Malta. One of Malta’s landmarks, a limestone arch known as the Azure Window, collapsed in March. The arch, located on the island of Gozo, was a popular tourist destination and has also been featured in the TV series “Game of Thrones” and in the movie “Clash of the Titans”.
In May, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced a new election until June 3, which was a year in advance. According to Countryaah.com, the decision was made after revealing that the Prime Minister’s wife Michelle had a secret mailbox company in Panama to avoid paying taxes. Employees of Muscat were also accused in this case of the company, which also, according to media reports, served as a bank for the ruling family in Azerbaijan.
In the parliamentary elections, Muscat’s Social Democratic Labor Party won by its own majority, despite the allegations of corruption and economic fraud. His party received 37 seats, which represented 55% of the vote. The opposition Nationalist Party received 30 seats. In the elections, 91% of the country’s close to 342,000 eligible voters participated.
In a July vote, Parliament unanimously decided to legalize same-sex marriage. The outcome was an indication that the Church’s influence over politics was about to decrease in the conservative and strongly Catholic country.
In October, 53-year-old Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb near his home in Bidjina. Galizia was a world-renowned burgeoning journalist who focused primarily on writing about the corruption in Malta. Among other things, she wrote about the Prime Minister’s immediate circle, which contributed to the holding of new elections. She also wrote revelations about the opposition party’s politicians, banks, drug leagues and online casinos.
The fact that a journalist in an EU country of all things was convicted of his job caused reactions in the EU, which in the strongest possible terms condemned the attack. Prime Minister Muscat and Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia also expressed condemnation. To resolve the case, Malta requested outside assistance from both the US FBI as well as the European Security Service and the Dutch police.