Letter to GRECO (Group of States against Corruption)

Letter to GRECO (Group of States against Corruption)

The Chairman
GRECO Secretariat
Directorate General of Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex
15 September 2012
(International Day of Democracy)
Dear Sir,
First of all I would like to disassociate myself completely from the draft sent to you  by my country last year, which was drafted by Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici from within the Drafting Unit, and about which I had already advised the government not to send to GRECO because it was highly inadequate and definitely unacceptable.
Secondly  I would like to bring to your attention and for your consideration a Bill, hereby attached, for which I have extensively campaigned, drafted and presented in Parliament as a private members’ motion on the 21st of January 2012 as motion 288, which is modelled on the laws of U.K. and Germany.
Whilst I am aware this Bill might need some finetuning, especially since it was drafted with the considerably limited resources of a backbencher in the Maltese parliament, I am confident it satisfies all the essential requisites laid down by GRECO and in any case any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
The Maltese are an industrious people who have made a success story out of a small and very  beautiful island with limited resources.
Kindly allow me to convey my deep concern about the great resistance I have found to raise an awareness about the importance of this law, and the resistance from the government to start the Parliamentary debate. The legislature is now nearing its end.  Some sixteen years ago, our Parliament had commissioned a Report, known as the Galdes Report, but which had since been shelved and no action taken, even notwitstanding persistent calls coming from GRECO.
For example, the spending limit for candidates during election campaigns (around 1,200 euros)  had been described as ridiculous in the Galdes Report sixteen years ago, and it is even more ridiculous today, yet it has not been changed, leading to the widespread general impression of its not so infrequent breach by candidates, which might find it impossible to be in conformity, thus giving rise to a very bizarre situation since candidates’ expenses need to be then confirmed under oath.
Whilst in recent years much progress has been made in the electoral process, still much needs to be done, the Electoral Commission unfortunately has no resources to oversee and monitor adequately the conduct of candidates and parties during electoral campaigns, and thus no effective monitoring is carried out,  the Electoral Law needs a radical review, inter alia because it discriminates unjustly and makes it practically impossible for new parties to make it to parliament, and thus it is no coincidence if  Malta is the only, or one of the very few, if not the only European state having just two parties represented in parliament. Representation is essential to a healthy democracy.
Vote rigging allegations have resulted in prosecutions but better enforcement mechanisms possibly by the Electoral Commission could possibly reveal a more widespread breach.
Unfortunately my country still has no Law on Political Parties and Party Finance, practically placing political parties above the law, no Whistleblower Act, no decent Commission Against Corruption and no Law on the Autonomy of Parliament, which is run on the lines of a government department and the Standing Orders need a radical overhaul since they haven’t been comprehensively updated for more than twenty five years. In fact as an elected member of parliament I have done my utmost to campaign for these laws which, in my humble opinion, are fundamental for a healthy democracy. Moreover the culture of ministerial resignations even for gross mismanagement as a fundamental aspect of ministerial responsibility is totally inexistent.
A Parliamentary Committee for the Strengthening of Democracy had been set up at the start of this legislature, yet it was later dismantled without being replaced.
Since my campaigns for these reforms have met with incredible resistance and reluctance, and I have tried all other avenues, in my humble opinion it is opportune that this Committe is informed about the situation.
Hon Franco Debono (Nationalist)

  • Grilled Angus Beef
    Posted at 17:40h, 17 September

    we seem to have had a changing of the guard. Angus Black, Joe Vella and some other have vanaished, now we have P.Zammit,

  • Grilled Angus Beef
    Posted at 17:32h, 17 September

    what happened when Norman Lowell had protested about the spending in the EU elections campaign?

  • Ella
    Posted at 13:51h, 17 September

    excellent work dottore!

  • joe camilleri
    Posted at 22:27h, 16 September

    @ Nutar
    Fejn sejjer b`rasek nutar. Mandra il-Bidnija kemm tista` tiswa flus

  • cikku l-poplu
    Posted at 21:12h, 16 September

    Prosit, Dr Debono. Hekk ghandhom isiru l-affarijiet. Keep up the good work. Fl-ahhar iz-zejt jitla f’wicc l-ilma. Wara t-telfa ta’ gonzipn fl-elezzjoni li jmiss inti Dr Debono se jkunu hafna u hafna nazzjonalisti li se jaghtuk ragun. Ir-rota d-dur. Ftakar biss f’nies ta certu stoffa, kuragguzi bhal ma kienu Dr Toni Abela u Dr Wenzu Mintoff meta tkeccew mill-MLP. Ilum Dr Abela huwa Deputat mexxej tal-PL. Lilek hekk narak ukoll. Awguri.

