The Chamber has been watching recent developments in the investigation of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and exercising prudence in the hope that everyone, including those who are being implicated, exercises prudence and acts in the best interest of the country, even if at such a late stage.
The negative repercussions of the whole chain of events leading up to the ongoing investigation are huge and far-reaching. Reputational damage started with the Panama Papers and went unchecked for years in spite of repeated calls to take bold decisions. It has now reached unprecedented heights, and may continue to do so until justice is served.
The current investigation is a painful process that will hopefully bring to justice all those who have played a part in this gruesome murder. But it is also bringing to the fore the extent to which criminal activity had infiltrated the circles of power, and operated unperturbed for years.
The country needs a major clean up, that will have immediate repercussions on economic activity. We cannot continue running away from this because the problems we have will not go away. On the contrary, they will grow bigger, to the detriment of the genuine entrepreneur, of which there are many, and Maltese society at large, that needs to come to terms with its predicament and free itself from the shackles of polarised politics.
As representatives of the business community, we disassociate ourselves from all those who use business as a shield for criminal activity. This does a great disservice to the country and irreparable damage to the business community. We remain advocates of ethical business and hope that the forces of law and order will be empowered to investigate and take legal action against all forms of criminal activity that tarnishes our reputation. We also hope that politicians will safeguard ethical business and adopt a no tolerance approach to impropriety in future.
The judicial process requires time and space to take its course, but political decisions need to be taken with urgency.