq ngħidilhom: mhux ser inħallu l-qtil ta’ Daphne jkun għal xejn, u jiena ngħidilha li bħala ħabiba tiegħi mhux ser inħalli li l-qtil tagħha jkun sar għal xejn.

Kummissarju, ibda investiga issa.

Mr Timmermans, let’s finish together what Daphne started; do not ignore us any more, please.

(Applause)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Eugen Freund (S&D). – Madam President, one does not have to be a journalist, like I was for most of my life, to mourn over Daphne Caruana Galicia. This is a tragedy that concerns us all. Journalists in more and more countries live a dangerous life: they are harassed and coerced and are often thrown into prison, or, in countries such as Honduras, Mexico and Russia, they are killed. But in the European Union? We did not deem it possible that this could happen here. Something is terribly wrong.

We know that Ms Caruana Galicia was trying to join the dots with regard to the Panama Papers and the possible enmeshment of government officials in the affair. Since she was murdered before the Paradise Papers became public, we do not know what else she might have discovered. There have also been other questionable affairs in Malta.

I am very concerned when I hear that foreigners have been buying Maltese passports just like that, a couple of tens of thousands of euros, and the door to the European Union becomes wide open. This is unacceptable.

Daphne Caruana Galizia must not have died in vain. The circumstances of her murder must be scrutinised until every stone is turned and everything is laid bare. I support the decision by the Maltese Government to get both Europol and the FBI involved in the investigation. The rule of law must not be compromised.

And to one side of the House I would also say that as long as you do not support whistle-blowers, you have no credibility in trashing Malta.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Branislav Škripek (ECR). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, škorpióny zvyknú žiť v skrytosti. Darí sa im najmä medzi skalami a trhlinami. Keď sa však na škorpiónov posvieti ultrafialovým svetlom, tak sú jasne viditeľné, pretože všetky škorpióny majú fluorescenčnú vonkajšiu vrstvu, a tak proste zasvietia. A takto je čas posvietiť si na korupciu a odhaľovať skrytých škorpiónov, ktorí sa skrývajú aj v politike a v biznise. Takáto vražda maltskej novinárky je jasným prejavom zhubnosti a zhubnej korupčnej siete zlých ľudí, ktorí sa navzájom držia a pomáhajú si. Ale začína sa aj neschopnosťou silových a justičných zložiek často pretaviť dobré zákony do praxe. Namiesto nich vidíme frustrovaných občanov, ktorí hlboko nedôverujú inštitúciám. A moja krajina Slovensko môže byť tiež považovaná za vlajkovú loď takejto korupcie, klientelizmu a špinavých kšeftov, ktorých vidíme v politike príliš veľa. Ja však verím v zmenu a očakávam čas, keď občania, ako aj úradníci a štátni predstavitelia naberú odvahu a posvietia do tmavých kútov korupčných systémov. Podobne ako Daphne Caurana Galizia. Lenže odstránenie príde vtedy, keď na miestach zodpovednosti budú stáť čestní ľudia, ktorí sú ochotní niesť zodpovednosť voči Bohu aj voči ľudom a zostať čestnými.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Stelios Kouloglou (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, we don’t have to use Malta as a scapegoat to cover up our collective mistakes. Is Malta the only tax haven in the European Union? No. Is Malta the only country that facilitates tax evasion? No. Is Malta the only country that facilitates money-laundering? No. Is Malta the only country in the European Union that does not protect whistle-blowers? No. All these phenomena together are producing corruption, and corruption produces violence and crime. So if we want to avoid crime we have to establish pan-European legislation against those phenomena: against corruption, against money-laundering, against tax evasion, against tax havens. Let’s do that. Stop crying crocodile tears for Caruana.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Josep-Maria Terricabras (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I will focus only on points 5 and 6 of our resolution on Malta. Point 5 expresses concerns about the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, including freedom of the media, independence of the police and judiciary. Point 6 calls on the Commission, the Council and Parliament to establish a dialogue with the Maltese Government. Thus, concern and dialogue with a Member State.

But a similar concern and wish for dialogue in relation to Spain is not shown by the European Union institutions, in spite of having there more than strong signals of breaches of the rule of law, of democracy and of fundamental rights. There the police have brutally beaten peaceful people; the central government has sacked a democratically elected regional government; half of this government is in prison, the other half in exile; the President of the parliament was sent to prison; 700 mayors are judicially indicted. Do we need more? There is more. Why this unequal treatment? I ask Mr Timmermans: are the European institutions applying the principle of be strong with the weak, be weak with strong?

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ignazio Corrao (EFDD). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ci sarebbero tante cose da dire su quel che succede a Malta, dai miei vicini di casa. Ma, in un minuto, mi sento innanzitutto di esprimere il mio apprezzamento per la decisione del Parlamento di inviare la delegazione di deputati delle commissioni LIBE e PANA nell'isola. Tuttavia, ritengo estremamente contraddittoria la decisione di tenere fuori dal tema della missione ogni tipo di riferimento al caso dell'efferato omicidio di Dafne Caruana Galizia, la giornalista che era venuta in questo Parlamento per far luce sui Panama Papers.

In quell'occasione, aveva denunciato quello che aveva scoperto sul sistema dei paradisi fiscali e gli affari che ci ruotano intorno, sia europei che extraeuropei. Le sue indagini erano giunte a un punto cruciale quando sono state bruscamente interrotte da chi aveva e ha tuttora un interesse a tenere nascosti questi gravi reati finanziari e non solo. Pertanto mi chiedo: con che coraggio parliamo oggi di Stato di diritto se non riteniamo una priorità assoluta far luce su un attentato di tale rilevanza?

In quanto relatore della direttiva sulla lotta al riciclaggio di denaro mediante il diritto penale, mi auspico che si possano fare davvero passi avanti sia sulla lotta al riciclaggio a livello europeo sia nell'utilizzare questa delegazione che andrà a Malta per far luce sui problemi che sono emersi.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Dominique Bilde (ENF). – Madame la Présidente, début novembre, la Commission rejetait les appels à une enquête indépendante sur l’assassinat de Daphne Caruana Galizia. Pourtant intransigeante contre certains États comme la Hongrie, la Commission semble donc encline à laisser prospérer dans l’Union un système de corruption endémique. Ce «deux poids, deux mesures» est d’autant plus frappant que ce crime intervient après de multiples mises en garde, notamment de l’organe de contrôle du pluralisme des médias, sur les insuffisances maltaises en matière de libertés fondamentales et de transparence.

Lorsque Malte a assuré la présidence du Conseil, elle a pourtant fait de la lutte contre le blanchiment une priorité. Les hommages à Mme Caruana Galizia ne sauraient être un cache-misère à l’attentisme dans la lutte anticorruption.

La Commission doit prendre ses responsabilités s’agissant de pratiques comme l’achat de la citoyenneté, dénoncées par la résolution de mes collègues, qui compromettent fortement l’ensemble de l’Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Roberta Metsola (PPE). – Madam President, standing up here today is not easy. Standing up rarely is. I represent a fiercely proud people, a hard—working people. We Maltese have worked tirelessly for everything we’ve ever had, and battled geography to claim our rightful place as EU members. That is the Malta I know and that is the Malta I fight for.