  • J Mercieca
    Posted at 19:08h, 16 September

    Prosit, Franco. Tidher li ghandek ghal qalbek id-demokrazija. Grazzi.

  • 500EURO
    Posted at 15:54h, 16 September

    EFA use to say he want to destroy the corruption mill eruq u ix xniexel , he managed to reduce it but since LG took over the government the corruption become the order of the day .

    • Grilled Angus Beef
      Posted at 17:36h, 17 September

      I tend to disagree, I think EFA was the founder of this system, and Gonzo could not control it as it was bigger then him.
      Italy started with Mani Pulite, and many Onorevoli ended behind bars,
      Sicily to some extent has managed to clean most of the MAFIA problem they had, we have not even started, and doubt anyone will want to start the clean up.
      Too many from both sides are too dirty

  • P.Zammit
    Posted at 15:12h, 16 September

    Hon Franco Debono (Nationalist) <<< Nationalist my foot !!

    • bulldog
      Posted at 22:40h, 16 September

      Mr.P.Zammit(Nationalst)<<<Nationalist blue eyed boy from foot to top!!

      • Mario allison
        Posted at 15:20h, 17 September

        Franco nazzjonalist genwin . Inti ghandi dubji kbar , ghax kif tista tibqa nazzjonalist meta tara dan il hmieg kollu ghaddej , in nazzjonalisti ta veru qatt ma jaslu ghal dan il hmieg. Kas iehor f idejn il pulizija fejn tidhol TRANSPORT MALTA .INKREDDIBLI IL HMIEG LI JEZISTI HEMM . U kollox taht austin gatt . Hemm bzonn li din il kumpanija tinalaq u jigi investigat kullhadd imbad terga tiftah b nies godda ghax b garanzija lanqas jibqa 20% b subajhom dritt

  • God Bless
    Posted at 15:06h, 16 September

    Franco,you are on the right track.The people need you and I think that you have started something good.
    May you be strong till the very end,when the evil clique will disintegrate like a shooting star which shines brightly for a while,but fades away into obscurity and oblivion for eternity.
    God Bless

  • floater voter
    Posted at 14:41h, 16 September

    prosit, halli issa anki il-barranini ikunu jafu x’hawn f”malta.

  • Naxxar
    Posted at 12:26h, 16 September

    Wow! Should we laugh or should we cry? Try reading the 6th and 7th paragraphs …. I hope that the GRECO Secretariat does not get the wrong impression about our Parliamentarians.

    • Vigilant
      Posted at 15:58h, 16 September

      If you have not yet decided weather to laugh or cry have a look at this:


      I hope that the GRECO Secretariat does not get the wrong impression about our Parliamentarians if they see it.

      Posted at 18:19h, 16 September

      Cry we certainly should! Definitively! For being taken for a very long ride by people that should respect us, but in effect laugh all the way to the bank behind our collective backs. If for nothing else, for allowing them to have a very rich, comfortable life for doing very sweet little for us, except bankrupt us. Con men through and through. Only a very few of them deserve our respect. Franco is one.

  • Fleur
    Posted at 12:21h, 16 September

    Truth Prevails………

  • Unique
    Posted at 12:19h, 16 September


  • ta kafkaf
    Posted at 12:19h, 16 September

    l-ewwl nett grazzi talli qed tiftah ghajnejn dawn l-istituzzjonijiet dwar x’qed jigri f’dan il-pajjiz tal-omerta. Xi darba nigi nirrakontalek wahda tajba serja hafna. Pero jien nixtieq isaqsik, dan Ugo kien jew Carmelo mifsud bonnici?

    • Franco Debono
      Posted at 12:25h, 16 September


      carm kellu lil missieru u nannuh u ghadu jghinu. jien ma kelli lil hadd habib. naqdef ghal rasi u nqatta bi snieni

      • P.Zammit
        Posted at 14:28h, 16 September

        ghax int bravu hux

        • sturdut
          Posted at 15:05h, 16 September

          redikolu. Apprezza xinhu jamel dar-ragel mux tibilaw ximkien bih qijed xint injorant

        • bulldog
          Posted at 22:43h, 16 September

          U int vavu

        • Ella
          Posted at 14:09h, 17 September

          P. Zammit is one of those rigid Nationalist supporters who pooh pooh everyone and everything who disagree with them. There are many others who can match your unflinching superiority complex and win a battle of the minds P.Zammit.
          yours truly,
          a flexible Nationalist supporter

      • Jefferson
        Posted at 14:55h, 16 September

        Franco inti patrijott ta’ vera u wiehed mill-ftit eredi misthoqqa ta’ dawk li xerrdu demmhom fis-Sette Gugnio. Nawguralek mill-qalb tal-qawwa li qieghed turi kontra l-elites anti-demokratici li hakmu dan il-pajjiz u nawwru minn gewwa id-demokrazija parlamentari taghna.

