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Protesters call for Malta PM Muscat to immediately stand down over journalist murder investigation

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By Katy Dartford  with Associated Press
Sign reads "Mafia Government"
Sign reads "Mafia Government"   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Unrest in Malta continues as protesters maintain their stance, calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat. 

Around 4,000 protesters gathered outside the Maltese Parliament on Monday, while inside the building, Nationalist lawmakers tossed fake currency bills, used by protesters as a symbol of corruption.

Muscat, who is under mounting public pressure over his handling of the aftermath of a car-bomb murder of an investigative journalist in 2017, and his party’s lawmakers were briefly blocked from leaving the building.

Daphne Caruana Galizia had been looking into suspected corrupt dealings in political and business circles in the island nation.

READ MORE: Press Freedom 'dire' two years on from murder

Police prevented anti-government demonstrators from surging forward towards the entrance, and Muscat was able to leave from a different exit.

The country’s main opposition Nationalist party announced a boycott of parliament for as long as Muscat remains in power.

Muscat announced on Sunday night that he would resign in January amid citizen outcry over the two-year-old investigation.

Caruana Galizia’s family filed a legal action on Monday against Muscat, asking that he desist from further involvement in the murder probe and place his own alleged involvement in the case under the court’s scrutiny.

Muscat’s top aide, Keith Schembri, was arrested after his name was mentioned to police during their investigation, effectively linking the assassination to the prime minister’s office.

On Saturday, a prominent businessman was charged as the bombing’s organiser.

Meanwhile, a European parliament delegation arrives in the country today for a two-day fact-finding mission over the scandal.

WATCH: Katy Dartford reports on the anti-government demonstrations, whilst TV Malta journalist Keith Demicolli says its unlikely Muscat will stand down immediately.