That’s twice I’ve seen a seedy connection between Malta and Albania this week.
First we heard that the bomb suppliers for Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination were ‘linked to’ the Albanian underworld .
Then I learned that the Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama is going to be sharing a platform with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat just next week at a Henley & Partners conference. The story has subsequently made it to Exit.Al where they wonder if Albania is next to join the Henley & Partners citizenship prostitution program.
What does that say? Well, primarily it tells us what we really already know: that wherever Joseph Muscat is, there is invariably criminality and corruption.
Whether he’s having secretive meetings in Baku with the crime family that runs Azerbaijan, attending Ali Sadr’s wedding (he of Pilatus bank fame), covering for his criminal Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi, covering for Neville Gafa (whatever it is exactly that Neville does aside from meet with Libyan warlords), covering for Chris “the brothel creeper” Cardona, or giving the mod to Christian Kaelin to sue Daphne Caruana Galizia, corruption follows Muscat around like a bad smell.
It also reaffirms that Henley & Partners are an outfit that doesn’t just facilitate criminals getting passports to Europe, but that brings together the corrupt administrations of countries too.
It does also make me question the relationship between the two countries. We’ve now had a suggestion that the political worlds and the criminal worlds of both Albania and Malta seem to intersect.
Albania and Malta are political neighbours too, with the governing parties both alleging to be socialist. They’re also both mired in corruption, and concerns have been raised about the undemocratic, autocratic nature of both administrations. Alice Taylor, a journalist with Exit.Al and The Shift News, paints a picture of Albania as sharing in Malta’s predilection for persecuting government critics:
“The language used against journalists by (Edi) Rama and his cronies is perpetuating a climate of fear and a situation where, unless they stop behaving in this way, it is only a matter of time before a journalist loses their life.”You can read more about that here.
So is Albania going to be partnering with Henley & Partners?
Here’s what Exit.AL has to say:
In response to whether Albania could be about to sell its passport, they said “nice try- but honestly I do not know and would hesitate to speculate about the policies of a sovereign state of which I know little”.
In August 2019, the Albanian government proposed changes to the Law on Citizenship, and in the accompanying report included the possibility for foreigners to acquire Albanian citizenship through investment. Whether Henley and Partners would be interested or whether they will become concessionaires in this new development remains to be seen.