Updated – Malta News Briefing – Friday 17 November 2023

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PM Abela calls for EU legislation to consider impact of disparities among States

During a meeting of European leaders in Croatia, PM Robert Abela underscored persistent disparities within the Single Market, particularly concerning access to medicines and connectivity. He stressed the need for comprehensive impact assessments before implementing legislation, ensuring that the realities of all member states, including Malta, are duly considered. The meeting, called by European Council President Charles Michel aimed to lay the groundwork for the European Union’s new Strategic Agenda spanning 2024-2029.

Malta stands out as one of the most benevolent nations

According to a recent report from a prominent UK-based charity, Malta stood out as one of the most benevolent nations worldwide last year. In the World Giving Index 2023 by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), 65% of respondents in Malta reported donating money to charity, securing the country the fifth spot among 142 surveyed nations. This year’s findings unveiled an even more pronounced culture of generosity compared to the previous year when Malta held the seventh rank globally for charitable donations. In the overall index ranking, which considered not only donations to charity but also the percentage of individuals assisting strangers and volunteering time to organizations, Malta secured the 20th position. 56%of respondents in Malta expressed aiding unfamiliar individuals, while only 25% reported volunteering their time to an organization. (Times of Malta)

TM finds 476 tampered vehicles

Transport Malta has identified 476 vehicles imported from Japan with manipulated meters, shedding light on the scope of this illicit activity within an ongoing court case. The accused individuals—Alexander Spiteri, Roderick Vella, and Alison Vella—affiliated with Alexander Auto Sales and Rokku Auto Dealer, disclaim any involvement in meter tampering. The case exposed the sale of high-mileage vehicles from Japanese markets in Malta, showcasing significantly altered mileage displayed on the dashboard gauge. This purported scheme commenced in 2019, involving the acquisition of high-mileage cars at lower prices in Japan, which were then transported to Malta. Subsequently, their odometers were tampered with, deceiving buyers into believing they were purchasing vehicles with substantially lower usage. (Newsbook)

Morning Briefing

Banking products for persons struggling to purchase home in the pipeline
The Foundation for Affordable Housing has committed to introducing banking products tailored for middle-income individuals. These individuals, who don’t qualify for government-funded apartments yet can’t afford to purchase a home, will benefit from this initiative. The announcement accompanies a recent study revealing that individuals under 40 must earn a minimum of €25,000 annually to secure a home loan for an average-priced two-bedroom apartment valued at €225,000. Foundation CEO Jake Azzopardi emphasized the study’s findings, highlighting a segment termed the ‘stretched class’. These are individuals with stable employment but struggle to access suitable housing for their families. Azzopardi shared that discussions are underway with a local bank, though specific details about the banking initiative remain undisclosed. (Times of Malta)

Employment up to 7.6% by mid-year

Full-time employment by 7.6%, while part-time employment, a significant contributing factor, increased by 3.9% compared to the previous June, according to NSO data up to June. By the end of of that month, full time employment surpassed 272,000 employees. Statistics from the employment agency, JobsPlus, revealed this increase was driven by a rise of 19,000 full-time positions and a reduction of 79 individuals from the unemployment registry. Among various sectors, administrative services and support within accommodation and dining establishments experienced the most substantial upswing. Notably, full-time employment in the private sector saw an increase of 19,084, reaching over 200,000 employees. Conversely, the public sector recorded a slight rise of 81 employees, totaling 51,213 employees. (TVM)

PA Approves Construction Permit to Address Ship Emissions at Dock No 6, Cospicua

The Planning Authority has sanctioned a permit for the erection of a two-storey edifice at Dock No 6 in Cospicua. The primary objective of this structure is to establish shore-to-ship infrastructure, aimed at curbing emissions and noise stemming from ships that presently rely on engines running day and night for electricity. Numerous complaints from Cottonera residents, particularly those residing in Senglea closest to French Creek, have highlighted the issue of emissions and noise. Dock number 6, situated on the opposite side of French Creek beneath Corradino hill, seeks to address these concerns. (Newsbook)

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