The god of money

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2018-02-22T18:16:29+00:00Thu, 22nd Feb '18, 09:00|

This week I wrote about a European NGO report about the complicity of European countries in an unfair global tax system that robs the poor to reward the rich. Tax tourism tries to create an ethical ranking between avoidance of tax and evasion from it. Whatever sheen of legitimacy is put on it our pursuit [...]

The silence of a lamb

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2018-02-22T09:24:45+00:00Thu, 22nd Feb '18, 08:47|

The Malta Independent today published a story that had been making the rounds with the twitterati for some 36 hours. I worked on the same story too and I had a common experience with Helena Grech of The Malta Independent, whom I quote: “A number of questions emerge from the allegations which have been leveled. [...]

G Farrugia Calleja: Because anything goes

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2018-02-21T20:16:12+00:00Wed, 21st Feb '18, 20:16|

By resident guest George Farrugia Calleja According to MaltaToday, and given that there hasn't been a denial, I suppose it's safe to believe them, Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera has been elected by her peers to sit on the Commission for the Administration of Justice. This august institution, not known for the eagerness with which it [...]

Pirate bay

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2018-02-21T15:31:40+00:00Wed, 21st Feb '18, 15:31|

The warning from Manfred Galdes that the ineffective enforcement of laws in the financial sector is damaging us with the rest of the world was echoed at around the same time by the CEO of HSBC Bank Malta. Andrew Beane spoke first to shareholders and later explained in some more detail to Keith Micallef what [...]

Whose job is it then?

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2018-02-21T19:58:37+00:00Wed, 21st Feb '18, 11:09|

Please. Please. Please watch the interview Jacob Borg had with Inspector Ian Abdilla. It reminded me of a late night TV show I used to watch: Mai Dire Gol. It was supposed to be about football though thankfully its actual football content was almost zero. They used to show extracts from TV interviews with players [...]

Passport sales “a back-door to money-launderers and tax evaders” – OECD

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2018-02-21T08:51:23+00:00Wed, 21st Feb '18, 08:51|

The OECD published a consultation paper warning against passport-sales schemes. They are “a back-door to money-launderers and tax evaders”. I realise that we have become collectively callous on the back of money we make from money-launderers and tax evaders but let’s at least be honest with ourselves if not with the rest of the world. [...]

The SLAPP challenge

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2018-02-21T07:42:09+00:00Wed, 21st Feb '18, 07:42|

PN MP Jason Azzopardi had proposed a private member’s bill to ban the enforcement of overseas defamation suits in Maltese courts. This ‘anti-SLAPP’ legislation is adopted by jurisdictions protecting their journalists from the chilling effect of libel tourism used by rich corporations to silence their critics with lawsuits filed in jurisdictions too expensive to even [...]

European civil society report on global tax dodging dedicated to Daphne Caruana Galizia

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2018-02-20T18:00:25+00:00Tue, 20th Feb '18, 18:00|

The report is coordinated by Eurodad and has contributions from: Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC) (Austria); 11.11.11 (Belgium); Centre national de cooperation au développement (CNCD-11.11.11) (Belgium); Glopolis (Czech Republic); Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke – ActionAid Denmark (Denmark); KEPA (Finland); Netzwerk Steuergerechtigkeit (Germany); DemNet Foundation for Development of Democratic Rights (Hungary); Debt and Development Coalition [...]

Manfred Galdes on impunity in Malta

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2018-02-20T16:55:48+00:00Tue, 20th Feb '18, 16:52|

Manfred Galdes had not publicly said much since he left the FIAU. He resigned when investigations into Konrad Mizzi were underway and never really explained why he crossed over to the private sector. Especially on why he chose to do so at that time. Today he spoke at a conference with Ian Abdilla from the [...]

Freedom is

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2018-02-20T13:23:11+00:00Tue, 20th Feb '18, 13:23|

The Times of Malta report on illegal billboards is the fact file you needed if you were still impressed by the government’s insistence they was enforcing the law when they removed #occupyjustice billboards criticising them. Discriminate enforcement of the law is illegal. The law is not made of the chapter and verse that is thrown [...]

Le mépris

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2018-02-20T09:09:16+00:00Tue, 20th Feb '18, 09:09|

Information on the conditions reached by our national health services are starting to emerge. Inspite of unaccounted for tens of millions and of a hypothec on the concession tied up to a farmers’ bank, the operator of three of our hospitals had no money to pay salaries to the 80 odd employees it was responsible [...]

There’s a name for that

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2018-02-20T07:05:56+00:00Mon, 19th Feb '18, 18:28|

Adrian Delia went to court today to challenge the privatisation of the hospitals. Strictly speaking he was challenging the concession of the public land. At law a Parliamentarian is allowed to go to court to challenge a concession of public land if it is not used in compliance with the terms that Parliament granted it [...]

The world is watching

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2018-02-19T13:05:14+00:00Mon, 19th Feb '18, 13:05|

A civil society movement set up in the wake of the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia buys space on 3 billboards that carried adverts for beer and holiday offers before. That event would have been a matter of moderate interest in the local media and stopped there. The government strikes down the billboards within 12 [...]

Up side down

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2018-02-19T14:32:38+00:00Mon, 19th Feb '18, 12:46|

David Casa walked out of the court building this morning relatively unscathed. He’s not wearing the handcuffs Manuel Mallia believes he deserves. Yet. People wonder how nothing sticks to Joseph Muscat. It’s because he uses henchmen to deliver the biting quotes and scandalous actions. He got a Valletta councillor to try to destroy the Republic [...]

Envy of the world? Not quite.

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2018-02-19T10:54:53+00:00Mon, 19th Feb '18, 10:37|

The classic Abwehrmechanismen to rationalise international criticism of Malta's kleptocracy is that "our foreign critics envy us". Who doesn't want Joseph Muscat as their prime minister if what you get in the package is sustained economic growth, low taxes and a budget surplus? It looks like a good deal but scratch the surface and imitating Malta [...]

We deserve better

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2018-02-18T18:58:09+00:00Sun, 18th Feb '18, 18:45|

Statement by #occupyjustice: A day after billboards put up by #occupyjustice were pulled down by the authorities, the activists rallied in front of Castille with banners of the same messages and lay them at the Prime Minister’s doorstep. “Prime Minister if you think you are going to silence us by pulling down our billboards, or [...]

STAR COMMENTS: Changing moods

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2018-02-18T17:01:20+00:00Sun, 18th Feb '18, 17:01|

Here are two comments from two different people about how the Republic Street memorial calling for justice elicits responses that do not make it to Super 1's angry reports on 'provocations'. Know that the people do care . Yesterday I was in Valletta with a group of ladies, celebrating a friend's birthday. None of the [...]