World’s Eye View on Malta

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The latest developments in Malta are also attracting the attention of foreign media. Politico reports that Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is under intense pressure after the investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia revealed close connections between suspects in the case and his top team.

In an article entitled A Letter from Malta, Raphael Vassallo adds Muscat remains in position (for now). He has said his “role right now is to make sure the country has stable leadership,” adding: “I would definitely resign if there is any sort of association between myself and the murder.” And while his popular appeal may have been dented, he retains considerable influence over the party grassroots. “But with suspicion mounting that Muscat was, at minimum, aware of corruption, his days of unassailable power appear to be numbered”, adds Vassallo.

In a report on The Guardian entitled Maltese PM’s aide and minister quit amid turmoil over journalist’s murder, refers to the latest developments in Malta and quoting Manfred Weber, the head of the centre-right EPP grouping in the European parliament, saying that the recent events as “very worrisome”, adding that “there are lot of additional questions on the table for the prime minster of Malta,” he said, adding that Muscat had to take political responsibility with regard to the principle of an independent investigation and the rule of law.

The BBC, in a report entitiled Malta Caruana murder: Resignations spark government crisisalso provided a report of the events that unfolded in Malta on Tuesday, hihglighting comments by Malta’s business community which said that the unfolding inquiry had revealed the extent of damage caused to the country. It referred to a statement by the chamber of commerce said it had become clear “the extent to which criminal activity had infiltrated the circles of power, and operated unperturbed for years”.

Euronews led with the resignation of Schembri in their story entitled “Malta government chief of staff Schembri has resigned – PM Muscat”, referring to the comments given by the Prime Minister to the press on Tuesday. “What is happening now, and what happened last week is an operation that is hopefully solving the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder,” Muscat told Reuters on Tuesday. “Whatever people might say, there is no impunity in this country.”

The Telegraph, in a report entitled “Ministers and chief of staff step aside in Malta as investigation into murder of journalist deepens” says that Malta was plunged into political turmoil on Tuesday after three politicians close to the prime minister fell on their swords as the investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia gained pace.

The Financial Times reports that the resignations that took place on Tuesday raise pressure on prime minister Joseph Muscat on a report entitled “Top Malta officials quit in Caruana Galizia murder case fallout.” The report refers  to the news about Longstanding questions over Mr Schembri and Mr Mizzi intensified after the detention and later release on police bail last week of Yorgen Fenech, a magnate to whom the pair allegedly had financial ties. 

The Mail  reports that Malta PM’s chief of staff quits amid investigation into anti-corruption journalist’s murder after main suspect names him during questioning. The report adds that sources revealed Keith Schembri had been summoned by police after he was mentioned by the tycoon Yorgen Fenech, who was hauled off his yacht in St Julian’s last week.

The Bankog Times reports the story in a report entitled “Two top Malta politicians quit as journalist murder probe deepens”.

The Independent reports “Malta journalist murder: Two senior government officials resign after businessman arrested on yacht”.

The Washington Post reports Malta PM chief of staff quits amid probe on reporter murder.