The Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses refutes insinuations, made in a statement by the Nationalist Party, that information vanishes from or is deleted from the Malta Business Registry (MBR). All information remains physically stored in the MBR building and anyone can request company information, as a physical document or by email. The Nationalist Party's insinuations are completely untrue.
In the case of active companies, the details of individuals associated with them are clearly published on the website.
It is a requirement of Moneyval that inactive companies be removed from the Registry. However, prior to removal, the MBR performs all necessary verifications and checks and, should there be even a shred of suspicion of any abnormal activity, the case is forwarded to FIAU promptly. Even when a company is removed from the Registry, all necessary monitoring is carried out by the relevant institutions.
Competent authorities, such as the Police Force, the Tax Commissioner, the MGA and the MFSA have continuous access to the website in order to carry out all necessary checks.
It is clear that the intention of the Nationalist Party's statement is to cause harm. Its authors are very much aware that they are not telling the truth; they are being deliberately deceitful.
This deplorable attack is yet another example of how the Opposition strives to harm the country continuously. Its timing, at such a delicate moment, is designed to endanger the economy and 12,000 jobs in the financial services sector. While it is a fact that the current leader of the Opposition is ashamed to say that he is Maltese, such a stance does not give him the prerogative to harm the country.
This government is implementing unprecedented reforms. They have garnered the approval of several unbiased institutions. Given that, previously, all of MBR's operations fell under the MFSA, the very fact that today it operates as a stand-alone agency is testament to the bold decisions taken by this government.
As a government we will continue with our programme to further strengthen the relevant institutions, in line with Moneyval's recommendations, while continuing to ensure that the country's finances are used in the best possible way to provide the necessary help to Maltese and Gozitan families at a time when they need it most.
For this government, the strengthening of institutions, and the practicing of transparency in their operations, is not simply rhetoric, but reality.