Caruana Galizia is listed up there with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Turkish President Recep Rayyip Erdoğan and Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary as one of 28 people “shaping, shaking and stirring Europe”.
The website describes her as a “one-woman WikiLeaks, crusading against untransparency and corruption in Malta, an island nation famous for both”.
Politico writes: “To John Dalli, a former European commissioner whom she helped bring down in a tobacco lobbying scandal, Galizia is ‘a terrorist’. To opposition MPs, she’s a political force of nature, one who fortunately has her guns aimed at the other side of the aisle.”
The website quotes an unnamed Maltese MP, presumably from the Nationalist Party, having this to say about the blogger: “She single-handedly brought the government to the verge of collapse.”
“The lady has balls,” another is quoted as saying.
“A one-woman WikiLeaks, crusading against untransparency and corruption in Malta, an island nation famous for both”
Politico continues: “Galizia’s mantra is simple: blog relentlessly about the ‘cronyism that is accepted as something normal here. I can’t bear to see people like that rewarded.’ Nothing scandalous is too big or too small, be it false declarations of residency by the beneficiaries of Malta’s cash-for-passports scheme or the evening-wear decisions of the prime minister’s wife.”
“No one is exempt from Galizia’s digital cross-examination, and her language is invariably scalding. ‘Education minister blows own trumpet about ethics classes,’ is a typical headline. ‘How much is she paid again?’ she wrote in October of a government communications officer. ‘Enough to cover the cancer treatment of several patients, no doubt. But they’ve got to go begging off charity to get their medication paid for.'”
Politico concludes: “Whatever one thinks of her style, it’s working. On a good day, Galizia gets 400,000 readers, more than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers (Malta’s population is 420,000). When she dines out, guests from other tables come over to wish her well. But her unease with what she sees as the island’s twin scourges — big money and shadowy politics — leaves her bitter. Fear of where her country has headed has made her unapologetically pro-EU: ‘Over my dead body will my children be stuck on these rocks,’ she says.”
Explaining its shortlisting process, Politico said: “We cast our net widely and solicited nominations from readers. Then editors hashed out — not without a few disagreements — this list of the shakers, stirrers and shapers of our world. And then we ranked them in order of their impact. Simply holding a powerful public position in a European country didn’t guarantee a spot on the list.”