27th Jun 2022


'Every second Muscat refuses to resign is too long'

  • Daphne Caruana Galizia. 'An independent investigation cannot take its course while Muscat continues to hold onto to power'

Open letter to EU leaders,

Malta has been gripped by a crisis of unprecedented proportions that has struck at the core of our constitutional institutions. It is the result of high-level international corruption and money laundering going unchecked for far too long.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

On 16 October 2017, Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated. Her assassins chose a car bomb explosion to do it, in broad daylight, to send a message.

She was murdered because she was the last person standing in between the rule of law and those that sought to undermine it.

With her pen, she held the powerful to account by exposing their secret wrongdoings. Her focus was the Panama Papers which featured persons close to Malta's prime minister Joseph Muscat.

The crisis engulfing Malta as of late is the direct result of an ominous new truth: that the office of the Maltese leader Muscat is now implicated in that assassination.

It is inseparably implicated in the corruption that Daphne exposed, corruption that she was killed trying to expose. It is intrinsically linked with her assassination.

Now, it is entangled with efforts to obstruct justice and cover up the most significant threat to Maltese democracy in decades.

It is under these exceptional circumstances that the head of the criminal cabal that has taken hold of the Maltese government is clinging onto power for as long as possible. He is refusing to resign immediately, instead deferring his resignation by over a month.

Every second that he refuses to resign is a second too long.

Justice has been obstructed for far too long. Evidence is emerging of a suspect in government exerting undue influence to lead the investigation astray. Furthermore, once personal friends of Muscat are involved in the murder investigation, Muscat cannot remain in a position to grant presidential pardons and remain privy to the inquiry's details.

Muscat remaining prime minister of Malta is incongruous with an independent investigation as required by the standards of the Maltese constitution and by European law.

It is high time for EU institutions to stand with the Maltese people. We need Europe's attention in this matter, to very closely monitor the integrity of the investigations.

This is the only way for the whole truth to be able to emerge so that justice can be served.

It isn't just Malta that needs this – it is all of Europe. An infringement of fundamental rights in one member state threatens all EU citizens.

The prime minister has gone through great lengths to remain in power, at the cost of degenerating Malta into a state of crisis. Many from his own governmental cabinet want him out. Protests are blocking off the capital on an almost daily basis, with thousands marching in the streets calling for justice and for the PM not only to resign, but to be investigated.

This past week, Malta has seen its journalists physically assaulted. We have seen activists as young as 16-years-old being threatened with rape and with murder.

We have seen the Maltese parliament's so-called Freedom Square completely blocked off with barriers to deter peaceful protest.

We have seen parliament closed off to the public and suspended weeks in advance of the norm. We have seen the press locked in a room in the office of the prime minister at 03:00AM by unidentified, plain-clothes men.

The situation is desperate and cannot continue.

An independent investigation cannot take its course while Muscat continues to hold onto to power. The European parliamentary delegation this week called for the Maltese prime minister's immediate resignation.

This letter calls for all European leaders to stand with the Maltese people and to raise their concerns toward truth and justice. All European leaders must remain vigilant and ensure they will not be used to defend the indefensible.

Author bio

David Casa is a Maltese MEP, belonging to the centre-right European People's Party group.


The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

Expect Czech EU presidency to downgrade V4 priorities

The Czech Republic is already in the throes of an extremely difficult period — several waves of Covid, high inflation, energy fears, an influx of Ukrainian refugees and a Prague corruption scandal. Now it has the EU presidency.


China's support for Russia challenges Europe's Peace Order

China's soft support to Russia is deeply troubling for Europe. Here is the EU's biggest trading partner signalling that it is on the side of Russia, its aggression, and its challenge to the post-war international order.

Sturgeon's 2023 'referendum' gamble for Scotland

The independence campaign launch featured a new Scottish government report, comparing the UK's economic and social record with those of other European states — and arguing, unsurprisingly, that Scotland should be independent as a result.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  2. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  4. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic think tank examines influence of tech giants

Latest News

  1. Expect Czech EU presidency to downgrade V4 priorities
  2. Big polluters should have no role in planning EU energy policy
  3. G7, Nato, gas anxiety and Ukraine top This WEEK
  4. Death toll rising after thousands storm Spain's wall in Africa
  5. EU summit's uncertainty in the face of economic war
  6. Next winter's gas looms large at EU summer summit
  7. Ukraine becomes EU candidate after 120 days of war
  8. How to enhance EU cybersecurity

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us