Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 9 June 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Newspaper Review

Malta Today leads with a statement by Energy Minister Miriam Dalli announcing a second interconnector cable expected to be completed by 2025. The project will link with Ragusa in Sicily and increase Malta’s energy supply by 200 megawatts.

The Times quotes Energy Minister Miriam Dalli who said that a second interconnector with Sicily will decrease emissions by up to 58 per cent. The minister noted that demand for electricity rose by 18 per cent in the last four years.

L-Orizzont says that the Cabinet approved a €170 million investment to build another electricity interconnector from the south of Sicily. Energy Minister Miriam Dalli said the cable will provide security of supply to meet growing demand.

In-Nazzjon carries a reaction by the PN welcoming the announcement of a second interconnector. The party, however, noted that this recommendation was already outlined by a national energy plan in 2006 and proposed by the PN earlier this year.

The Independent quotes survey results indicating that 80 per cent of the population are concerned that the legalisation of prostitution would lead to higher violence in society. The study was commissioned by the Malta Women’s Lobby.

L-Orizzont reports that three in four believe that legalised prostitution would abet organised crime and raise risks for money laundering, human trafficking, and exchange of illicit substances. The study was conducted by research firm Misco.

The Times says that the European Commission advised suspected killers Alfred and George Degiorgio to share any relevant information with Europol. The brothers wrote to the Commission last month protesting a government decision not to grant them a pardon.

L-Orizzont follows the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech on Tuesday where state witness Vince Muscat said that the hitmen did not want to injure Daphne Caruana Galizia, but to eliminate her.

Malta Today reports on the testimony of self-confessed hitman Vince Muscat who said that an original plan to kill Daphne Caruana Galizia by gunshot in August 2017 was aborted at the last minute.

In-Nazzjon covers a PN press conference criticising the government’s uniform billing system for utilities. The party said the method hurts small businesses and households and proposed a more flexible system instead.  

The Independent speaks with restaurant owners in Gozo who expressed optimism ahead of the summer season. Catering establishments registered a boom in business since reopening last month as many people crossed over from Malta.

L-Orizzont says that the police have intercepted 740 kilograms of cocaine at the Freeport with a market value of up to €100 million. The substance was hidden in a container transporting bananas from Ecuador to Slovenia.

In-Nazzjon says that the government has not submitted its economic recovery plan to the EU, one of the only member states left to present their proposals. The paper said that Economy Minister Silvio Schembri skirted the issue when questioned about it. 

Morning Briefing

Massive cocaine haul at Malta Freeport: A massive cocaine haul was made by Customs at its scanning facility, with an estimated 740 kilograms found in a container. The drug’s value has been estimated at €90 million to €100 million. Customs said the container was selected for scanning following a risk assessment. Officials who screened it flagged some discrepancies so it was opened for a physical check.

Malta to get another interconnector: Malta will be investing in a second electricity interconnector linking the island to Sicily The 200-megawatt cable is expected to cost €170 million and will run parallel to the existing interconnector that links Malta with Ragusa. It is expected to be completed in 2025. The PN reacted by noting that it had long been proposing such an investment and even included a proposal for the introduction of a second interconnector in its energy plan launched earlier this year.

Covid-19 Update: One new case was reported on Tuesday, from 1,432 swab tests taken the day before. Three patients recovered, lowering the active case count to 70.

CDE News