Daphne Caruana Galizia died on 16 October 2017 in Bidnija, in the north part of Malta. She was killed by a bomb planted in her car, a Peugeot 108. Daphne was fifty-three, with a husband and three kids. She was a renowned journalist who had won the Pulitzer prize for her reporting on money laundering and international tax evasion that linked Malta to the Panama Papers. She was the first to reveal that Minister Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, chief of staff of Labour Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, were involved in the scandal. We still do not know who ordered Daphne’s murder. But her story sheds light on a truth that, until today, Europe had chosen to ignore. Maybe because Malta is “the Mediterranean State that serves as the pirate base for tax evasion in the European Union,” as Daphne wrote in her MaltaFiles. Only slightly larger than Nantucket Island, Malta hosts 53.247 companies and 581 investment funds, draining 8.2 billion euros from the EU in the last ten years.
Carlo Bonini picks up the threads of Daphne’s courageous international investigation, the “Daphne Project”, that revealed the heart of an unsettling system of tax elusion, corruption, and organized crime. In reconstructing the tragic story of a great journalist, Bonini shows that the dark heart of Europe may lie in its periphery, but its corruption spreads to the whole Union. No one wants to see the abyss in which Europe is falling, and whoever dares to reveal it is destined to die. Daphne’s story is the story of Malta – a story that concerns us all.
Carlo Bonini is a staff writer at the Italian national daily, La Repubblica.