PM says that through letter to FATF Bernard Grech wants Malta to be grey-listed

Prime Minister and Labour Party Leader Robert Abela stated that the Opposition Leader’s letter to the Financial Action Task Force shows that Dr Grech wants Malta to be placed on the grey list.

Interviewed on ONE Radio, the Prime Minister said he had been shocked with the contents of the letter and expressed his disappointment at this behaviour which, he added, he had never expected from Dr Bernard Grech.

Dr Abela argued that the country had implemented great changes in this sector, including to the law on money laundering, whilst reiterating the Government’s commitment to change the country’s culture in the sector of governance.

The Prime Minister declared he was disappointed at the Opposition Leader’s behaviour, stating that the letter written by Dr Bernard Grech to the Financial Action Task Force was an indirect indication that Malta should be grey-listed. Dr Abela expressed his shock at the contents of the letter, which he said had been sent at a delicate phase.

The Prime Minister stated during the interview on ONE Radio that the country had made big changes in this sector including in the law on money laundering as well as legislative changes to various entities, among which the FIAU. Dr Abela remarked that through this behaviour, the worst possible thing is not acting as a country with one voice. The Prime Minister added that whilst the Government is doing everything possible to convince with its achievements, the Opposition is telling the FATF that Malta should be grey-listed. Dr Abela reiterated the Government’s commitment to change the culture within the country in the sector of governance.

Dr Abela referred to the extension on the stamp duty reduction on the first 400,000 euro of purchased property, stating that through this measure the number of families who became homeowners has increased by 30,000 when compared to 2012. The speaker added that more than 80% of the people are now homeowners. Dr Abela remarked that this measure has continued to generate work whilst safeguarding jobs, and the number of persons registering for work has dropped as a result.

The Prime Minister also referred to targets for the reduction of emissions, pointing out that the transport and construction sectors are two areas where emissions can be reduced. Referring to the construction sector, the Prime Minister mentioned the scheme incentivising operators in this sector to change over to machinery which pollutes less, adding that the scheme had been snapped up. Dr Abela argued that emissions are not lessened by reducing economic activity but by going for intelligent development.

Speaking about education, Dr Abela stated that this is the key to advancement, adding that education is one of the five pillars of the country’s economic strategy for the next ten years. The Prime Minister said education leads to the creation of wealth and to a better quality of life and referred to an investment of close to three million euro in apprenticeships so that students will gain experience at workplaces.