30.11.2023

by Mateusz Mazur

Malta and Austria Engage in Diplomatic Dialogue Over Online Gambling and International Affairs

In a recent diplomatic engagement, Malta’s Prime Minister Robert Abela met with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer to discuss a range of issues, including Malta’s latest legal adjustments in the online gambling sector.

Malta and Austria Engage in Diplomatic Dialogue Over Online Gambling and International Affairs

The meeting, primarily focusing on these legislative changes, highlighted Malta’s stance amidst international scrutiny.

Debating the Amendment’s Impact

The Maltese government has faced criticism, particularly from legal professionals in Austria and Germany, over the controversial amendments to its online gambling laws.

These laws have sparked debate across the European Union, with allegations of Malta challenging the EU’s legal principles.

Malta’s Commitment to Market Integrity

Prime Minister Abela, during a press conference in Vienna, took the opportunity to assert Malta’s role as a forerunner in the online gambling industry.

He emphasized Malta’s dedication to maintaining a strong and integrated legal framework, especially in the context of remote gambling in the EU market.

Addressing Legal Controversies

Abela clarified the objectives behind the recent legal amendment, which has been criticized for potentially undermining the European rule of law.

He explained that the amendment’s goal was to protect gaming companies from procedures incompatible with the free market principles of the EU.

The Prime Minister also reassured that the amendment does not shield operators from legal proceedings in case of law infringements.

Response to Fast-Tracking Allegations

Responding to claims of expediting legal changes, Abela highlighted that licensed operators in Malta are adequately protected against unfounded legal challenges.

The amendment, according to him, is a step to safeguard gaming companies from non-compliant market practices.

Broader Diplomatic Discussions

Apart from the gambling legislation, the meeting between Nehammer and Abela also focused on international issues such as the conflict in Ukraine and the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

Abela reiterated Malta’s commitment to peace and international dialogue, underscoring the country’s neutral yet assertive foreign policy stance. The leaders also explored potential cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector, emphasizing the importance of information exchange between their medicine regulatory bodies.

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