But all is not well in my country today, and to remain silent is to be complicit. Too many people have sacrificed too much for me not to speak as our authorities pillage our children’s legacy and destroy our reputation. To this House I would say: you have become the last bastion of hope for the people we represent, and this is what the EU means to us – hope, and a guarantee that the rule of law will always be protected, because joining the EU was our way of ensuring that no politician with delusions of grandeur would ever trample on our rights again without our European partners stepping in to help us.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was executed – assassinated – and her killing exposed the urgency of the situation in Malta, where the ruling party has used its majority to ride roughshod over the rule of law. Malta is a great country, but we have to have the courage to say that it is unacceptable that journalists are killed with impunity, that it is outrageous that the press is under threat, and that it is disgraceful that the police refuse to investigate corruption. Because we know that there can be no rule of law without law enforcement, that there can be no true democracy with a shackled media, and that there can be no justice when those exposing crimes are the ones targeted.

Instead of facing the issue, our Prime Minister spends his time addressing rallies, calling us traitors, claiming he is defending Malta, even from Europe. He thinks he can intimidate everyone, but we will not be silent, and neither should the Commission: it should launch a rule-of-law dialogue with the Maltese authorities and help our country move forward.

The situation is desperate. I ask all of you: stand with us, do not let us down now that we need you most.

(Applause)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Miriam Dalli (S&D). – Fil-fatt, iva kienu ġimgħat diffiċli għal Malta wara l-qtil atroċi ta’ Daphne Caruana Galizia, imma kontra l-impressjoni inġusta li qed tingħata f’dan il-Parlament, Malta għandha u qegħda tintroduċi liġijiet b’saħħithom u li jaħdmu, u iva, Malta lesta tiddiskuti fejn hemm bżonn, jiġi indirizzat, kif diġà insistiet.

Il-Partit tal-Popolari Ewropew qed jgħidilna li r-Rule of Law f’Malta ikkollassa. Nistaqsi jien: f’pajjiż fejn ir-Rule of Law jikkollassa, jidħlu liġijiet ġodda bħal-liġi tal-finanzjament tal-partiti? Bħat-tneħħija tal-preskrizzjoni dwar atti ta’ korruzzjoni minn politiċi? Bħal Whistleblowers’ Protection Act? F’pajjiż fejn il-gvern jhedded il-libertà tal-espressjoni, tkun ippreżentata liġi li temenda l-Att dwar l-istampa billi tipproponi t-tneħħija ta’ libell kriminali, u Precautionary Warrant f’każ ta’ libell ċivili? F’pajjiż mingħajr Rule of Law, jiddaħħlu fost l-aqwa liġijiet favur il-komunità LGBTI?

Dawn huma kollha liġijiet li ddaħħlu f’dawn l-aħħar erba’ snin f’Malta kemm ilu li hemm gvern Soċjal Demokratiku, liġijiet li l-Partit Nazzjonalista, li jagħmel parti mill-familja tal-EPP, lanqas biss ikkunsidra f’ħamsa u għoxrin sena. F’pajjiż fejn ir-Rule of Law suppost ikkollassa jkun hemm is-segretezza u nirreferi hawnhekk għall-Financial Secrecy Index mit-Tax Justice Network, li jikkunsidra lil Malta aktar trasparenti minn pajjiżi bħall-Ġermanja, ir-Renju Unit, u l-Lussemburgu, li huma plejers kbar fis-servizzi finanzjarji offshore. Ara dan l-index, dan l-index ma ġiex ikkwotat fir-riżoluzzjoni konġunta li dan il-parlament ser jivvota dwarha.

Malta mhijiex tgħid li ma tridx tirranġa fejn hemm bżonn, imma sfortunatament l-għaġġla ta’ xi uħud f’dan il-Parlament biex jikkundannaw lil Malta mingħajr lanqas biss jippruvaw jagħmlu analiżi oġġettiva ta’ realtà qegħda tkompli tikkonferma kemm jiġu adottati double standards ma’ pajjiżi differenti.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Oskarżenia elit maltańskich o korupcję, nieuczciwe praktyki współpracy z biznesem oraz wspieranie funkcjonowania rajów podatkowych nie są czymś nowym – wystarczy wspomnieć sprawę Johna Dalliego, byłego komisarza ds. zdrowia, która wstrząsnęła Brukselą w 2012 r. Znamienne jest też to, że po raz kolejny w tym roku omawiamy tu w Parlamencie kwestię praworządności Malty. Wcześniej uczyniliśmy to w kontekście „Panama Papers” oraz kontrowersyjnego maltańskiego programu sprzedaży obywatelstwa. Coraz częściej się mówi o tym, że działające na Malcie zbyt luźne regulacje finansowe zamieniły ją w kraj przestępczości zorganizowanej.

W związku z tym chciałbym zapytać pana przewodniczącego Timmermansa, którego troska o praworządność jest nam w Polsce doskonale znana, jak to się stało, że nie był pan w stanie dostrzec wcześniej, aż do tego strasznego mordu, że na Malcie być może nie jest najlepiej z praworządnością? Jak to się dzieje, że pan nie jest w stanie dostrzec problemów związanych z prawami fundamentalnymi w Hiszpanii, we Francji, w pana kraju? Może ma pan fałszywe priorytety? Może pańska uwaga jest wybiórcza? A może ma pan podwójne standardy?

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Luke Ming Flanagan (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, Daphne Caruana Galizia was a journalist apart, not just because of the quality of her writing, not just because of those whom she was exposing for their corruption decided to murder her, but because of her courage in an ocean of cowardice. Traditional journalism was about fearlessly and objectively holding authority to account, about protection of the interests of the masses, about exposing wrongdoing, especially at the highest level. All of those would describe Daphne to a tee.

Modern journalism is about fearfully and subjectively kowtowing to authority, about protection of the interests of the powerful few, about burying wrongdoing especially at the highest level. I can think of many so-called journalists whom that would describe. People who aren’t just writing and speaking to defend those named and shamed in the Panama papers and the Paradise papers but in some cases are actually on their payroll, owned and controlled.

In the same way that we have political parties, who besmirch the word ‘people’ by incorporating it in their name, we have news outlets who besmirch the word ‘independent’. I hope Daphne’s death was not in vain, but given how this place works I fear it will be.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marco Valli (EFDD). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, quanto successo a Malta e quanto successo alla giornalista Dafne Caruana Galizia è tremendo, perché era una persona onesta, che stava indagando su questioni molto complesse, nelle quali ci sono conflitti e interessi enormi tra politica, criminalità organizzata e finanza, insomma poteri molto grossi che in qualche modo influenzano un po' anche la nostra attività.

Lei ha lanciato un messaggio sul suo blog, prima di essere assassinata, affinché queste istituzioni si prodigassero per cercare di sposare la sua causa. Purtroppo, non è più qui con noi. Io non vorrei che questo segnale rimanesse nell'ombra, come succede ogni volta in questi casi, visto che anche in Italia abbiamo avuto dei casi di assassini cruenti come questi. Bisogna reagire, bisogna fare in modo che la parte sana delle istituzioni inizi a fare veramente delle regole sane e che la si smetta di coprire tutto quello che succede poi dopo nella realtà.

