Cost-of-living is top concern for Maltese – EU survey / Malta News Briefing – Monday 20 March 2023

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Updated 1710

The Times of Malta reports that a British Airways flight from Malta makes emergency landing in Rome after a technical issue.

Maltatoday says that during a visit by the Prime Minister at MCAST, a lecturer has flagged Steward’s failure to deliver new nursing school. He was referring to a €2 million investment and the creation of a nursing school at St Luke’s Hospital pledged by Vitals Global Healthcare five years ago but which never materialised.

The Malta Independent reveals that a man accused of using counterfeit bank notes at different fuel stations has been acquitted after the prosecution failed to produce any witnesses or evidence for 19 years.

Newsbook reports that a man has been given a suspended sentence and fined after he admitted to assaulting three police officers while drunk in Mellieħa. The man was hauled in court and charged with being drunk in public, committing an offence against decency or morals, and willfully disturbing the public order.

Updated 1200 – Mid-Day Briefing

Cost-of-living is top concern for Maltese – Eurobarometer

Almost two-thirds of the Maltese population say they are worried mostly about rising inflation, followed at a distance by crime, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey. Respondents’ said that rising prices (61%) and crime (26%) top the list of worries, with immigration and climate change each mentioned by 15% of respondents. In total, 46% of respondents in Malta stated that they expect their life in general to get better in the next twelve months, while 91% described their household’s financial situation as very good or rather good.

Strong increase in January tourism – NSO

During the month of January, a total of 124,151 inbound tourists visited Malta for holiday purposes, and 7,764
tourists came for business purposes. Fresh NSO data has shown that otal nights spent went up by 79.0 per cent when compared to January 2022, surpassing 1.0 million nights. The largest share of guest nights (79.2%) was spent in rented accommodation establishments (Table 3). The average length of stay of total inbound tourists stood at 7.6 nights. Total tourist expenditure surpassed €99.1 million, an increase of €52.2 million over the corresponding month in 2022.

Storm Helios leads to €1.8m in claims

The Malta Insurance Association revealed that over €1.8 million in damages were claimed as a result of February’s gale-force storm Helios. The gregale storm brought with it record-breaking rainfall, leaving insurers with claims for damaged businesses, property, vehicles and yachts. The Times of Malta reports that the highest amount of claims originated from commercial policies, Malta Insurance Association director general Adrian Galea said, similar to the 2019 storm. These types of policies include engineering and electrical equipment and industrial property.

Morning Briefing

PN will defend people on health, cost of living, education

PN Leader Bernard Grech said the Nationalist Party is being the voice of the people and is acquiring major victories for Malta.
Speaking on Net, Dr Grech stated that thanks to the Nationalist Party, the hospitals have been given back to the people. He also added he will continue fighting so that the Broadcasting Authority and PBS will no longer continue breaching the fundamental rights of the Nationalist Party. Dr Grech said the Nationalist Party is being the voice of the people on pertinent issues like health, the cost of living and education. (TVM)

Darren Debono claims frame-up on Caruana Galizia murder

In a stunning twist on Sunday, alleged fuel smuggler Darren Debono has accused ex-OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri of attempting to frame him for journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination. In an exclusive by The Times of Malta, Debono says that there were attempts “from the very top” to falsely implicate him in the October 2017 assassination. Debono was arrested in Sicily for suspected fuel smuggling, three days after Caruana Galizia’s murder. The case against him there is still ongoing. (Times of Malta)

Steward sought government protection on €3m liabilities

Steward Health Care sought government protection from liabilities exceeding €3 million during discussions to take over the hospitals concession from Vitals Global Healthcare. This emerged from emails released by Steward which it filed ogether with an extensive appeal against a a court judgment that cancelled the hospitals deal. Sent towards the end of January 2018 by Steward CEO Armin Ernst, the email was addressed to investors Asad Ali and Shaukat Ali, and the gmail account of the prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri. Email correspondence also shows that it was Schembri who was calling the shots rather then Health Minister Chris Fearne. (Maltatoday)

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