It is indeed a remarkable year when the axing of a Cabinet member is reduced to a mere footnote in the year’s notable political events. Malta’s 2016 political headlines were dominated by the Panama Papers scandal, which rocked the government to its very foundation. Jacob Borg reviews the politics of 2016.
The year got off to a shaky start quite early for Joseph Muscat’s government, with the publication of a damning report by the Auditor General in January.
According to the report, the former parliamentary secretary for land, Michael Falzon, failed to safeguard the government’s interests in the expropriation of part of a property bought only weeks before by speculator Mark Gaffarena.
Mr Gaffarena made €1.65 million from the deal, as was revealed by The Sunday Times of Malta in May 2015.
Dr Falzon initially resisted calls for his resignation, but the axe finally fell following the publication