Malta News Briefing – Friday 12 May 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Updated 1300

Economic activity decelerated but remained strong by end 2022- CBM
Economic activity remained strong, but decelerated when compared to the previous quarter in the last three months of 2022, the Central Bank of Malta said, with annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowing to 4.7% from 5.3%. The moderation in growth was largely associated with a more negative contribution from net exports, which offset an increase in the contribution of domestic demand. When adjusting for imports, domestic demand remained the main driver of growth, but external trade had a positive contribution too. (The Malta Independent)

NGO say developers’ greed is killing environment

Developers’ greed is “killing” the environment, activists said during a staged mock funeral for Malta’s environment and quality of life.
Moviment Graffitti activists carried three caskets representing “nature”, “health”, and “quality of life” as they walked towards the Santa Venera headquarters of the Malta Developers Association. Six activists dressed as grim reapers carried placards representing the MDA and five government authorities: the Planning Authority, Lands Authority, Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, Environment and Resource Authority and Environment and Planning Tribunal. (Times of Malta)

PM questions whether judgements are reflecting gravity of traffic accidents
Prime Minister Robert Abela questioned whether courts are handing down judgments that reflect the gravity of road traffic accidents. The number of road fatalities during 2022 reached a record 28, up by 19 when compared to the previous year, while in the first three months of this year road traffic casualties increased by 13.3% over the same period in 2022. Abela pointed out that in cases were victims of road accidents suffer permanent disability, courts can impose harsher sentences, including effective jail time. (Newsbook)

Morning Briefing

Public sector is not overstaffed, PM insists

PM Robert Abela insisted that the public sector is not overstaffed and only employs the number of people required to carry out its duties effectively. Speaking at a public service expo, the PM was asked about concerns from stakeholders that the public service is overmanned, as business continues to struggle to fill vacant positions. Abela stated that the notion that the public service is overstaffed is “a narrative peddled by the Opposition”. “The public service is acting as a model for the private sector. Until some time ago, the public sector used to lag behind the private sector. Today, I believe it has truly become a model for the private sector in its work practices, giving flexibility to workers while giving excellent service, and in the reform it has carried out in past years where it increased efficiency,” he said.(Times of Malta)

Abortion law expected to pass through before Summer

The reforms related to abortion restrictions in Malta are expected to go through all parliamentary stages before the summer recess, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Thursday. “Before going to committee stage, we had agreed to listen to everybody. We organised a series of extensive meetings, which are now concluded,” Fearne said.The government proposed an amendment to the Criminal Code to allow for abortions when the woman’s life and health is at stake. (Maltatoday)

Yorgen Fenech set to testify before Public Accounts Committee on 23 May
Yorgen Fenech has been summoned to testify before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday 23 May to answer questions about the Electrogas power station deal. He has been called to testify before the Committee as it continues to examine a National Audit Office report dealing with the power station deal awarded to the Electrogas consortium, fronted by Fenech hismself. (Newsbook)

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