It was back in June of last year that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat confirmed that investigations were ongoing into whether tourism minister Konrad Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri had used their infamous Panama companies to evade or avoid tax.
“There are ongoing tax investigations into Mizzi and Schembri, and if you ask questions about them you will be able to find out the outcome,” Muscat had said back then.
Lovin Malta took the Prime Minister’s advice and sent him questions requesting basic details about these investigations, but fast-forward nine months and we have not yet received a response.
With that in mind, we decided to ask these questions to Mizzi at a press conference he had called this morning about how the number of Maltese families hosting English-language students is on the rise.
However, the tourism minister refused to comment about this investigation and refused to even confirm whether the tax authorities had contacted him in this regard.
“There was no tax avoidance from my part, I’ve always been transparent, I have audited my accounts, and I have already given the comments I had to give.”
During the press conference, Mizzi also dismissed as “simplistic” comparisons between the reactions of the Maltese and Slovakian government to the assassination of a journalist on their soil. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has been the highest casualty from the fallout of the murder of Jan Kuciak, whereas no Maltese public official has resigned following the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Yet Mizzi pointed out that the situation in Slovakia is “different” as Fico’s government was composed of the junior coalition partners – which, together with Opposition parties, pressured him to resign.
“What I can say is that Maltese people are enjoying an economic boom, more people are working and moving up in life and we have introduced new civil liberties,” he said.