Updated – Malta News Briefing – Saturday 21 October 2023

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Labour MEP says large importers not allowing smaller firms to lower prices

Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba s that small importers in Malta were selling products at approximately half the price of the three major importers. The MEP clarified that his request to the European Commission for an investigation into food importers in Malta was not an attack on businesses but an effort to prevent potential abuses. He explained that these practices were resulting in price control and harming parallel importers. Agius Saliba made these remarks during an interview with Andrew Azzopardi on RTK103. Earlier this month, the Labour MEP urged the European Commission to probe Maltese food importers for antitrust violations. He argued that the country’s size and geographical constraints had led to de facto monopolies, with a few importers dominating the market. Agius Saliba’s action faced criticism from the Nationalist Party and business representatives. (Times of Malta)

Trapping season re-opens despite EU objections

Bird trapping season opened on Friday and will run between October and January, despite being non-conformant to the European Birds Directive, BirdLife Malta said on Facebook. “The European Commission considered bird trapping an unsustainable method of killing wild birds, however Malta still allows a trapping season each autumn,” the NGO said. Trapping is permitted from two hours before sunrise to two hours after sunset, every day of the season. Trapping at night is not allowed. (Maltatoday)

Credit agency confirms Malta A Rating
Credit agency Creditreform Rating has reaffirmed Malta’s A+ rating with stable prospects. Over the nine rating reports on Malta since November 2016, the credit agency consistently maintained an A+ rating, with eight instances of A+ stable and one A+ positive in November 2019. In its most recent analysis of Malta, Creditreform highlighted the country’s Gross Domestic Product growth in the previous year, attributing it primarily to the recovery in tourism and the government’s response to rising energy prices. However, it also anticipates a decrease in the economic growth trend due to reduced external demand and a more controlled monetary policy.

Morning Briefing

Work on new building codes still underway – BCA

The Building and Construction Authority refuted allegations that building codes had been finalised and set aside. In an official statement, the BCA clarified that the development of these codes was still in progress, with ongoing consultations involving the Chamber of Architects and other stakeholders. The intention is to bring the code development process to a conclusion. The assertions regarding the shelving of these codes were made by architect Martin DeBono during his testimony at the Jean Paul Sofia public inquiry. DeBono, who had previously served as a government consultant, had claimed that the initial two out of seven codes had been completed in 2020 and presented to various ministries. However, as the general election approached, the ministers and their officials seemed to withdraw from the process. (Times of Malta)

Two men guilty of causing Paqpaqli car crash sentenced to community services

Paul Bailey, the driver in the 2015 Paqpaqli car crash during the Istrina charity event, unexpectedly pleaded guilty to criminal charges and was sentenced to 300 hours of community service. The crash at the Paqpaqli għall-Istrina event resulted in over 20 injuries, some critical. Julian Manara, also charged, pleaded guilty and received 200 hours of community service. Both were found guilty of causing injuries and vehicle damage due to negligence and failure to follow regulations. (Newsbook)

Former judge to head embryo authority

Antonio Mizzi, a retired judge, has been named as the new chairperson of the Authority for the Protection of Embryos. He is taking over the position previously held by the late Judge Philip Sciberras, who passed away earlier this year. Health Minister Chris Fearne extended his congratulations to Mizzi and emphasized the significant role the authority plays in assisting numerous individuals in building their families. (Maltatoday)

via Reuters

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