Ad esempio, mi spiace che oggi non sia qua, per il secondo dibattito di questo Parlamento sul tema, il Presidente della Commissione Juncker, che già oggi sullo scandalo dei Paradise Papers non si è presentato. Un po' di serietà sarebbe nel venire a rappresentare l'istituzione della Commissione europea su dei temi che lo vedono anche direttamente coinvolto, come nello scandalo LuxLeaks.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Werner Langen (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Während wir hier über die Rechtsstaatlichkeit in Malta diskutieren, verkauft der Premierminister in Hongkong Pässe. Er nennt das vornehm „to promote investment and job creation in Malta“. Genau das ist der Punkt: die arrogante Art und Weise der sozialistischen Regierung in Malta gegenüber dem PANA-Ausschuss, gegenüber der Öffentlichkeit, gegenüber den Journalisten. Das zeigt, dass hier vieles nicht in Ordnung ist.

Die Selbstheilungskräfte in Malta reichen nicht aus, um europäisches Recht einzuhalten. Das stolze Volk der Malteser baut auf uns, auf unsere Hilfe und, Herr Vizepräsident der Kommission, auch auf Ihre Hilfe. Es genügt nicht zu sagen: Wir haben das alles geprüft. Sie müssen auch die Bedingungen des Beitritts vor 13 Jahren erneut auf den Prüfstand stellen. Morgens vergießt der Fraktionsvorsitzende der Sozialisten im Zusammenhang mit den Paradiespapieren Krokodilstränen, und nachmittags ist die gesamte Riege der S&D entweder nicht anwesend oder verteidigt die fehlende Rechtsstaatlichkeit in Malta als normal und lenkt ab. Das kann nicht die Arbeitsteilung sein.

Solange die Sozialisten ihrem Mitglied Muscat nicht auf die Finger schauen, wird er sein arrogantes Verhalten nicht ablegen. Und wir haben die Verpflichtung, nach Malta zu schauen: Was ist System? Was ist Regierungsversagen? Wo ist das Versagen der Europäischen Kommission? Wie können wir helfen?

Wir haben die Erfahrung gemacht: Nach den Ermittlungen ist der Polizeichef entlassen worden, der Generalanwalt, die Ergebnisse der Ermittlungen gegen Regierungsmitglieder wurden nie veröffentlicht, das Verfahren ist nicht abgeschlossen, intern sind Leute in verantwortlicher Position in der Justiz, die uns den Eindruck hinterlassen: Die Gewaltenteilung ist nicht ordentlich gewährleistet. Und, Herr Vizepräsident, Malta braucht auch die massive Unterstützung der Kommission und des Parlaments. Wir werden das liefern.

(Beifall)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ana Gomes (S&D). – Em Malta não há ataque ostensivo à “rule of law” pelo Governo, como vemos na Hungria ou na Polónia. O problema em Malta é a captura do Estado, através de membros do Governo, deputados, autoridades de supervisão, magistrados, polícias, funcionários, por parte de interesses financeiros ou serviços de intermediários, como a Nexia BT. Por essa razão Malta se opõe à transparência sobre os beneficiários efetivos das “trusts” que este Parlamento propõe nas negociações sob a 5.ª Diretiva antibranqueamento de capitais e financiamento do terrorismo.

O problema não se confina ao atual Governo: foram políticas desregulatórias de décadas, transversais aos partidos políticos, orquestradas a partir de Londres com o beneplácito de Bruxelas, que tornaram Malta um paraíso fiscal no seio da União Europeia, fazendo ali desenvolver-se uma indústria especializada em planeamento fiscal agressivo e na multiplicação de empresas de fachada, instrumentais para esquemas de lavagem de dinheiro, corrupção e outra criminalidade.

O programa de venda da nacionalidade maltesa e europeia é vértice destas políticas com riscos maiores para a segurança de Malta e da União Europeia. O assassinato à bomba da corajosa jornalista Daphne Caruana Galizia atesta-o de forma alarmante.

O Primeiro-Ministro Muscat mantém o chefe de gabinete e o ministro expostos pelos Panama Papers e ainda não permitiu uma investigação independente às alegações sobre uma conta ligando a sua mulher ao banco Pilatos. Como pode assegurar que o Governo maltês garante, como deve, a independência dos meios de supervisão, a despolitização da polícia e das autoridades judiciais? Nem sequer se propõe acabar com a acumulação de funções políticas e do Estado com a prestação de serviços financeiros, fiscais e empresariais!

Não podemos iludir-nos. Malta tem de repensar o seu modelo de desenvolvimento e deixar de servir como um dos centros europeus especializados na facilitação da evasão fiscal e branqueamento de capitais.

Cabe à Comissão e ao Conselho não só pressionar Malta para o fazer, mas também garantir, através de legislação europeia, que estas práticas são ilegalizadas e combatidas em Malta, na União Europeia - e há mais paraísos fiscais destes na União Europeia - e globalmente.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Lara Comi (PPE). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'uccisione di Dafne deve rappresentare un punto di svolta. Non è assolutamente sufficiente l'indignazione che tutti hanno espresso tramite i media, ma anche alla famiglia. Questo non è sufficiente. Noi dobbiamo ricercare la verità e la verità ne deve venir fuori, e il primo ad essere responsabile di questa ricerca deve essere il governo maltese.

Il Parlamento europeo, che ricordo essere la più grande istituzione al mondo votata democraticamente, ha il compito di ritrovare insieme a Malta la verità, e soprattutto l'appello anche dei nostri colleghi è a non lasciar soli questa realtà e questo Stato dell'Unione europea. La battaglia per Dafne e per la sua famiglia dovrà infatti diventare la battaglia di tutti gli europei, nel rispetto della tolleranza. Al fianco di Dafne dovranno esserci tutti i cittadini che credono in questa Europa civile.

Vedete, è Malta che deve dimostrare di essere uno Stato di diritto e io ho delle grandi perplessità, anche da italiana, nel momento in cui uno Stato permette di vendere la propria cittadinanza, i propri valori, la propria dignità e la propria origine, svendendola per qualche euro. Questo è anche da valutare all'interno dello Stato di diritto e, vedete, io vorrei anche ricevere una risposta chiara e precisa – ma penso non solo io, ma anche tutti i cittadini europei – perché Dafne ha ricevuto minacce, ha denunciato, ma nessuno ha fatto niente. Perché questo? Perché nessuno si è mosso? Perché si poteva evitare questa morte e non c'è stata nessuna reazione da parte del governo maltese e da parte delle autorità e dalla polizia.

Io veramente ringrazio il Parlamento europeo e mi auguro che la Commissione faccia verità e spinga a Malta a trovare la verità.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, comisario Timmermans, en los últimos dieciocho meses seis coches bomba han explotado en el país más pequeño de la Unión Europea, que no tiene un problema de criminalidad generalizada: Malta. El último de ellos se ha llevado por delante la vida de Daphne Caruana Galizia, lo que muestra de forma suprema el sacrificio inasumible de los denunciantes que tienen el coraje de trabajar por la exposición al público de lo inaceptable, la corrupción, buscando transparencia y sirviendo a la libertad de expresión.

El sacrificio de la propia vida ha tenido lugar, efectivamente, en Malta, que no tiene un problema general de retroceso de libertades ni de Estado de Derecho. Sí tiene un problema de un sistema financiero acostumbrado a las prácticas inadmisibles de captación de dinero de origen ilícito y de competición fiscal desleal, extremadamente vulnerable a la penetración del dinero procedente de la criminalidad organizada y al blanqueo.

