Maltese still supportive of Ukrainian cause, less of military support – Malta News Briefing – Friday 15 September 2023

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Maltese still supportive of Ukrainian cause, less of military support

According to a Eurobarometer survey on EU challenges and priorities, two-thirds of the Maltese population believe that the European Union should maintain its solidarity with Ukraine. However, while there continues to be strong backing for economic sanctions against Russia, the level of support for financing the provision of weapons to Ukraine has declined. In April 2022, 74% of respondents expressed support for this action, but by August 2023, that support had dropped to 51%. This shift may indicate a sense of fatigue among the Maltese populace, possibly influenced by increasing inflation and reduced media coverage of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Like other Europeans, there appears to be a diminishing level of enthusiasm for providing weapons to Ukraine, with support for EU military assistance reaching an all-time low of 51%, down from 74% in May 2022. (Maltatoday)

Transport fleet gets 30 new electric vehicles

The public bus fleet has seen growth with the introduction of 30 new electric buses, representing a €20 million investment.
Malta Public Transport has indicated that this expansion will result in an additional 410 daily trips across 16 essential routes that are vital for connectivity. The introduction of these new buses aligns with the establishment of charging infrastructure in Floriana.

PM says inquiry identifies 160 individuals in benefit racket
PM Robert Abela said that inquiries into a fraudulent scheme involving the wrongful receipt of severe disability benefits have uncovered that approximately 160 individuals may have received funds they were not eligible for. In the previous week, the Ministry of Social Policy reported that 141 individuals had been instructed to repay a collective sum of €2.1 million in severe disability assistance benefits they had illegitimately received.The Prime Minister reiterated that “no present or past official” within the OPM “directed anyone to do anything illegal”. (Times of Malta)

Time puts Metsola among top 100 world leaders

Time Magazine has included European Parliament President Roberta Metsola in its prestigious ‘Time100 Next’ list, which features 100 individuals from around the world making a significant impact in diverse fields such as politics, health, climate, business, sports, and the arts. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, wrote a testimonial for President Metsola, highlighting her role in bringing the European Union closer to its citizens. Von der Leyen noted that wherever Metsola travels within the EU’s 27 Member States, she consistently makes time to engage with local communities. Metsola delivers a compelling message, urging people to get involved and resist cynicism, emphasizing their potential as catalysts for positive change. (Newsbook)

Malta a nation founded of love, PM tells LGBTIQ community

During a conference addressing human rights in the context of the Europride festivities, which are set to culminate in the coming days, Prime Minister Robert Abela stated that Malta is a nation founded on love, welcoming anyone who wishes to embrace their true selves. It is a place where there is room for everyone, and no virtual battles waged online can hinder individuals from living their authentic lives.
In his address, PM Abela extended a heartfelt plea to those in the LGBTIQ community who remain concealed about their identities due to fear. He emphasized that EuroPride serves as a celebration of those who have tirelessly championed the cause of equality over the years. PM Abela also recounted the notable milestones achieved by the country, including the introduction of civil unions for same-sex couples in 2014 and the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2017. (Maltatoday)

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