How reassuring to see that institutions even in Portugal are stronger than those of Malta

Published: November 17, 2014 at 7:27am

portugal interior minister

Portugal’s Minister of the Interior (the equivalent of Manuel Mallia) has resigned because of the extensive corruption that has been discovered in the granting of ‘golden visas’ to rich non-EU citizens.

Because of the secrecy surrounding Malta’s own ‘sale of passports’ system, the only way we are ever going to find out about any corruption is if somebody blows the whistle. The thought of Manuel Mallia’s own police investigating his system is laughable, and newsrooms are taken up with picking on the easy targets.

Wasn’t the news out recently – through circular means, like the website of a lawyers’ firm or similar – that the first passports have been sold?

Manuel Mallia promised to publish the names in the Government Gazette along with those of all the other people who obtained Maltese citizenship by normal, regular, non-payment means. So we won’t be able to tell who paid and who didn’t. We can only guess.

Of course, all those who haven’t paid will now be suspected of paying. And we will never know who crossed whose palm with silver.

Let the ongoing scandal in Portugal prove to be a salutary lesson, and may the Opposition bring up this matter in parliament and push for added scrutiny, while the press raises public awareness of the massive risk of (equally massive) corruption in Malta too.

14 Comments Comment

  1. Procedures says:

    The Opposition is quite happy with the current passport situation. After all they managed to get the legal notice amended three times, didn’t they?

    • xifajk says:

      It’s not easy for the Opposition in this case.

      I have met far too many people – and rest assured, I’m not referring to Labourites/hamalli/injoranti and so forth – who disagreed with the Opposition’s arguments, insisting that they are being anti-Nationalist and will make Malta lose millions of euro which can be re-invested in health, education or less taxation.

      I’m not saying this is sound reasoning, but electorally, it’s probably being taken into consideration by the PN.

    • stephen forster says:

      Two wrongs (decisions) still does not make it right.

    • Jozef says:

      Conflict of interest abounds.

    • Louis Amato-Gauci says:

      I doubt that the Opposition is happy with the scheme. But if I am wrong, then a plague on both houses. Nothing good can ever come of this. The reputation of this country is sinking by the day.

  2. Joe Fenech says:

    Why does this surprise you?

  3. Pandora says:

    I would not set my hopes on a whistleblower following the Leisure Clothing scandal.

  4. bernie says:

    I’d expect the Opposition to table a private member’s motion to amend the IIP Act so as the names of those acquiring a passport through this law would be published separately in the Government Gazette.

    In the past days we had news that the first meeting of the committee related to this act was convened. Is that too covered in total secrecy? We haven’t even had a confirmation about such meeting yet.

  5. Mila says:

    What happend to the probes which Mallia was studying before they are published? The minister of ‘keeping a lid on things’ is certainly taking his time. He must need help with self-examination.

    Could the commissioner for laws improve the ‘trasparenza’ laws perhaps or has the priority now become safeguarding loopholes instead of improving laws?

  6. Mila says:

    Malta where the highest institutions lead by example, lies:

    ‘ “Employees are expected to go to work to get paid. It is government’s intention, from next year [2014], to start paying MPs their honoraria pro-rata according to attendance,” Prof. Scicluna had said, adding that in this way the country’s highest institution would lead by example.’

  7. Tabatha White says:

    If Manwel Mallia was ever made to resign, I’d wager he’d then bring down the rest.

    No. I don’t see it happening.

    He would only resign over Joseph Muscat’s ‘dead body,’ figuratively speaking.

  8. Jozef says:

    ‘…In reply, the Minister referred the PN Deputy Leader to a press release issued some days earlier by the Electogas consortium in which it insisted that all its members – Siemens, Gasol, Socar and GEM Holdings – are dedicated to completing the development of the project as quickly as possible and in accordance with all agreements and time schedules agreed with Enemalta…’

    Absolutely, it’s just that they haven’t yet agreed to any time schedule with Enemalta.

    Promised as a milestone schedule, whatever that is, by the end of next week.

    Damn, why don’t we just go away and leave him alone?

  9. Sun Tzu says:

    These “citizenship for sale” schemes seem to be like a magnet for shady deals. Even the EB-5 scheme in the US is riddled with questions and suspicions. See this article from Fortune magazine, “The dark, disturbing world of the visa-for-sale program”.

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