Y, por tanto, Malta tiene que hacer un esfuerzo y mostrar con toda claridad su compromiso con la reparación, no solamente urgiendo una investigación plena e independiente en la que colabore Europol y colabore Interpol en el esclarecimiento de todos y cada uno de los crímenes y, sobre todo, de este.

Pero, tal y como nos piden dramáticamente los hijos de Daphne Caruana, Andrew, Matthew y Paul, Malta tiene que hacer mucho más. Tiene que combatir esa corrupción en su sistema financiero, incorporándose a la Fiscalía Europea como una herramienta crucial para la investigación de la delincuencia grave transnacional. Porque esa será la señal definitiva de que su sacrificio no habrá sido en vano y de que la Unión Europea está dispuesta a llevar hasta sus últimas consecuencias la reparación de esa vulnerabilidad del sistema financiero maltés y hacer buena la tarea por la que Daphne Caruana Galicia ha sacrificado su vida.

(El orador acepta responder a una pregunta formulada con arreglo al procedimiento de la «tarjeta azul» (artículo 162, apartado 8, del Reglamento))

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Paul Rübig (PPE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Ich möchte mich ganz besonders für die Argumentation bedanken, denn ich glaube, das ist unsere gemeinsame Basis, dass wir den Rechtsstaat und die Gewaltenteilung vorantreiben wollen. Glauben Sie, dass OLAF hier in Zukunft eine stärkere Rolle spielen sollte?

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – No hay ninguna institución europea que pueda sustraerse al compromiso de fortalecer el Estado de Derecho ahora que está tan amenazado, pero, particularmente, frente a la criminalidad organizada, que es seguramente la amenaza más lacerante. Y una forma de criminalidad organizada, sin duda ninguna, es la corrupción y el blanqueo de dinero procedente de negocios ilícitos.

Lo discutíamos aquí esta mañana en relación con los papeles del paraíso, que son un infierno para los contribuyentes que pagan sus impuestos honradamente y quieren tener confianza en sus instituciones. Por tanto, la OLAF, pero también Europol, Eurojust y, desarrollo de Eurojust, la Fiscalía Europea, a la que Malta tiene el deber moral y político de incorporarse si quiere mostrar efectivamente compromiso con la lucha contra la criminalidad grave transnacional.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Michał Boni (PPE). – Madam President, Malta is a beautiful country but its Government has let it down. We have journalists being assassinated, the press being targeted by a bank at the centre of serious criminal accusations, high Government officials implicated in corruption and money laundering, and a police force that defends the Government instead of people in the streets calling for justice.

All these issues taken together indicate to me a collapse of the rule of law. Winning an election does not mean the victorious party can divide up the country and ignore its obligations as an EU Member State. Malta and Poland joined the EU on the same day in 2004. Our people share the same values and joined for the same reasons. We – Poles and Maltese – act in the name of the EU and want the EU to act.

The Commission should immediately launch a rule—of—law dialogue with the Maltese authorities. The Maltese authorities should immediately investigate money-laundering activities. The independent international investigation into the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia is necessary.

I will say something about the Maltese colleagues who have taken the floor today. I have heard that the Socialists in Malta have called them traitors. This is unacceptable. They are doing their duty. We stand with them. We stand with Malta.

(Applause)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marlene Mizzi (S&D). – Għat-tieni darba f’ħames xhur l-Istat Malti qiegħed fil-bank tal-akkużati - b’mod l-aktar diskriminatorju - quddiem il-Parlament Ewropew; u din mhix ħaġa normali. Hemm min qed jinqeda b’dan il-Parlament biex jimmina Stat Membru u jagħmel bsaten fir-roti lil gvern elett demokratikament u biex jaqdi aġenda partiġġjana.

Din ir-riżoluzzjoni miktuba bla dubju minn idejn Maltin hi taħwida ta’ punti u ta’ akkużi intiżi biss biex jitfgħu dell ikrah fuq Malta u li ħafna minnhom lanqas biss għandhom x’jaqsmu fuq ir-Rule of Law.

L-istituzzjonijiet Maltin mhumiex perfetti, bħalma mhumiex perfetti f’kull stat ieħor. L-ebda stat mhu meħlus mill-kriminalità - ukoll dik finanzjarja; l-ebda pajjiż ma jista’ jgħid li hu meħlus mill-iskandli. Ma jfissirx ukoll li m’għandniex niġġieldu kull tip ta’ kriminalità u abbużi - anzi, dak li ġara ġo Malta ġara u qed jiġri f’kull pajjiż ieħor, iżda fil-każ ta’ Malta, kollox qed jitkabbar apposta biex ipaxxu aġenda partiġġjana.

Kull wieħed minnkom li qed tippuntaw subgħajkom lejn Malta għandkom erba’ swaba’ oħra jippuntaw lejkom. Li Malta tintuża bħala scapegoat mhijiex xi ħaġa li għandha tiġi aċċettata f’din l-istituzzjoni.

Il-ħsara li qed issir lil Malta hi intenzjonata u qed tipperikola investimenti, impjiegi, l-ekonomija u l-futur ta’ pajjiżna. L-iskop ta’ din ir-riżoluzzjoni mhijiex ġenwina iżda intiża biex tagħmel ħsara lill-gvern Malti, imma fuq kollox biex tipprova tniżżel lil Malta għarkobbtejha.

Mhux se jirnexxilkom.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Monika Hohlmeier (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Ich empfinde es schon als ein wenig dreist zu behaupten, dass wir alle hier im Europäischen Parlament die maltesische Gesellschaft anklagen.

Wir klagen nicht die maltesische Gesellschaft an, wir möchten den Frauen, Männern, Bürgerinnen und Bürgern in Malta helfen, Korruptlinge, organisierte Kriminelle, Terroristen, Schwarzgeld, Steuerflüchtige, schwarze Kassen und was auch immer loszuwerden und geordnete Strukturen zu bekommen. Das heißt: Wir wollen den Menschen Unterstützung geben und nicht den diejenigen, die das System zu einem Filzsystem ausgebaut haben.

Den Verkauf von Pässen an unseriöse Personen – kriminelle Personen – darf es in Zukunft nicht mehr geben. Dubiose Geldquellen, dubiose Geldflüsse, die z. B. Daphne Caruana Galizia recherchiert hat – da hätte es sein müssen, dass man ihr hilft und Unterstützung gibt, dass die entsprechenden Institutionen ihr bei den Untersuchungen helfen, und man hätte ihr Schutz geben müssen vonseiten Maltas. Das wäre erforderlich gewesen und nicht, sie auch noch anzugreifen.

Des Weiteren: Ist es notwendig, dass diese Regierung auch in einem Panama-Ausschuss mit einer Arroganz aufgetreten ist, keine Auskünfte gab, keine Kooperationsbereitschaft gezeigt hat? Das ist nicht das Malta, das eigentlich hier beitreten wollte. Denn nach den Kriterien dieses Beitritts müssten die Institutionen und Gesetze entsprechend schon vorhanden sein und demnach dürfte es das alles nicht geben, was wir hier zu beklagen haben. Wir wollen den Menschen auf Malta helfen, damit sie einen gesunden Staat haben, und nicht eine sozialistische Regierung schützen. Sonst regen sich die Sozialisten ununterbrochen bei Ungarn oder sonst was sich furchtbar auf, aber wenn es um ihre Regierung geht, wird es plötzlich ganz ruhig hier im Saal.

