These are Thursday’s main stories.
The Malta Business Weekly leads with the decision by the Planning Authority to extend a regularisation scheme without increasing the rates. Launched in 2016, the scheme aims to facilitate the sale of properties lying idle due to irregularities.
Business Today speaks to economist Lawrence Zammit about the political situation in Italy. Zammit predicts a new collation between the Five Stars Movement and PD, but says that a new government would likely stick to the current migration policy.
The Times reports that Malta has the third-highest rate of depression risk among the 18-24 age bracket in the EU. A study by Eurofund discovered that one in five young people fall into this category.
The Malta Independent says that the mayors of Cospicua, Vittoriosa, and Senglea would not be drawn into the controversy surrounding the American University of Malta. Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield spoke publicly against plans for a university dormitory in Cottonera.
The Times reveals that there is an insufficient number of specialised enforcement officers at the Wild Birds Regulation Unit to ward off illegal hunting. The paper says that there has been a ‘haemorrhage’ of officers over the past year.
The Malta Business Weekly says that British supermarket chain Morrisons is being eyed by foreign investors following a slump in share price. In another story, the paper says that a proposal by a Belgian minister to prosecute whistle-blowers has been criticised by the press.
Business Today speaks to EU Affairs Minister Edward Zammit Lewis about government preparations in the case of a no-deal Brexit. The minister said that plans are in place and that details will be published when the situation is ‘less fluid’.
The Malta Independent asks the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner whether it is investigating any cases related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving Facebook. A spokesperson said that no complaints have been raised in Malta.
L-Orizzont says that works on the base of the Blata l-Bajda bridge structure are developing at a fast pace. The footbridge will connect areas in Ħamrun, Marsa and Floriana on foot or by bicycle.
In-Nazzjon quotes opposition spokesperson for culture Therese Comodini Cachia who criticised the government for putting the MUŻA art collection at risk. She said that, for Minister Owen Bonnici, the contemporary art museum was only a ‘political gimmick’.
L-Orizzont quotes Speaker of the House Anġlu Farrugia who said that trade unions have a contribution to make to parliamentary committees. The Speaker was addressing the National Council of the General Workers Union.
In-Nazzjon follows a case of a man found guilty to smashing a beer bottle in a woman’s face at a Paceville club in 2006. Magistrate Ian Farrugia handed him an 18-month jail term suspended for three years.