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The reason investors are done with Malta


At a certain point, investors took to other countries to fulfill their financial needs. Malta’s COVID-19 relief efforts failed, anti-money laundering investigations were mishandled, and technological progress is virtually non-existent. In short – Malta’s lack of organization severely plummets the country’s economic success.

In recent years, international investments in Malta have come to a halt. From the Pilatus Bank case in 2018 to limited progress in the health and technology fields, the country is under public scrutiny for mishandling a variety of events. As a result, the Maltese government’s legal and financial reputation quickly depletes among its citizens.
In fact, according to The World Bank, the foreign investment percentage of the GDP in Malta has dropped as low as 23.8% in recent years. Before this decrease, starting in 2012, Malta thrived. In 2011, 81% of the GDP came from foreign investments. Three specific driving factors may have affected these numbers drastically.

High-tech progress remains non-existent
One might expect a wildly profitable high-tech sector in a country with a thirst for diversified products and income streams. As it turns out, Malta falls behind compared to other European countries. According to Times of Malta, “Malta must necessarily achieve three principal goals: inspire trust; reduce bureaucracy and incentivize technological development and uptake in all areas of society.”
In Malta’s case, the issue with technology is that it opens doors to information the government may hide. It also speeds up the time of bureaucratic dealings. Considering the country’s vast experience with delays in legal cases, allocating more funds to the tech industry would not favor government officials’ slow and intentional work to postpone essential matters.
Anti-money laundering cases mishandled
In 2018, Pilatus Bank was investigated and prosecuted for money laundering. Their doors closed due to mishandling of funds, and three years later, they received a EUR 5 million fine.
This case caused immense distrust among Maltese citizens due to its mysterious nature. Eventually, the Money Laundering Reporting Officer at the time of prosecution, Claude-Anne Sant Fournier, was charged with “failure to ensure adequate scrutiny of Pilatus’ financial operations,” according to The Shift.
In the case’s irony, the Maltese authorities, such as the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) and Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), continued to spread their well-crafted story. In fact, part of the FIAU’s alleged “mission” is to approach the law under which the unit was created, The Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
No government official was appointed to handle any liquidation of funds to the clients of the bank while the case goes onward slowly, proving the Act is not the government’s or any of its organizations’ priority. Despite the countless efforts since 2002 to establish more concrete and consequential laws, the government does not uphold its word in court or in situations where the personal interest of officials takes over.
COVID-19 relief efforts failed
The main issue with Malta handling the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be the country’s opening to locals and tourists simultaneously. As citizens prepared for a normal life again in 2020, Malta’s government started to allow foreign tourists to travel. Unfortunately, this influx of travelers made the country take an even bigger hit to its economy and public health status.
Health experts say an island is a perfect environment where the virus can thrive. Containing the island and limiting tourism for longer could have been a simple procedure, but any potential profits seemed to take priority. The country turned from the “poster child of Europe’s COVID-19 success to a high-risk country,” states Newsbook. It did not come as a surprise to the Maltese public that the country would poorly handle the sensitivity of such a health crisis.
A matter of organization
As a final analysis, it’s clear that a structural error in Malta’s government system allows for an apparent mishandling of top legal cases, a lack of proper relief efforts and funding, and finally, an absence of experience in boosting technological efforts to help the country thrive.
The government must work on organizing crises and finances and initiate proper prosecutions for apparent crimes. Most tourists remain unaware that Malta’s financial economy is crumbling. The court system and government must pay attention to the issues among Maltese citizens and not simply the amount of revenue tourists provide.
Proper criminal solutions and evolution in health and tech will produce a brighter future for Malta’s reputation. Until then, most citizens will stay quiet. However, in reality, everyone is wondering how the country
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