  • Mahruq
    Posted at 12:04h, 16 September

    Dr. Franco,

    how come you omitted the mention of irrational decisions taken by MEPA in recent years with special reference to the re-drawing of the ODZ’s to accomodate the Mintoff / Caqnu developement plans?

    • Franco Debono
      Posted at 12:07h, 16 September

      it has nothing to do with GRECO

    • MELVIN
      Posted at 17:17h, 16 September

      Qed nikazaw bic Caqnu ghal li jista jkun ma kienx hawn xi ministru jibad il periti jccekjawli kantunieri ODZ biex jara il potenzjal umbad ihawwadhom u indawwru is sinjal u jigu fl iskema?????

    • Why?
      Posted at 19:05h, 16 September

      @ mahruq: ghax ma tibdix int habieb? L ewwel ma trid ticcekja hu – kif persuna saret multi miljunarja min fuq dahrek u dahri habieb! Ghal gieh il mulej- saret miljunarja fi zmien in nazzjunalisti – dejjem ghamlet li ridet ( f kelma wahda git ala bieba mil ligi ghax kella is sahha) u issa li qrobna al elezjoni qed nipruvaw nuru li qed namlu xi haga! Iddahkux nies aktar! Qedin tahsbu li ghax ahna nies tan naqra boloh habieb?! Flus ma andix , dar sabiha ma andix – imma mohh ghandi ta! Lil yana mintoff uzajtuwa biex bdiet il familuza storja tac caqnu. Wara li semmita dcg – ta yana waqfet hemm (ax jafu li ma anda xejn hazin – az propjeta hadt ma jindajallek kemm tbiha + li li il manuvri tal mepa saru taht partit nazzjunalista ) u tax caqnu komplewa bill manuvra tal gima l ohra! Cara daqs il kristal – ic caqnu ma jamilx parti mil klikka li hemm u jrid joqod al li jamlulu! Partit nazzjunalista ta taht eddie ma andu xejn x jaqsam mal klikka li hemm issa! Kulhadd jqasqas u jivvinta kif jaqbillu. U il maggoranza tal poplu tibla kollox u tiehu pjecir tissawat! Issa ax ghandna bniedem li fetah halqu u qed jitkellem f isima ( mux f ismu) ax dan il kliem li qed jghid franco kollu ga smajnih! Tisemaw kuljum – pero hadt ma kellu il kuragg jwaslu lil kbarat! Issa ha noqodu nohduwa kontrih ukoll! U nikrittawh! Sewwa tamel franco u jalla li jekk jimbidel il gvern – jkun hemm iehor bhalek in naha l ohra ukoll! Li titla fil gvern ma jfissirx li taddi romblu min fuq kulhadd! Dawn in nies imhalsin il belli tal liri u ahna incapcpulom talli jadduna biz zmien ( mhux kolla ta) ax hemm min hu genwin – imma il genwin dejjem jkun f minoranza u meta tkun f minoranza jekk ma jkollokx il back up tal poplu – tan nies tat triq ma tkun tista tamel xejn! Grazzi u il lejl it tajjeb lil kulhadd

    • IN-Nutar
      Posted at 21:41h, 16 September

      Ghax DCG ma tidikjarax kemm xtrat id dar taha u kemm tiswa illum??Idikjrata kemm veru xtrata????Saru alterazjoniet skont il permess tal MEPA???

      • Why?
        Posted at 22:41h, 16 September

        Iddur kif iddur maha il bicca qatt ma issib hajt ma wiccek habieb! Il hmar jwehhel f denbu! Mela sewwa li jkun hemm nies bhal franco u aktar kemm jkun hawn bhalu tant ahjar al nies bhali l ewwel wiehed li jselmuwli dawn in nies kif toqrob l elezjoni biss ! Ghal VOT! Bhalo hawn hafna ! Jirragunaw bhali hawn ftit imma nahseb! Bniedem bhal franco ma qijed jghid xejn gdid! Il kliem li qijed jghid huwa kliem li nisemawh ta kuljum hiereg min ghand il haddiema maltin ( pn u lp). Min ghand haddiema li naqalawa u nikluwa u nipruvaw inlehqu mal hajja ta kuljum. Mela flok nikritawh – misna nirringrazjawh u inheggu ohrajn jamlu pass bhalu miz zewg nahat tal kamra. Jikritah min qijed komdu u ma jammetix mil liema problemi addejin certu nies ta kuljum!

  • sturdut
    Posted at 11:45h, 16 September