Nurses approve new collective agreement / Malta News Briefing – Saturday 12 August 2023

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PM takes aim at developers who submit applications violating policies

Prime Minister Robert Abela has expressed his disapproval towards developers who submit applications that violate established planning policies, stating that such proposals should not even be considered by planning authorities.In addition, the prime minister indicated his inclination to reject a proposal to transform a residential palazzo in the heart of Birkirkara into a hotel.Abela remarked during an interview on the radio station ONE, which is affiliated with the Labour Party, that applications diverging from planning policies should not even be put forward in the first place.He further emphasized that even if applicants later attempt to amend their proposals to align with policies, the initial application would have started on an inappropriate footing. According to Abela, applications should conform to policies right from the beginning. (Times of Malta)

Nurses approve new collective agreement

In the wake of extended and occasionally tense negotiations between their union and the government, nurses of all ranks are set to enjoy a management allowance, along with compensation for additional hours worked at overtime rates, as outlined in a freshly established agreement. .On Friday, the members of the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) overwhelmingly endorsed the recently formulated sectoral agreement.The MUMN expressed in a statement that the vote result had “surpassed all expectations,” with an impressive 87% of nurses and midwives expressing their approval for the new agreement. (Maltatoday)

Enemalta proceeds with investment in distribution

Enemalta is reinforcing its commitment to enhance the electricity distribution network, with ongoing efforts occurring at multiple levels, all aimed at providing an improved service for its clientele.This undertaking increases the company’s capacity to offer an alternate electricity supply in the event of any malfunctions.Enemalta is diligently working towards completing two projects with a combined investment of €2 million in the upcoming weeks. (TVM)

Morning Briefing

Airport looking at 3D scanners to facilitate security process

The Malta International Airport is expected to invest in advanced 3D scanners, allowing travelers passing through Malta’s airport to be relieved of the need to remove liquids and electronic devices from their hand luggage during security checks starting next year. This innovative technology will present more detailed images of baggage content. Furthermore, these new scanners will render the airport’s current 100ml liquid restriction obsolete. Passengers will no longer be required to place small personal care items in a plastic bag, and they may even pack items like bottles of wine and water within their carry-on bags. Alan Borg, the CEO of Malta International Airport, revealed that the company has initiated the process of soliciting price quotations from seven potential suppliers of these scanners. “This technology comes at a considerable cost, it’s still relatively novel in the market, and thus many airports are seeking to acquire it. Nevertheless, we’ve already initiated a request for quotes from seven providers of this cutting-edge technology,” explained Alan Borg. (Times of Malta)

Former PBS Head of News gets CEO job at new Maltese Language entity

Norma Saliba, who recently departed from her position as the head of news at TVM due to a disagreement with PBS chairman Mark Sammut, has been appointed to lead the new Centre for the Maltese Language. The Centre is mandated by law to provide support for the operations of the Council for the Maltese Language, the governing body responsible for formulating strategies aimed at the ongoing enhancement of the Maltese language and national identity. The primary objective of the Centre for the Maltese Language is to encourage the effective utilization and propagation of the Maltese language, achieved through collaborative initiatives, publications, as well as innovative internet and digital applications. Owen Bonnici, the Minister for Arts, noted that Saliba’s professional endeavors have consistently showcased a proficient command of the Maltese language, a skill that was rightfully acknowledged when she was awarded the 2015 IĠM Award for the best utilization of the Maltese language in her work. (Maltatoday)

Investigation into Controversial Comino Works and Potential Ethics Breaches Discontinued

The inquiry led by Standards Commissioner Joseph Azzopardi, concerning alleged unauthorized activities carried out by the Office of the Ombudsman on the island of Comino, has been terminated. This includes any potential examination of ethical violations by the responsible minister, Clint Camilleri, who oversees Gozo. The contentious works took place in early 2021, encompassing substantial trenching activities along the dirt road leading to the Blue Lagoon. Overseeing these endeavors was William Lewis, the Labour Party’s organizing secretary, who obtained the assignment through a direct order—a practice he has been frequently engaged in under government auspices. Former Ombudsman Anthony Mifsud had taken action based on a complaint lodged by opposition whip Robert Cutajar. Mifsud’s findings concludedthat the works inflicted irreversible damage upon the region, which holds the status of a Natura 2000 site. The Office of the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life received a complaint from independent candidate Arnold Cassola, precipitating this investigation. (Newsbook)

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