Gleiche Verhältnisse bitte für alle einfordern.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  La Présidente. – Alors, Monsieur Lavrilleux, vous aviez un point d’ordre?

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jérôme Lavrilleux (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, je voulais m’exprimer pour protester contre le fait que vous accordez de temps en temps un carton bleu et qu’à d’autres occasions, nous n’avons pas la possibilité d’en adresser un, ce qui me semble une rupture d’égalité des parlementaires au sein de cet hémicycle.

Je voulais simplement réagir auprès de notre collègue socialiste qui s’est exprimée il y a quelques instants, qui a osé dire qu’il se passait à Malte ce qui se passe dans de nombreux pays. Je n’ai pas connaissance qu’il y ait eu dans les autres pays de l’Union européenne des assassinats de journalistes qui enquêtaient sur la corruption qui gangrène un gouvernement.

Si elle a connaissance de tels faits, pourrait-elle nous les rapporter?

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ramón Jáuregui Atondo (S&D). – Señora presidenta, les quería decir que yo no creo que haya diferencias entre nosotros a la hora de expresar el sentimiento que produjo el asesinato de Daphne Caruana. Yo creo que condenamos el asesinato con la misma fuerza y defendemos los mismos valores europeos en relación con Malta y con los países de la Unión Europea.

El salto que quizás con toda honradez yo querría trasladarles es el que yo no me atrevo a dar para ligar o para relacionar ese crimen con el Estado. Yo no me atrevo a establecer una relación directa entre ese crimen y la destrucción del Estado de Derecho en Malta. Yo exijo justicia, pero no condeno a un país. Yo exijo una investigación independiente y que los culpables sean llevados ante la justicia, pero no cuestiono la separación de poderes en Malta.

Yo creo que hay que exigir a Malta, y ahí estamos todos unidos, que hay que exigir que descubra a los asesinos, que los lleve ante la justicia, que ponga fin a las mafias y a las organizaciones ligadas al dinero sucio y que ponga fin al fraude fiscal. Ahí estamos todos de acuerdo.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra (PPE). – Señora presidenta, quiero que escuchen lo que decía Daphne treinta minutos antes de que la asesinaran: «Mires donde mires, hay delincuentes por todas partes. La situación es desesperante».

Lo que tú veías, Daphne, era crimen organizado instalado cómodamente en el país, un nido de crimen organizado. Veías lavado de dinero facilitado por los bancos; veías persecución contra la prensa hostil, pena de muerte para el periodismo libre e incómodo. Eso es lo que tú veías. Veías también una Policía que no investiga y un Gobierno que dice, pero que no hace. Malta no se merece lo que está ocurriendo.

Es esencial que la prensa independiente tenga su espacio de libertad, que el Gobierno maltés y las fuerzas policiales se impliquen en la investigación del asesinato de Daphne Caruana Galizia. La seguridad en democracia es una cuestión esencial, vinculada a la fortaleza o a la fragilidad del Estado de Derecho. Valoro muy positivamente que ya se encuentren en La Valeta, de forma permanente, dos funcionarios de Europol para contribuir al esclarecimiento de este asesinato.

Y, por último, señor Timmermans, quiero pedir a la Comisión que se involucre de inmediato iniciando un diálogo sobre el Estado de Derecho con las autoridades maltesas.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marc Tarabella (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, «ma mère a été assassinée, car elle se trouvait, comme d’autres journalistes, entre le règne de la loi et ceux qui la violent, mais elle a également été prise pour cible, car elle était la seule personne à le faire. C’est ce qui arrive quand les institutions d’un État sont devenues incapables. La dernière personne à rester debout est souvent un journaliste.»

C’est par ces mots que le fils de la journaliste d’investigation maltaise, Daphne Caruana Galizia assassinée dans l’explosion de son véhicule, a qualifié le meurtre de sa maman.

Le moment que vous avez décidé de m’accorder, ici dans cet hémicycle, j’ai eu envie de lui consacrer, à elle et à tous ces lanceurs d’alerte qui risquent leur vie pour ce qu’ils estiment être juste. Et le combat de cette journaliste maltaise était juste, elle servait bien l’intérêt général.

Au printemps, un magazine américain bien connu avait classé Mme Daphne Caruana Galizia parmi les 28 personnalités qui font bouger l’Europe, la décrivant comme un WikiLeaks entier, en une seule femme en croisade contre le manque de transparence et la corruption à Malte.

Je rejoins les déclarations de la Commission européenne sur ce sujet, je suis, moi aussi, horrifié par cet assassinat.

Je demande à cette même Commission de dépasser la posture et de passer aux actes.

Ce meurtre crapuleux perpétré à Malte doit être le dernier, espérons-le. Nous attendons avec impatience que la Commission européenne propose enfin une législation qui protège les lanceurs d’alerte, comme d’ailleurs lui suggère le Parlement européen, via plusieurs requêtes.

Enfin, il faut prendre conscience que la disparition de Daphne est une attaque contre la liberté d’expression, est une attaque contre ceux qui luttent pour une bonne gouvernance, est une attaque contre tous ceux qui en Europe se battent pour plus de justice.

Ils ont voulu l’assassiner pour la faire taire, faisons en sorte de continuer à porter sa voix et à continuer le combat pour des pratiques plus propres.

Justice doit être rendue.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Milan Zver (PPE). – Sprva mi dovolite, da izrazim iskreno sožalje družini Daphne Galizia, ki je bila zaradi svojega pogumnega in poštenega novinarskega dela brutalno umorjena. Še težje se je sprijazniti z njeno smrtjo, če vemo, da bi to dejanje lahko preprečili.

Kaže in slišimo danes, da ima Malta težave pri delovanju pravne države in vse slabšo situacijo na področju medijske svobode. S tem dejanjem je bilo preiskovalcem korupcije in kriminala ter raziskovalnim novinarjem poslano grozno in jasno sporočilo. Znano je, da je ustrahovanje način dela mafije. Če pa sodstvo, policija in mediji niso resnično neodvisni in odporni, potem imamo že sistemski problem. Toda Malta glede tega ni izjema.

Nedavno tega je preiskovalna komisija slovenskega parlamenta razkrila primer obsežnega pranja denarja. Nekateri so izrabili največjo slovensko banko in pred sedmimi leti oprali milijardo evrov v korist iranskega režima, ki je bil domnevno uporabljen za financiranje terorizma. Predsedniku te preiskovalne komisije dr. Anžetu Logarju in njegovim staršem je s smrtjo javno grozil neki radikalni levičar. Tudi uglednemu novinarju Jožetu Možini so pred dnevi grozili s smrtjo, še prej politiku Janezu Janši. Pa se nič ne zgodi. Kam pelje? Kam peljejo vse te grožnje?

Nekatere države članice očitno niso sposobne same zagotoviti varnosti svojim državljanom, zato pozivam Unijo, da hitreje ukrepa v takih posebnih situacijah, da odpre strukturiran dialog z vladami in tako zaščiti ogrožene.

