Nurses’ union delays industrial action after better proposals received / Malta News Briefing – Thursday 9 March 2023

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Updated 1645

Maltatoday leads with an MUMN decision to postpone the threat of widespread hospitals industrial action as talks on pay and work conditions resume after government put forward fresh counterproposals, including increased pay.

The Times of Malta reports that Malta has the lowest fertility rate in Europe at 1.13 live births per woman, according to Eurostat data published on Thursday.

The Malta Independent reveals that the car which the wife of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is using is paid for under the terms of the termination package which Muscat received when he resigned from the post of Prime Minister. The information emerged after a parliamentary question filed by PN MP Claudette Buttigieg to Muscat’s successor Robert Abela.

Newsbook says that strong winds reaching force 7 are forecast to hit Malta over the coming weekend.

Updated 1215

Eden Leisure’s Casino gets fine by anti-money laundering watchdog

Casino Malta, which is run by Eden Leisure Gaming €233,000 for serious and systemic failures in its measures to prevent financial crime. According to the FIAU, the casino failed to report potentially suspect activities by an alleged drug trafficker and another player linked to bribery and tax evasion has landed it in hot water with the FIAU. The casino was found to have also tolerated large cash drops by customers, without adequately questioning the source of those funds. The casino was also said to rely only on the players’ occupation details provided by the customers upon registration, without further explanations or proof of source of wealth and source of funds.(Times of Malta)

PN wants larger businesses to have an anti-sexual harassment policy

The Opposition has filed a Private Members’ Bill in parliament on Wednesday to ensure zero tolerance towards sexual assault in the workplace. Rhe proposed legal changes would oblige medium and large businesses to implement an anti-sexual harassment policy in the workplace. In order for businesses to comply, the PN is proposing that the government issue a model document for them to follow.

80 migrants seeking rescue in Malta’s SAR

Maltese authorities have so far failed to rescue a boat in distress in its search and rescue area (SAR), according to NGO Alarm Phone, which also reported that the people on board are using their clothes to scoop out water coming in the boat. In a tweet, Alarm Phone said “there is still no rescue in sight” except for a Frontex airplane circling above them. It is estimated that some 80 persons are on the boat in distress.

Morning Briefing

Cabinet approves new rules on building contractors’ licencing

Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that Cabinet has approved a new regulatory framework for the construction industry, including on the licensing of building contractors. He said that this is the first time that this sector will see a reform which has been sorely needed for years, and which will specifically address regulation and licensing of building contractors. The PM insisted that this framework will strengthen the existing regulations, which have led to people being sentenced to jail. (TVM)

Grech, Delia present motion asking Government to recoup monies paid to Vitals

PN leader Bernard Grech and his predecessor Adrian Delia have filed a private member’s motion which, if approved, would oblige the government to do everything within its means to recoup the payments made to Vitals and Steward through the hospitals concession struck down as “fraudulent” by the courts. If approved, the motion would call on Parliament to discuss and condemn the manner in which the hospitals were passed on to Vitals and Steward, and oblige the government to take all means, including legal ones, “to recoup every cent that was improperly paid to Vitals and Steward in this corrupt and fraudulent deal.” (Newsbook)

Prudente testimony delayed after AG request

A last-minute objection by the State Advocate meant the postponement of the testimony by Andrea Prudente due on Monday, in her ongoing constitutional case against the State. The AG’s lawyer argued that several articles of the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure required a request for the testimony of a witness who resides abroad to be made through an application to the court. Prudente was due to testify via video link in the case filed over doctors’ refusal to terminate her unviable pregnancy at Mater Dei Hospital during her stay in Malta. (Maltatoday)

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