As Malta teeters on the brink of grey-listing, Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi has flagged how reactionary attempts to combat money laundering are harming the everyday lives of regular citizens.
Azzopardi recounted a tale that a 71-year-old constituent told him about a recent trip to the bank.
“He tried to withdraw €120 from his bank account and the bank clerk asked him what he was going to spend it on. Many questions,” the MP wrote.
“I won’t write what the elderly man told me he responded because it was in very explicit Maltese.”
Banks across Malta have introduced rigorous cash withdrawal control regulations to comply with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing requirements.
The state of play was recently flagged by online personality Lilian Chetcuti Riolo, who called out Bank of Valletta for restricting her ability to withdraw large sums of money from her own account.
Azzopardi said the intention behind his post was to flag what the situation has got to thanks to the “dirt in Castille”.
“Look at where we ended up thanks to Labour’s corruption organised from Castille, thanks to the dirt of [Joseph] Muscat, [Konrad] Mizzi, [Keith] Schembri, [Robert] Abela and co, and the bad name this country has obtained as a result.”
“Keep saying that corruption doesn’t take anything from you.”
Malta is currently facing a crucial decision by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on whether or not the country should be grey-listed.
Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said today that Malta’s main challenge over the next 48 hours is convincing skeptical nations that the country’s reforms were carried out in good faith.