Malta is sharply criticised by the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption watchdog

EVEN BEFORE the assassination on Malta in 2017 of a journalist and anti-corruption campaigner, Daphne Caruana Galizia, the EU’s smallest state was a cause for concern—a tightly knit Mediterranean society in which reciprocal favours and obligations frequently trumped respect for the law; an island with a financial centre that had outgrown the regulatory capacity of its authorities; a country some of whose politicians had disconcertingly cosy relationships with tax havens, illiberal democracies and outright dictatorships.

Malta, moreover, has a constitution inherited from its former British colonial masters that is better suited to the needs of empire than those of a contemporary democracy: one in which the executive wields decisive powers over institutions that should be independent.

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Three men have been arrested and jailed, charged with the murder of Ms Caruana Galizia. But, as a report prepared for

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