Naj se za konec zahvalim predsedniku Evropskega parlamenta, ki je včeraj po Daphne poimenoval dvorano oziroma novinarsko središče v Evropskem parlamentu.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Christel Schaldemose (S&D). – Fru formand! Er det bekymrende, at en kritisk journalist dræbes med koldt blod på Malta? Ja! Er det bekymrende, at Malta er et skattelyland? Ja! Men er det grund nok til at ligestille Malta med lande i EU, der ikke overholder retsstatsprincipperne? Nej! Malta er ikke Ungarn, Malta er ikke Polen. Malta er i dialog med resten af EU. Malta har rakt ud og bedt om hjælp. Lad os bruge den dialog til at hjælpe Malta med at få opklaret mordet, få fundet ud af, hvordan man beskytter journalister bedre, få stoppet skattely og i øvrigt bistå med at styrke retsstatsprincipperne, herunder gennemsigtigheden i Malta. Så lad nu vær med at sammenligne Malta med Ungarn og Polen. Derimod kunne vi opfordre Polen og Ungarn til at gøre det samme som Malta, nemlig at række hånden ud og bede om hjælp fra EU-Kommissionen.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Μανώλης Κεφαλογιάννης (PPE). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, όπως είναι γνωστό, η Daphne Caruana δολοφονήθηκε στο παγιδευμένο με εκρηκτικά αυτοκίνητό της. Η Daphne έγινε γνωστή για τη μάχη της υπέρ της διαφάνειας, διερευνούσε τα Panama Papers και τις ενδεχόμενες διασυνδέσεις με την κυβέρνηση της Μάλτας. Κατήγγειλε τις απειλές που δέχτηκε αλλά δεν της παρασχέθηκε προστασία· στο πρόσωπό της πλήττεται το κράτος δικαίου εντός της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και αυτό δεν μπορεί να γίνει αποδεκτό.

Ζητούμε από την Επιτροπή να στηρίξει το κράτος δικαίου και να αναλάβει όλες τις αναγκαίες πρωτοβουλίες σε κάθε κράτος μέλος της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, ώστε να πέσει άπλετο φως σε αυτή την υπόθεση και σε όσες άλυτες υποθέσεις υπάρχουν. Όπως έλεγε και ο Πλάτωνας στην «Πολιτεία», να δούμε τα «όντως όντα», δηλαδή τα πράγματα όπως είναι, την αλήθεια των πραγμάτων.

Η πραγματικότητα για το κράτος δικαίου στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση αρχίζει να γίνεται προβληματική· Πολωνία, Ουγγαρία, Μάλτα, Ελλάδα είναι μόνο η αρχή. Περιμένουμε πρωτοβουλίες από την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή και το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Cécile Kashetu Kyenge (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Dafne era da molti considerata una pioniera del giornalismo investigativo. Dafne era stata inserita tra le persone che avrebbero plasmato e scosso l'Europa nel 2017. Dafne credeva nella libertà di espressione e svolgeva con passione e professionalità un mestiere che amava più di ogni altra cosa.

Dafne è stata barbaramente assassinata perché, con la forza delle sue parole, stava difendendo i valori fondamentali in materia di libertà, democrazia, uguaglianza e Stato di diritto, e si è frapposta a coloro che questo Stato di diritto cercano di violarlo. Non c'è un unico responsabile dietro la sua morte. C'è un sistema corrotto che agisce contro il grande valore della democrazia e che ha ramificazioni all'interno e all'esterno dell'Unione europea.

Contiamo sul governo maltese e sull'assistenza che riceve dalle principali agenzie investigative europee e internazionali, affinché faccia luce su questo barbaro assassinio, per rendere giustizia a Dafne e al suo lavoro di giornalista investigativo e al suo contributo straordinario all'affermazione dello Stato di diritto, non solo a Malta ma in tutta Europa.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Madam President, dear colleagues, the situation of the rule of law in Malta has been raising many questions in recent years. Now it has reached its peak. Daphne Caruana was murdered because she reported on the Panama Papers scandal which directly implicated the Maltese Government.

This murder has become a symbol of the fight against corruption and lack of activity and transparency of the Maltese Government is completely unacceptable in an EU Member State. It is proof of a weakened state institution.

I would like to appeal to Maltese colleagues from S&D, the Maltese Labour Party – you must put pressure on your Prime Minister and Government.

Mr Commissioner, you have to play a more active role of control and enforcement of justice.

 
  
  

PŘEDSEDNICTVÍ: PAN PAVEL TELIČKA
místopředseda

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Lívia Járóka (PPE). – Elnök Úr! Daphne Galizia borzalmas és fájdalmas halála mindannyiunkat – nem csak azokat, akik a korrupció ellen lépnének föl, vagy az emberi jogokért, a sajtószabadságért – megrengetett és megfélemlített. Többször is meggondoljuk, azt hiszem, hogy hogyan lépjünk ilyen ügyekbe bele ezentúl. Hogy bele lehet halni az oknyomozó újságírásba, azt eddig is tudtuk, de hogy ez Európában, a XXI. században történik meg... És akkor már a máltai kormány reakcióiról nem is beszélek.

Ez teljesen elkeserítő, és azoknak a kollégáknak mondanám, akik Máltát Magyarországhoz vagy Lengyelországhoz hasonlítják, hogy ez nagyfokú tudatlanságra utal, és szerintem ezt a manipulációt vissza kell utasítanunk. Itt elvettek egy életet, lemészároltak egy asszonyt, egy újságírót. Az igazság eltusolása volt a cél, és a Bizottság véleményem szerint feltűnően lassan reagált. Óriási hiba volt, hogy ma sem kaptunk sokkal tisztább válaszokat. Arra szeretném kérni a Bizottságot, hogy azonnali párbeszédre szólítsa föl a feleket, és mindenképpen kerülje el még annak a látszatát is annak, hogy kettős mérce alapján ítéli meg az EU-s országokat.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Francis Zammit Dimech (PPE). – Ninsab kburi li nkun f’dan il-Parlament nirrapreżenta lill-poplu Malti, għax il-poplu Malti meta vvota għad-dħul ta’ pajjiżna fl-Unjoni Ewropea ried preċiżament li jkollu l-ħarsien tas-saltna tad-dritt u tal-valuri fundamentali, inkluż dak tal-libertà tal-espressjoni.

Ngħixu f’sitwazzjoni mill-iktar surreali. Għaliex? Għaliex illum min qiegħed jipprova jgħidilna li qiegħed jinvestiga l-qtil ta’ Daphne Caruana Galizia huwa l-istess persuna li m’għamel xejn biex jinvestiga l-iskandli kollha li żvelat Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Illum qegħdin fis-sitwazzjoni surreali li min qed jgħidilna li jrid jagħmel ġustizzja magħha fil-mewt tagħha, naturalment ma kienx kapaċi jipproteġiha f’ħajjitha. Illum qegħdin fis-sitwazzjoni surreali li min kasbarha fil-ħidma ġurnalistika tagħha issa qed jgħid li jrid iħares lejn kull ma kitbet biex jara jasalx għal tarf fuq il-qtil tagħha.

Kummissjoni, il-poplu Malti jistenna li inti tkun l-għassiesa tal-valuri Ewropej u mhux apoloġista ta’ gvern jew ieħor.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Dariusz Rosati (PPE). – Mr President, I visited Malta as part of the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) investigation. The reason for our visit was that several names of Maltese Government high officials appeared in the Panama Papers and we wanted to get some explanations. Unfortunately, we met with a lack of cooperation on the side of Maltese Government. The Prime Minister’s chief of cabinet simply refused to meet us. We even asked the Prime Minister to help us in organising the meeting with Mr Schembri, with no result, unfortunately. The other minister of Mr Muscat’s cabinet failed to convince Members of the European Parliament of his innocence. And then we also met with Daphne Caruana Galizia. She explained to us the situation in the country, and only a few months later she was assassinated.

