Malta News Briefing – Monday 7 August 2023

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Morning Briefing

PM pledges government effort to ensure Ħondoq remains undeveloped

Prime Minister Robert Abela emphasized the ongoing efforts of the government to ensure that Ħondoq remains undeveloped. He also hinted at possible changes regarding planning considerations related to this matter. Speaking on Sunday, the Labour leader stressed the government’s responsibility to safeguard the scenic landscape of Gozo. He welcomed the Appeal Court’s decision on Ħondoq while asserting that the Labour Party has consistently stood against any development in the area. In contrast, he criticized the Nationalist Party for making specific decisions favoring proposed development, particularly through changes to local plans in 2006. The Prime Minister expressed his belief that Gozo should serve as a primary economic driver for overall growth. (TVM)

PN’s Bernard Grech says country needs reality check on future aspirations

PN leader Bernard Grech stressed the importance of a reality check regarding the aspirations for the future of the country. During an interview on the party’s media, he expressed concern over the increasing number of young people expressing a desire to leave Malta. According to Grech, a staggering 70% of the nation’s youth are contemplating leaving the island, which he attributes to the economic plan of the Labour Party centered on cheap labor. He accused Prime Minister Robert Abela’s government of not only depriving the youth of opportunities but also adopting a politics of theft that impacts the nation’s overall quality of life, sense of security, and peace of mind. (The Malta Independent)

MCESD should have stronger Government endorsement – Farsons CEO

In a LinkedIn post, Norman Aquilina, the Chief Executive Officer of Farsons, expressed his disillusionment with the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD). He emphasized the importance of the council’s autonomy, urging the government to respect it, and called for its leadership to uphold what is right, regardless of any political pressures. In his post, Aquilina aruged: “I cannot help but feel disillusioned with the MCESD. Instead of seizing the opportunity to play a leading role during this critical moment, this ‘advisory council’ has appeared more like a mere observer.” Aqulina insisted that the MCESD has to move away from the “glorified talking shop structure” and that the government should give a stronger endorsement to this council. (Maltatoday)

Large cocaine shipment intercepted at Freeport

In a collaborative effort between the police and customs, a substantial quantity of cocaine weighing ninety-seven kilograms, and valued at €11 million, was intercepted. The illegal substance was concealed on a cargo ship that had arrived at the Freeport. On Sunday morning, divers from a security company, appointed by the ship’s agents, conducted an inspection and discovered several suspicious packages wrapped in plastic within a compartment at the ship’s bottom. The packages were subsequently removed from the compartment and transported to land. The ship involved was registered in Portugal and had departed from Colon, Panama on July 24th. (Times of Malta)

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