PM calls for accountability, seriousness in construction industry
Prime Minister Robert Abela stressed the need for accountability, seriousness, and respect in the construction sector during the Malta Developers Association (MDA) Annual General Meeting. He discussed ongoing industry developments amid economic transition and highlighted the recent contractor licensing reform as an example of deliberate changes that must be coupled with these values in workplaces. Abela also emphasized the significance of environmental transformation in the sector, pointing out the potential benefits it offers, including opportunities for investors and the country, such as the concept of constructing carbon-neutral buildings.
Recovery Bureau seizes €51m from criminals
The Asset Recovery Bureau, responsible for confiscating assets from criminals, reported a significant increase in seizures last year, with over €51.5 million worth of property and valuable items taken, marking a €20 million rise from the previous year. This total includes approximately €10.2 million seized in cooperation with the police in six cases they were investigating.
The confiscated assets encompass nearly €47 million in real estate, nearly €2 million in tools, industrial equipment, and materials, €1.7 million in vehicles, €620,000 in furniture and household items, €430,000 in nautical vessels, €142,000 in works of art, antiques, books, and Maltese cultural items, as well as €72,000 in stocks, including spirits. Additionally, they included €51,000 worth of exotic animals, €20,000 in jewellery, €6,700 worth of weapons, and just over €1,000 in clothing. These assets were taken from 88 locations across Malta and Gozo, as reported in the bureau’s annual report. (Times of Malta)
Reforms for VO reporting presented
The government has presented changes to the reporting procedures for voluntary organizations (VOs) and the formulation of guidelines for those VOs involved in activities with minors. These proposals emerged following the completion of a research initiative led by the Office of the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations. The research, carried out by the VO Plus Convention, entailed a comprehensive process that included 1,300 meetings with various organizations, an assessment of the operational aspects and structures of all entities on the registry, and the execution of two research projects spanning 18 months. At present, Malta boasts nearly 1,850 registered VOs. (TVM)
PA approves Msida Creek Project
The Planning Authority granted approval for the Msida Creek project, which includes the addition of flyovers to the Msida junction to improve traffic flow. Infrastructure Malta’s initial plans for the area faced controversy and underwent a significant redesign after consultation. The revised plans now incorporate more public open spaces, such as a spacious plaza in front of Msida parish church and a 300-metre canal, aimed at addressing historical flooding issues in the busy junction. Nevertheless, during the PA hearing, the Chamber of Architects said it had not had the opportunity to meet with the agency regarding the project, and their concerns remained unaddressed despite the redesign. The original plans had drawn criticism from the head of the Chamber of Architects for increasing infrastructure and traffic congestion in the heart of Msida. (Times of Malta)
Missing Maltese doctor found in Cape Town
Stefano Corso, a 39-year-old Maltese doctor, has been located after being the subject of a missing person report in Cape Town, South Africa. The South African Police had previously reported Corso as missing and mentioned that he was last seen around 3:30 PM the day before. The police identified Corso as a Maltese doctor participating in a seminar on the island of Paarden.
EP to debate rule of law in Malta
The European Parliament will be debating the rule of law in Malta, marking six years since the tragic assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The European Parliament will proceed to adopt a resolution and provide specific recommendations in response to the recent scandals exposed by Maltese journalists in the preceding weeks, according to the statement by the centre-right EPP grouping. (The Malta Independent)