Airport queues for COVID checks are ‘safety’ concern, says aviation director / Malta News Briefing – Thursday 24 March 2022

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1745- Latest News update

Times of Malta says Bernard Grech has been relentlessly campaigning daily for the past month as he attempts to secure the big job at Castille.

MaltaToday says Bernard Grech has put on notice potential contenders if he loses the election on Saturday, insisting he will contest the Nationalist Party leadership again.

Newsbook says the list of surrendered licences and authorisations in the financial services industry is being published by, confirming that at least 100 firms renounced their Malta licence since Malta was greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force in June. 2021

TVM says that the Court has accepted the request of a man charged with raping a girl he had fostered, for his statements to the Police not to be heard during his trial by jury, after it concluded the statements were taken by the Police without the man being given an opportunity to consult with his lawyer.

Updated 1311

Polls continue to predict Labour landslide as election campaign ends: Polls continued to outline a Labour party victory in this Saturday’s election, as the general election campaign comes to an end. A Times of Malta poll predicted the Labour party would win by 55.1% and the Nationalist party would win by 43.5%. Labour party statistician Vincent Marmara forecasts a 55.9% vote share for PL and a 42.8% vote for the PN. Lower voter turnouts are also predicted. Today marks the final day of general election campaigning as Malta observes a day of silence tomorrow.

Airport queues for COVID checks are ‘safety’ concern, says aviation director: The head of civil aviation has flagged “safety” concerns over long lines at the airport’s arrival lounge caused by COVID-19 checks. Charles Pace urged the authorities to rethink the system in place to avoid chaos during the upcoming busy season. “If we’re going to stop every person flying in to scan all the documents, from a capacity point of view we could even encounter a safety issue. And this is where I come in.

Covid-19 Update:  415 cases were found overnight, and 131 recoveries were reported. 75 cases were in hospital, 2 of whom were in the ITU.

Morning Briefing

Court does not uphold PN request on prison vote

The Nationalist Party has lost a court case to force a re-run of the early voting held at the prisons on Saturday, with the Constitutional Court citing a lack of jurisdiction. The PN had claimed irregularities, arguing that prisoners sentenced to imprisonment of more than a year had been allowed to vote, in violation of the electoral law. The Electoral Commission argued in court through its lawyer, Ian Refalo, that if the PN’s request was to be upheld, the commission would not be able to wrap up the election process. (Times of Malta)

PM again stresses importance of voting

Prime Minister Robert Abela stressed on the importance of voting while stating that the Nationalist Party does not want people to vote “in order for them to do as they wish with the country.” Shifting to the stress brought on the island by the pandemic, Abela said that throughout every decision that was taken, “a tailor-made plan was made for Gozo in order to persevere through the challenges. I have always insisted that the incentives we propose for Malta will have a 10% increase for Gozo in order for the island to remain as resilient as possible.” Addressing followers in Xewkija Gozo, Abela urged constituents to vote early in Saturday’s election as a “PN government would dismantle all the good that was done in Gozo and take the sister island for granted.”

Govt did its job during pandemic – Grech

PN leader Bernard Grech said government “was doing its job” when it gave out assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Robert Abela was carrying out his duty. If we as politicians are expecting people to give thanks to us, we must thank teachers, police, nurses, doctors, pilots for continuing their work during the pandemic,” he said. Grech was interviewed by academic Prof. Andrew Azzopardi at a PN rally held in Mosta on Wednesday evening. He said people must stop eulogising politicians, saying it is their duty to lead the country in a time of crisis. (Maltatoday)

Covid-19 Update: Covid-19 cases continued to increase, with 375 new reports on Wednesday, while 127 recovered. Active cases have reached 2969. During the last 24 hours, two elderly men passed away.

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