German MEP Sven Giegold lays flowers for Daphne Caruana Galizia next to the Great Siege Memorial. Photo: Occupy Justice
Nationalist MP Hermann Schiavone did not mince his words in his criticism of a German MEP’s recent threat to campaign for HSBC to quit Malta over money laundering concerns.
“To this German MEP I say… HANDS OFF MY COUNTRY,” Schiavone wrote. “I will forever defend Malta, its people and its businesses. F… OFF.”
German MEP Sven Giegold, from the Greens political group, today warned Malta he will start a campaign for HSBC to leave the island if the Maltese authorities don’t take “demonstrable action” to clamp down on money laundering.
Giegold was one of four MEPs who visited Malta last month as part of an investigation into the country’s rule of law and the way the Maltese authorities are dealing with the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
He told The Sunday Telegraph that his visit to Malta was “disappointing” and that MEPs were left deeply unsatisfied with the government’s willingness to improve the rule of law.
“We had ridiculous meetings last week with the MFSA, because despite all the supervisory failures of recent years they didn’t say they would change direction,” he said. “They were very much on the defensive and defended their approach, rather than announcing a stricter regulatory approach.”
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that HSBC was considering leaving Malta and other jurisdictions in which it has relatively small consumer operations as part of a wider restructuring plan to focus its business on Asia.