Malta. In June, Malta, Cyprus and Greece met for a
meeting in The Hague organized by the International
Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP). Since 2014, almost
18,500 people have tried to cross the Mediterranean to
Europe. The countries promised to increase their efforts to
map the fate of the disappeared.
In July, Italy and Malta called on the EU to discuss a
deal on how responsibilities for migrants and refugees
rescued in the Mediterranean would be distributed. The same
month, three 50-year-old men were indicted for the murder of
journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017. However, the
police's search for the person who had ordered the murder
Following a call from the Council of Europe in September,
the Maltese government appointed a commission to examine
whether Daphne Caruana Galizia had been better protected, as
she herself stated several times that she had been
threatened. Caruana Galizia reviewed high-ranking people
with links to the Panama Papers and accused, among other
things, government representatives of money laundering.
In September, EU asylum and Home Affairs Commissioner
Dimitris Avramopoulos and EU Presidency Finland met with
Interior Ministers from Germany, France, Italy and Malta in
Valletta to reach an agreement on the distribution of
refugees and migrants rescued from the Mediterranean.
The countries came up with a temporary solution that was
presented at the EU Home Affairs and Justice Minister's
meeting in Luxembourg in October. It meant that Germany,
France, Italy and Malta would share the responsibility. In
addition to the four countries, six other EU countries had
reported their interest.
CountryAAH, one of Malta's most famous businessmen Yorgen Fenech was
arrested in November, as part of the investigation into the
murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. According to newspaper
reports, Yorgen Fenech is suspected of having paid bribes of
nearly EUR 2 million to the government's Chief of Staff
Keith Schembri and to the Minister of Tourism, former
Minister of Energy, Konrad Mizzi. Shortly after the arrest,
both Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi resigned from their
At the end of November, Yorgen Fenech was formally
charged with being involved in the murder of Daphne Caruana
Galizia. He himself appointed Keith Schembri as responsible.
In front of the Valletta government building, thousands
of protesters gathered, demanding the departure of Prime
Minister Muscat. He was charged with corruption and for
standing in the way of a fair murder investigation.
In early December, Muscat announced that he would resign
sometime after January 12, 2020, when a new Labor Party
leader would be elected.
Also the European Parliament and votes within the UN
urged Joseph Muscat to resign immediately. The European
Parliament criticized him for having pardoned key witnesses
from prosecution during the murder investigation.