Mr President, I think that this strategy should mobilise all of us to make sure that all those responsible are brought to justice and that such a tragedy never happens again.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Mr President, before the shocking assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, before the massacre perpetrated against the freedom of expression and the European way of life, I can only recall the surprisingly sensible, calm and quiet words of Mark Anthony before the corpse of Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s masterpiece: ‘O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!’.

The only thing that we ask the Commission and the Maltese authorities to do is to grant respect and observation of the rule of law.

Malta is geographically and historically one of the gates and one of the doors of the European Union. It should be the bastion of the protection of human rights, the rule of law, the independence of judicial power and impartially of criminal prosecution.

Daphne Galizia was known internationally, was known globally for her fight against corruption. She reported on the corruption. She reported on the Panama Papers and we have seen, we have read, we have heard and we could not ignore that the Panama Papers are directly implicated with some Maltese authorities. Nothing was done to protect her life, to protect her job, to protect her freedom.

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Patricija Šulin (PPE). – Svoboda medijev je steber sodobnih demokratičnih družb. Današnja razprava o pravni državi na Malti kaže, da Evropski parlament ne molči, ko se je potrebno zavzeti za svobodo govora in medijski pluralizem.

Slovenskega novinarja Mirota Petka so leta 2001 našli pred domačo hišo hudo pretepenega, šlo je za poskus umora. Novinar Miro Petek je pisal o mahinacijah Nove kreditne banke Maribor, lokalnega gospodarstva, prepletenega s političnimi in kapitalskimi interesi posameznikov. Slovenska država pa vse do danes ni bila sposobna odkriti in kaznovati napadalcev.

Umor novinarke Galizie je črn dan za demokracijo. Poleg odločne obsodbe tako zavrženih dejanj, moramo zahtevati neodvisno mednarodno preiskavo umora ter malteške organe pozvati k zaščiti svobode medijev, pravne države in temeljnih pravic.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, καταδικάζουμε για άλλη μια φορά τη δολοφονία της Daphne Caruana Galizia και εκφράζουμε την ανησυχία μας για τη φίμωση του Τύπου και τις απειλές κατά των δημοσιογράφων. Η άτυχη δημοσιογράφος διερευνούσε τα Panama Papers και τις ενδεχόμενες διασυνδέσεις κυβερνητικών αξιωματούχων για ξέπλυμα μαύρου χρήματος και διαφθορά.

Κύριε Timmermans, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση οφείλει να ενισχύσει καθοριστικά το νομικό καθεστώς ενάντια στο ξέπλυμα μαύρου χρήματος και στη διαφθορά, και ταυτόχρονα να καταπολεμήσει νομοθετικά και άμεσα τα φαινόμενα των φορολογικών παραδείσων, της φοροδιαφυγής, της φοροαποφυγής και του φορολογικού ντάμπινγκ. Αυτό βέβαια δεν αφορά μόνο την Μάλτα, αφορά πολλά κράτη μέλη της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, αφορά το Λουξεμβούργο, αφορά την Ολλανδία.

Πρέπει να σταματήσει ο επιθετικός φορολογικός σχεδιασμός και πρέπει να ενισχυθεί το κράτος δικαίου.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η πρόταση ψηφίσματος για το κράτος δικαίου στη Μάλτα υπερβαίνει τα εσκαμμένα και θεωρώ ότι ξεπερνάει τα όρια της πολιτικής ορθότητας και αποτελεί προσπάθεια ευθείας παρέμβασης σε εσωτερικά ζητήματα κράτους μέλους.

Αρχικά να καταδείξω για μια ακόμα φορά την επιλεκτική αναφορά στο κράτος δικαίου, η οποία δεν εφαρμόζεται σε περιπτώσεις πολιτικών και δικαστικών διώξεων εθνικιστών. Αφετέρου, η Δημοκρατία της Μάλτας έχει νόμιμα εκλεγμένη κυβέρνηση η οποία έχει την αποκλειστική ευθύνη να εφαρμόζει και να προστατεύει τον χώρο ελευθερίας, ασφάλειας και δικαιοσύνης και να σέβεται τα θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα. Βέβαια, η ήπια φρασεολογία που χρησιμοποιείται από τη σοσιαλιστική ομάδα, εν αντιθέσει με τις περιπτώσεις της Πολωνίας και της Ουγγαρίας, δικαιολογείται λόγω της ύπαρξης των σοσιαλιστών στην κυβέρνηση της Μάλτας.

Προτείνω λοιπόν στους ευρωβουλευτές που κατέθεσαν την πρόταση ψηφίσματος να προχωρήσουν σε παρόμοια ενέργεια, κατονομάζοντας και καταδικάζοντας όλους τους σοσιαλιστές και μη, διεφθαρμένους πολιτικούς που συμμετέχουν σε σκάνδαλα. Έβλαψαν το δημόσιο συμφέρον, καταχράστηκαν την εξουσία, φοροδιέφυγαν και τα ονόματά τους φιγουράρουν σε λίστες και papers.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η δολοφονία της άτυχης Daphne Caruana Galizia έφερε στην επιφάνεια κάποια θέματα που σχετίζονται με την εφαρμογή του κράτους δικαίου στη Μάλτα. Για τον λόγο αυτό, η κυβέρνηση οφείλει αφενός μεν να εντοπίσει και να συλλάβει τους δολοφόνους της, αλλά παράλληλα να δώσει πειστικές απαντήσεις σχετικά με το αν υπάρχει διαφθορά στη χώρα ή όχι.

Βεβαίως, η Μάλτα είναι ένα ανεξάρτητο κράτος και προσπαθεί να εφαρμόσει τις αρχές του κράτους δικαίου στο εσωτερικό της, όμως μπορεί η κυβέρνηση να εγγυηθεί την προστασία του Τύπου καθώς επίσης και την προστασία όσων ερευνούν σκάνδαλα και των πληροφοριοδοτών; Είναι αλήθεια ότι μια βασική πηγή πλούτου για τη χώρα είναι η παροχή υπηρεσιών, αυτό όμως δικαιολογεί να μετατραπεί η χώρα σε οικονομικό παράδεισο;

Σε κάθε περίπτωση, η κυβέρνηση της Μάλτας οφείλει να δώσει απάντηση σε τα ερωτήματα, διαφορετικά θα δώσει τη δυνατότητα στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να παρέμβει στα εσωτερικά της και να καταργήσει την ανεξαρτησία ενός ελεύθερου και κυρίαρχου κράτους.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, if a journalist is murdered it is to silence her. If it is done in this way I surmise it is not just to silence her but also to send a clear message to anybody else who might want to investigate things. That is why the way this murder was carried out is reminiscent of the attacks on Borsellino and Falcone.

So what we are dealing with here is a very serious matter that needs to be pursued, and the investigation should be allowed to run its full course and no stone left unturned.

That is why it is good that the Maltese authorities also engage in international cooperation with the FBI, with Scotland Yard, with the NFI in the Netherlands, calling also on the European institutions and on Interpol to help them.

