Malta needs 4.7m tourists to fill up current and planned hotels / Malta News Briefing – Thursday 22 September 2022

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Updated 1800

The Times of Malta reveals that the Curia has drawn up a ‘contingency plan’ to receive within its schools the staff and students of St Albert the Great College if it is unable to function when the school year starts in the coming days.

Maltatoday follows the story of an American woman who has filed a constitutional case after being refused abortion in Malta. The woman has argued that lack of access to medical care, which led to her health being endangered, amounted to a breach of her fundamental human rights.

The Independent notes how a study by the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association shows that Malta will need to bring in 4.7 million tourists to cater for planned increase of hotels. This is almost double the 2.8 million tourists Malta received before the Covid-19 pandemic.

TVM reports that a Eurostat survey carried out among persons in the 45 to 64 age group has found that the Maltese and foreign nationals living in Malta are among the least concerned about their health within the EU.

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PM takes 30-person team to UN, cost to reach €140k: The presence of Prime Minister Robert Abela at the UN General Assembly in New York will cost taxpayers more than €140,000 with a delegation of some 30 persons, including 14 just from the PM’s office. A spokesperson confirmed the figures, revealed by the Times of Malta, highlighting the significance of the session taking place “a few months prior to [Malta] taking its place at the highest UN table – the Security Council”. The delegation also includes a three-person film crew and a DOI photographer. (Times of Malta)

Family Doctors call for investment in health services: The Malta College of Family Doctors and the Association of Private Family Doctors have called on the government to increase expenditure in preventive health services. In a pre-budget statement, the associations highlighted that as family doctors they can do more if they are given more tools. They pointed out that as society is learning to live again after the two-year hiatus brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, they are facing unmet needs from patients who were afraid to approach medical services during that period. A number of important medical services have not yet reached the previous level of activity, they said. (The Malta Independent)

Five new routes by Ryanair over Winter: Ryanair’s new maintenance hangar facility is expected to begin operations in two months’ time, as the low-cost airline introduces five new routes between Malta and other European locations. Ryanair will be operating new routes to Bordeaux, Bournemouth, Lisbon, Shannon and Stockholm over the winter months. The new hangar, which carried an investment of some €20 million, is expected to create some 500 aviation jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers. (Maltatoday)

Morning Briefing

Malta-based EU agency accused of hiring people linked to corrupt cases reported in Malta

The head of the Malta-based EU asylum agency is under investigation after an anonymous complaint reached the EU’s anti-fraud agency. Employees of the European Union Agency for Asylum alleged cases of nepotism, misleading reports and mishandling of harassment claims by executive director Nina Gregori. Maltatoday reports that the complainants claimed that unjustified salaries were being paid out, and also claimed the agency had hired some people linked to “corruption cases publicly reported across Maltese media”, as well as relatives of some of the agency’s managers who got to “skip the queue” to land jobs. (Maltatoday)

Court rejects illegal detention claims by alleged human trafficker

A man who is allegedly the mastermind behind human trafficking activity has filed an emergency application in court, claiming he was being detained by police illegally. The court has rejected his application, after the police argued that the suspect had not supplied information about his residence status and he was therefore being held at an immigration centre. Mouhamed Derbel’s arrest is reportedly related to arrival last week of a group of migrants who landed at Delimara undetected. (Times of Malta)

Two men arrested after attempted Birkirkara robbery

Two men were arrested on Wednesday after being caught red-handed during an attempted robbery in Birkirkara. According to reports, the operation lasted some five hours with one of the man hiding on a false ceiling in the bathroom. According to police reports, since the man refused to unlock the bathroom and cooperate, officers kicked the door down and arrested him at 10am. (Newsbook)

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