April 19. 2024. 9:03

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Maltese socialists accuse Metsola of hypocrisy over LIBE ‘Greek sabotage’


EURACTIV’s editor’s take on Tuesday regarding EU Parliament chief Roberta Metsola’s silence over the Greek conservative government’s sabotage of a parliamentary rule of law mission to Athens has prompted the reaction of Maltese socialists, who accuse centre-right Metsola of “double standards” and “hypocrisy”.

The conservative Greek government and other state stakeholders sabotaged this week a mission of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) to Athens to examine the state of the rule of law and wiretapping scandal.

The sabotage started in Brussels with the European People’s Party (EPP), to which Metsola belongs. All other political groups took part in the mission.

Metsola dangerously silent over LIBE committee’s Greek sabotage

The Greek government and other state stakeholders have sabotaged a mission of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) to Athens to examine the state of the rule of law and wiretapping scandal. The sabotage …

The Greek government cancelled all scheduled meetings with EU lawmakers citing as an excuse the train tragedy that cost the lives of 57 people.

Metsola did not respond to a EURACTIV request for comment.

“Another clear case that shows the hypocrisy and double standards of the European Parliament and Roberta Metsola,” Alex Agius Saliba, Vice-President of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, commented.

Malta’s ruling socialist party has been in the spotlight of the European Parliament for a long time due to several serious violations of the rule of law and press freedom, as well as the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The latter caused shockwaves in Europe, and the case has still not been completely solved, with trials and investigations ongoing. Malta has been subject to many visits by international institutional delegations since the assassination in 2017, including those with the support of Metsola, who hails from the opposition Nationalist Party.

However, the Maltese politician said that the Maltese government and the institutions always responded and were available to meet the representatives of the European Parliament.

While this may be true, the government has previously refused to meet delegations of media experts, has attacked rapporteurs with smear campaigns, and have requested security out of fear for their safety.

“Now in Greece where there is an EPP government, Roberta Metsola and the European Parliament remained silent and did not condemn the fact that the Greek institutions and authorities chose not to meet with EU lawmakers regarding serious issues of the rights in Greece,” Saliba said.

“Therefore, I have just led a request to the Group of Socialists so that next week a resolution will be passed that condemns the Greek government and the silence of Metsola and the EPP regarding this case,” he said.

“What is applicable to Malta should also apply to the Greek EPP government,” he concluded.

Communication games

The LIBE committee in Athens met with several stakeholders representing civil society, the head of Greece’s privacy watchdog Hellenic Authority for Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE), regarding the wiretapping scandal and former anti-corruption chief Eleni Touloupaki.

The news about the two-day visit of the LIBE committee is almost inexistent in most pro-government Greek mainstream media.

On Wednesday, a press conference led by Renew Europe MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld was scheduled to present the results of the mission.

But it had to be re-scheduled as the Greek government decided to hold another press conference regarding the train tragedy almost at the same time.

In Athens, critics suggested that by organising another press conference at the same time, the government tried to overshadow the LIBE’s press conference.

(Sarantis Michalopoulos | EURACTIV.com)