“The PN turned the European Parliament against Malta with lies,” Evarist Bartolo declared after another resolution on Malta’s rule of law passed overwhelmingly. Yet the minister failed to identify a single untruth in the resolution. For Bartolo and his fellow ministers, the truth is the enemy. And must be attacked, discredited and undermined.
Bartolo regularly resorts to cryptic posts. This time he penned not one, but two, verbose sardonic posts replete with sneering, cynical mockery directed at the European Parliament and its MEPs. His aim – to distract from the painful truth that Labour again brought Malta to its knees.
Bartolo launched his first volley: “Some are happier with the senseless resolution pushed by the PN rather than with Malta’s Moneyval success which will benefit thousands of Maltese families”. The threatened greylisting was entirely his government’s fault. The livelihood of thousands of families was jeopardised by rampant corruption and regulatory capture engineered by Joseph Muscat – aided and abetted by a spineless Cabinet packed with Evarist Bartolos.
“Some are more partisan than patriotic, hate Labour more than they love Malta,” he persisted. Bartolo resorts to tribalism and false patriotism to condemn those protecting Malta from his government’s flagrant abuse. The truth is that Bartolo and his fellow ministers love their personal interests more than they love Malta, more than the lives of their citizens.
The minister congratulated his government for taking “the steps to strengthen legislation against money laundering”. This was the same government that repeatedly protected Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, now facing money laundering charges; that dished out millions of euro to Brian Tonna, also facing money laundering charges; that put James Piscopo at the helm of Transport Malta, ARMS Ltd, Enemalta, and Lands Authority, also under investigation for money laundering. That government’s leader, Joseph Muscat invited Yorgen Fenech to his private party, accepted his gifts and communicated regularly with him.
“Last year we took steps to strengthen the police and the regulators of money laundering,” Bartolo boasted. That was after systematically dismantling the FIAU and the MFSA. Joseph Cuschieri who headed the MGA and MFSA was in cahoots with Yorgen Fenech, enjoying a luxury trip to Las Vegas with him and jaunts on Fenech’s yacht.
Muscat’s police commissioner is under criminal investigation for secretly leaking details to the middleman. Muscat’s other choice for the MGA, Adrian Hillman is a fugitive from money laundering charges.
“The European Parliament passed a resolution against Malta pushed by PN MEPs,” Bartolo charged. That resolution is not against Malta. It’s against corruption and criminality that Bartolo and his colleagues supported by repeatedly voting to protect the main culprits.
“Speeches were delivered full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” Bartolo maintained. “Speeches that were senseless and indecent”. The minister mocks the MEPs who stood up to condemn crime and corruption. He knows what indecency is. It’s when you know your colleagues are harming your country, your Party and your people but choose to vote in their favour to protect your post and privileges. Evarist Bartolo, Edward Scicluna, Helena Dalli, Chris Fearne all did so.
“PN is lowering the standard of the European Parliament,” Bartolo added, “when the EP allows itself to be used for partisan parochial games it loses its respect”. Bartolo asserts that two PN MEPs managed to convince 635 MEPs, from all political groups including Labour’s, to vote for the resolution. Four Labour MEPs only convinced 42 to vote against.
The resolution passed, so overwhelmingly, not because two PN MEPs are so incredibly brilliant and Labour’s MEPs so useless. It is because the vast majority of MEPs hold principles and values above their political affiliation. They value truth and decency above their pockets, unlike Evarist Bartolo and Edward Scicluna.
MEPs cannot but be repulsed by Malta’s disturbing situation. A situation where the murder middleman is welcomed into the prime minister’s office and given a phoney job, provided with inside information by the chief of staff’s contact and the prime minister’s security and by the police commissioner; where the prime minister invites the alleged murder mastermind to his private party and accepts his lavish gifts and shares a group chat with him; where the deputy commissioner protects the alleged murder mastermind and enjoys his hospitality; when the Economics Crime Unit chief leaks information to criminals; where a parliamentary secretary accepts bagfuls of cash from the alleged murder mastermind and then attacks a European Council resolution demanding an inquiry into the murder; when the MFSA head advises the alleged mastermind and retains directorship of a government company; where the prime minister’s chief of staff passes a note to the alleged mastermind to incriminate a minister in a journalist’s murder, and so much more.
“Why are they picking on Malta? Germany’s scandals are bigger,” Bartolo argued. He means more cash is involved. Bartolo’s metric is purely monetary.
Germany’s scandals are not bigger than Malta’s. Angela Merkel does not chat with criminals or invite them to her birthday parties. Her police chief is not under criminal investigation and neither is her chief of staff. Her Cabinet members have not accepted bagfuls of cash from criminals. No murder middleman has been invited to the federal chancellery building or given a fake job. Her deputy commissioner has not watched Champions league matches with criminals. And her foreign affairs minister doesn’t denigrate European Parliament resolutions and humiliate his country with partisan parochial drivel.
The disgust of those MEPs voting for the resolution would be magnified if they knew the gelatinous invertebrate interviewed by Tim Sebastian is the same Minister of Foreign Affairs who now insolently mocks them because they dare stand for justice and truth.
If it were for Evarist Bartolo, Joseph Muscat would still occupy his post – so would Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri, Lawrence Cutajar, James Piscopo, Silvio Valletta, Joseph Cuschieri, Rosianne Cutajar, Brian Tonna, Adrian Hillman and Ray Abdilla.
Malta is deeply indebted to those MEPs.