The incident was the latest demonstration of dissatisfaction from the people of Malta, where thousands have joined in protests in recent days demanding the immediate resignation of the prime minister amid mounting controversy over the government’s handling of an investigation into the 2017 car-bomb killing of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The investigative journalist reported extensively on the alleged corruption of the Maltese elite, including some of its top politicians.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said he would step down in January over concerns about the case. Two weeks earlier, Yorgen Fenech, a Maltese businessman, was detained on his yacht in connection with the journalist’s killing. Fenech is pleading not guilty to complicity to murder. Muscat’s chief of staff resigned last month amid allegations that he was connected to Caruana Galizia’s killing, but he has denied wrongdoing.
Muscat also denies personal involvement but said he is resigning because he understands he must “shoulder everyone’s responsibilities, even where I am not involved.”
On Monday, protesters tried to block him and members of his party from leaving the Maltese parliament building, some of them shouting, “Assassins!”
Bonnici was egged Tuesday as the European Parliament began its own fact-finding operation, amid concerns that Malta’s institutions have been unable to appropriately handle the case.
Sophia in ‘t Veld, a European Parliament lawmaker from the Netherlands, told reporters gathered outside the Maltese prime minister’s office on Tuesday that a meeting with Muscat that morning did not boost her confidence in the government.
“We have made it very clear that there is a problem,” in 't Veld said. “This is not just between the prime minister and the Maltese people. It is between Malta and the European Union.”