What is not on though is already today to draw conclusions about who did it. I think we should be clear that we stress that this investigation should be allowed to run its full course, regardless of the consequences for anyone anywhere in Malta, or elsewhere by the way.

But I would caution in drawing conclusions today, as some appear to be doing here, about who is responsible for this. That is not for now.

My second point is this. Many questions were put here today, many pertinent questions about many issues relating to the situation in Malta in a number of areas. I give you the assurance here today that the European Commission will pursue all these questions and give you answers when we can, especially Mr Giegold had a number of questions – we’ve taken careful note. Other Members had also a number of questions. We will pursue those questions and then provide them with the answers whenever we can and continue to pursue them if we need to investigate further.

But again, what is not on as far as the Commission is concerned is to start with a conclusion and then look for facts to support that conclusion. That is not how we do this. We first look into the questions that were put on the table, and then if we come up with conclusions on those questions it is soon enough to then see what other steps might need to be taken. I think every Member State deserves that way of acting when we look into issues pertaining to the rule of law and other such subjects.

One issue I want to briefly highlight, because it was raised by many Members, is the so-called sale of passports.

In our 2017 citizens’ report we announced that we would produce next year, 2018, a report on national schemes granting EU citizenship to investors.

And by the way, Malta is not the only Member State that has such a scheme. A few Member States have it and, aside from that, other Member States have schemes to grant permanent residency to people who invest. So it is not just a one Member State issue, it is a broader issue and we will refer to that in our 2018 report.

This report will describe the Commission’s actions in this area, current national law and practices in all Member States, and provide some guidance. We are working on this report right now.

Member States – and this I can already say now – should use their prerogatives towards citizenship in line with their international and EU law obligations and in a spirit of sincere cooperation with other Member States. Simply because, if you become a citizen of one Member State that grants you access to all the other Member States. So you have to have an attitude of sincere cooperation with all Member States. So we will go into that in our report.

And I want to stress also, because that was raised several times, the Commission insists with Malta to really seriously look into the possibility to join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. It would be in Malta’s interest. There is another Member State that I know very well that also did not want to join the EPPO but now, with a new government, they have changed their mind and they have expressed their intention to join it, and I welcome that. I think Mr Michel is right when he says that it would be good for all Member States to be part of that so that we can have these European investigations into the use of European funds.

Let me conclude very briefly by saying that I do express the hope that, given the seriousness of this issue, and given the seriousness of the questions that were put on the table, we do not turn this into a party-political fight.

That is not what she deserves. That is not what Daphne deserves. Let’s continue to act as this House has always done with integrity and perseverance so that we allow the investigation to run its full course so that the ones responsible for this atrocious crime are brought to justice, and if we discover systemic issues that need to be addressed, that we address them in a spirit of cooperation with the Member State concerned.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Matti Maasikas, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, the Estonian Presidency and the Council as a whole attach great importance to upholding the rule of law and fundamental rights in all Member States and in the Union. We are confident that the Maltese law enforcement authorities are capable of upholding the rule of law in the face of recent developments. The Maltese citizens seem to believe that as well, according to a recent opinion poll.

One observation of a more general nature: the EU is much better at dealing with the political issues between the Member States than within the Member States because that is what the Union was created for. It is also worth remembering that the effectiveness of the EU rests on the delicate balance between respecting the sovereignty of its nation states and cooperating together to make states stronger together. Nevertheless, it is clear that all Member States have to comply with fundamental democratic standards and the rule of law.

Speaking on behalf of the Council and in the name of all its members, I am not in a position to state more at this stage. However, the Council is following this debate closely and I can assure the honourable Members that I will pay particular attention to the views expressed here today.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – I have received two motions for resolutions tabled in accordance with Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure.

The debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Wednesday, 15 November 2017.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner (ECR), kirjallinen. – Maltalla korruptiota tutkinut journalisti ja bloginpitäjä Daphne Caruana Galizia murhattiin 16.10.2017 autopommi-iskussa. Kyseinen murha johti Maltalla mielenosoituksiin. Tiedotusvälineiden moniarvoisuuden seurantaa koskevassa maakohtaisessa raportissa 2016 todettiin, kuinka Maltan tiedotusvälineillä on markkinoiden moniarvoisuutta ja poliittista riippumattomuutta koskevia suuria riskejä. Niitä voimistivat useat tekijät, kuten toimittajien ja toimituksellisen autonomian suojelun ja itsesääntelyn puute, tiedotusvälineiden poliittinen omistajuus sekä tiedotusvälineitä koskevan lukutaidon puutteellisuus. Toimittajat ilman rajoja -järjestön julkaisemassa tiedotusvälineiden vapautta käsittelevässä indeksissä 2017 todettiin, että Maltalla sanavapautta rajoittavat erityisesti kunnianloukkausta koskevat lait, joiden nojalla voidaan tuomita sakkoja tai vankeutta ja joita etenkin poliitikot käyttävät yleisesti toimittajia vastaan. Maltan koko poliittista kirjoa edustaneet poliitikot olivat nostaneet Daphne Caruana Galiziaa vastaan useita syytteitä kunnianloukkaukseen vedoten. Myös hänen pankkitilinsä jäädytettiin aiemmin tänä vuonna tuomioistuimen antamalla ennakkopäätöksellä, joka liittyi hallituksen ministerin nostamaan kunnianloukkauskanteeseen, jota ei ollut vielä ratkaistu oikeudessa. Maltan tiedotusvälineiden raportoidaan joutuneen kohtaamaan voimakasta painostusta rahanpesusyytösten kohteena olevalta Pilatus-pankilta. Pilatus-pankin asiakkaat ovat olleet enimmäkseen poliittisesti vaikutusvaltaisia azerbaidžanilaisia, joiden osalta pankki ei ole noudattanut rahanpesun torjuntaa koskevassa direktiivissä edellytettyä asianmukaista huolellisuutta. Maltan on todettu myyvän kansalaisuuttaan 650 000 eurolla kolmansien maiden kansalaisille kuten esimerkiksi venäläisille, jotka saavat samalla myös EU-kansalaisuuden siihen liittyvine oikeuksineen. Maltan tilanne on hyvin huolestuttava, joten kannatan vahvasti Euroopan parlamentin 15.11.2017 hyväksymää päätöslauselmaa oikeusvaltioperiaatteen toteutumisesta Maltalla.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Romana Tomc (PPE), pisno. – Daphne Caruana Galizia je bila novinarka, ki je raziskovala politične škandale na Malti. Preiskava njene smrti je bila dodeljena sodniku, ki ga je preiskovala. Je to pravna država?

Daphne Caruana Galizia je pokazala na koruptivnost malteške politike. Po njeni smrti se je pokazalo, kako velike so razsežnosti korupcije v tej demokratični državi članici in kako nihče ne sprejme odgovornosti. Je to pravna država?

Vse to me spominja na mojo državo, Slovenijo. Tudi v Sloveniji smo priča korupciji, ki ima lovke visoko v državnem vrhu. Tudi v Sloveniji, kot na Malti, ni še nihče odstopil. Imamo enega od najslabših sodnih sistemov v EU. Ljudje, ki so bili na položajih v času velike afere o pranju denarja in poslovanjem z Iranom, so danes v vlogi preiskovalcev, ki odkrivajo, da pri poslovanju NLBja ni bilo nepravilnosti. Dragi kolegi, kaj pa to, je to za vas pravna država?

 
Juridische mededeling