Malta News Briefing – Friday 4 August 2023

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Morning Briefing

Tourism numbers exceed best pre-Covid levels – MHRA
According to data from the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, the second quarter of the year saw an impressive influx of tourists, with over 840,000 visitors. This figure sets a new record, surpassing the arrivals in 2019 by nearly 59,000 individuals. Furthermore, the data indicates that guest nights during the months of April to June this year saw a remarkable increase of over 90,000 compared to pre-COVID levels. Notably, tourists showed a preference for hotels over private accommodation during this period. (Times of Malta)

PA greenlights new Smart City hotel

The Planning Authority has granted an outline permit for a hotel and residential development in Smart City. The proposed project will consist of an 11-storey building, situated on the site currently designated as a surface car park. The decision was unanimous, with all nine present board members voting in favour of the permit. (Maltatoday) While the outline permit establishes the building volumes and height of the development, the final approval of the project’s design will be contingent upon the submission and evaluation of a comprehensive planning application.

Minister breaches ethics on wrongful info to newspaper
According to an investigation report released by the Parliamentary Committee for Standards in Public Life, Chief Justice Emeritus Joseph Azzopardi, who serves as the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life, found that former Minister Michael Farrugia had violated the code of ethics. This violation occurred when he provided an untruthful version to The Times of Malta regarding the inclusion of Mrieħel in high-rise zones. The investigation was initiated in response to a complaint lodged by independent candidate Arnold Cassola in 2020. The complaint was based on comments made by Dr. Farrugia to The Times. In his findings, Commissioner Azzopardi determined that Dr. Farrugia failed to disclose the members of the ministerial committee responsible for influencing the government’s strategic direction on Planning Authority policies, when questioned about it. (TVM)

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