Malta rated A- by S&P
International credit agency Standard & Poor’s has confirmed Malta rating at A- level, with stable prospects. The agency stated in its report that the economy was hit by the effects of the war in Ukraine and as a result, Malta experienced higher costs for energy and high rates of inflation. It was pointed out that Malta imports the absolute majority of its energy from foreign markets, and as a result the high costs of energy can hinder reduction of the deficit which, it added, increased during the pandemic. (TVM)
Police target illegal migration in Buġibba raids
Police raided properties, stopped people and inspected cars in Buġibba and St Paul’s Bay early on Saturday morning, in a hunt to find foreign citizens living in Malta without the necessary documentation. The inspections follow a public drive to clamp down on irregular migration into the country, with the ultimate aim of deporting law-breakers. (Times of Malta)
Malta against mandatory cuts in electricity
Malta is opposed to mandatory cuts in electricity demand as proposed by the European Commission as part of a package to tackle the energy crisis. Energy Minister Miriam Dalli told an emergency summit of energy ministers yesterday that mandatory electricity demand reductions that “hurt people and European economies should be avoided”. (Maltatoday)
Biker, passenger critical after crash
A 30-year-old motorcyclist and a passenger riding pillion behind him are in a critical condition, after they crashed into a roundabout in Tal-Balal, San Ġwann. The Police, who were informed about the accident on Saturday morning at about 4.30am, quickly headed to the spot of the accident. (Newsvbook)
Government extends reduced tax and duty on property, Opposition welcomes decision
Government has extened a temporary COVID-19 scheme introduced in 2020 which provided for reduced tax and duty rate to 5% and 1.5% respectively on the first €400,000 of property value. In a statement, Government said that more than 88,000 people have benefited from this initiative, saving some 280 million euro in tax. It is expected that some 5,600 promise-of-sale agreements will be eligible through this extension. PN’s Finance spokesperson Jerome Caruana Cilia had called for such a move earlier this week and welcomed the news, saying its indicative of the Opposition making a difference after consulting with the relevant stakeholders.
More than half of business absorbed inflation – MEA
The Malta Employers Association said that more than half of its membership base has absorbed the cost of rising inflation. On the other hand, 45% of businesses have reacted to rising costs by passing them on to their customers. The survey also shows that most businesses are expecting a drop in demand for their products or services over the coming 12 months as a result of inflation.
New simulator for Armed Forces
A new simulator for the Armed Forces of Malta costing €1.3 million was inaugurated by Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri at the army’s barracks in Hal Far. The simulator is aimed at improving shooting training in basic, advanced, static and tactical levels and will help improve the level of professional training provided by the army.