The stability of Malta in recent years is much like a pendulum. Its financial, political, and cultural obstacles serve as the separation between the country and “wolfpack” that is the European Union (EU). Malta’s rapidly shifting conflict pulse prevents the country from moving forward with the pack. Stalling on irrelevant court cases further jeopardizes the country’s economy, while the EU moves forth. Coming from a landscape that proved difficult in 2022, a negative political forecast continues in the year 2023.
Malta’s political and financial standings
One of Malta’s major financial issues remains its high levels of public debt. Although the country experienced a minor decline from 60% to approximately 58% of the GDP, there is still a severe lack in government funding for critical public services and infrastructure projects.
Malta’s unemployment rate, which stood at about 2% percent of its 500,000 person population in 2022, is also one of the significant reasons why young people feel discouraged. The economy is ultimately stuck on business industry sectors that have little appeal to the upcoming generation of full-time workers.
Money laundering – one of Malta’s biggest issues
The biggest legal problem for Malta to address in 2023 is its money laundering case history. Not only has this crime absorbed the central attention of all major news outlets, but it has also demanded excessive amounts of time and manpower within the court system to attempt any potential decrease in numbers.
In May of 2022, the Times of Malta news outlet reported that 127 people were still under trial for money laundering charges. It’s difficult to comprehend why Maltese authorities have skimped on the proper enforcement of such legal regulations, a ubiquitous occurrence over the last 13 months.
The stories of banks such as Pilatus, Nemea, and Satabank, on the other hand, are successful highlights in Malta’s looming world of money laundering. These cases demonstrated how the court’s approach to handling such accusations could prove effective and resourceful when handled appropriately. In other cases, the government’s efforts routinely prove expensive and time-consuming.
Comparing the high-profile cases
Observing the cases of Satabank and Nemea, two banks with relatively similar accusations, helps to appreciate the actions, although rare, of the Maltese government from an efficiency perspective. The government handled these cases swiftly. Officials were appointed to maintain the financial interest of the country, all while ensuring client assets would eventually be liquidated and adding a deterring factor to the high brass of both banks.
The Pilatus Bank court case is a counterexample of how countries should handle such legal dealings, hence its popularity among media outlets. It was reported that it cost Maltese taxpayers roughly 11 million Euros, resulting in being the costliest case of the three bank cases. This sum of money could have been a substantial addition to the financial sector of Malta’s budget in 2023. Although the three cases were similar in levels of criminal activity, Pilatus did not receive the same treatment in court as Nemea and Satabank.
The Pilatus Bank case is now stalemate, which brings bad news to Malta’s yearly economic status. The economic and political effects this case continues to push onto Maltese citizens are quite severe, considering the length and expenses of the high-profile case. In addition, the absence of any submittable evidence in court likely dooms the future of investments in Malta, which also experienced a complete standstill in 2022.
Much of the political turmoil Malta experiences affects its economy significantly. The lack of trust in government among citizens damages the business climate of the country, as well as any domestic and international investment opportunities.
While the rest of the EU citizens were occupied with protesting and demanding the government for policy changes in circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maltese economy took one of the biggest hits among EU countries. Some of the countries also affected include Italy, Poland, and Belgium. Unfortunately, the citizens of Malta have yet to voice any concern to the government, an example of general complacency.
Maltese economy projections for 2023
The Maltese economy is routinely projected to fix itself like the rest of the EU countries in reports, despite overall sluggish process. As Malta ranks #16 on the GDP per capita in Europe, any economic hope further decreases. Malta’s main issue is its internal turmoil that consistently bests the economy’s natural order.
For 2023 to be a year of success in Malta, citizens of the country must take a more active role in holding authorities accountable by preventing them from spending money on unrelated cases, business dealings, and suspicious political favors.
- https://tradingeconomics.com/malta/unemployment-rate#:~:text=2.9%25%20in%20Q3- ,The%20unemployment%20rate%20in%20Malta%20dropped%20to%202.9%20percent%20in,rose%20by%201 3%2C709%20to%20284%2C571.