|Maria Efimova Vittoriosa by COSIMO|
This week's news, that foreign "investors" (read: individuals who wish to evade corporate taxes at home) are avoiding Malta, due to its FATF Greylisting status, is just one more strike against it. The EU, clearly unhappy with Malta's insistence on keeping its IIM ( Citizenship by Investment) programme, and its failure to follow the Rule of Law in its castrated court system, is pushing it hard, from a distance. Then, the utter failure to move criminal cases pending against PL officials, past and present, has presented Malta to the world as a Mafia nation, not to be trusted for any international business. Finally, the extradition of the Colombian money launderer, Alex Saab Moran, to the United States, has increased the chances that certain Maltese will also follow him in due course.
Meanwhile, the Whistleblower, Maria Efimova, has been pointedly ignored by Malta's Prime Minister, Robert Abela, because her evidence will sink the Godfather, Joseph Muscat, with whom Abela is attached like a Siamese twin. Allowing the Whistleblower to testify is legal and professional suicide for Abela, who is praying that he escapes the probable fate of his patron, Muscat.
What's next, you ask ; More criminal charges, to pacify the Maltese voters ahead of elections ? Indicting a minor player (a la the Pilatus Bank MLRO) to make it appear that reform is happening ? Or perhaps throwing a bone to the public in the Daphne case. It's all BS, sounds and fury, signifying nothing.
Will a foreign indictment of a senior government officials bring down the Abela government ? We cannot say what the future may bring, but Malta is well on its way to being even more irrelevant as an offshore financial centre, with or without a foreign case. Will that rare Maltese individual, the fabled Honest Man, now step forward, and change Malta's destiny ?