Health authorities reported a high number of recoveries throughout the past 24 hours, with 219 patients taken the active case tally. 94 new cases were identified during this timeframe, with active cases now standing at 1,847. 3,483 swab tests were carried out on Friday.
PN unhappy with TVM changes
The Nationalist Party expessed disappointment and concern with recent changes announced by the national broadcaster, PBS, which will see the daily news bulletins moved away to TVMnews+, which replaces TVM 2, a channel focusing on news, sports and current affairs. On the other hand, the main channel will focus on entertainment. The Opposition expressed dismay that such decision was taken less than a year before a general electiona and without consultation. In a statement, it said that the “PN does not believe that the PBS management will be fair and act autonomously. TVM has repeatedly been found guilty of not being impartial. Several journalists had also left the station as they could not continue working freely”, it added.
Malta a semi-dictatorship – ADPD
ADPD said on Saturday that the inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia confirmed the inherent weakness of the Maltese state, a state based on the minimum possible trappings of a democracy. Addressing a press briefing, its Chairman, Carmel Cacopardo said that “we live in an almost dictatorial system where the government and the Prime Minister are akin to kings, who can do whatever they deem fit. We have a rubber-stamp Parliament, which is in fact the servant of the government instead of an institution that regulates and monitors Government”.
Although Cacopardo had heavy words for Labour, suggesting that Labour turned the government and the party into servants of these interests with dire consequences, he added that the “PLPN” had a history of cosying up to big business.
Updated 0845: Newspaper Review
The Independent covers a press conference by the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation on Friday. The murdered journalist’s son, Paul, said that the public inquiry report showed how political propaganda and dehumanisation can lead to physical harm.
The Times quotes Paul Caruana Galizia that his family would be willing to meet the Prime Minister. In a press conference, the Caruana Galizias accepted Robert Abela’s apology but said they expect people responsible for state failures to be held accountable.
L-Orizzont quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela that institutions have the freedom to carry out their function, adding that the government will increase resources to support investigations. Abela said no one will enjoy impunity.
In-Nazzjon leads with a demand by Opposition Leader Bernard Grech to form a parliamentary committee to follow the recommendations set out by the Caruana Public inquiry. Grech was speaking in a special session of the House on Friday.
The Times reports that two toddlers have been taken into state care after their mothers were sentenced to six months in jail over forged travel documents. The women’s lawyer said the children would suffer trauma by the separation.
The Independent follows a debate in parliament on the Caruana Galizia public inquiry report. The Prime Minister insisted that the country has embarked on a series of reforms in the last months, while Opposition Leader said the government is out of touch with reality.
In-Nazzjon says that Prime Minister Robert Abela ignored the question about whether he would disassociate himself from his predecessor Joseph Muscat. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne told parliament that apologies are not enough.
L-Orizzont reports that Equality Minister Owen Bonnici condemned online hate speech targeting a transgender person. The minister said that social media should be a tool for networking not a platform for attacks.
Caruana Galizia family accept PM’s apology
The family of Daphne Caruana Galizia have accepted Prime Minister Robert Abela’s apology following the damning conclusions of a public inquiry which found the State responsible for the journalist’s murder, but insisted that accountability was expected. Paul Caruana Galizia said that the family had no plans to meet the PM but would accept an offer to meet. “We accept the apology and totally agree that it is owed to the entire country that has been put through this incredible trauma”, he said. The family’s lawyer, Therese Comodini Cachia, said that while the report includes many recommendations, “what I really expect from the Maltese state at this point is to study the report well, consider all the recommendations made, but that such consideration must be made in a non-partisan manner.
President sees report as new point of departure
In a statement on Facebook, President George Vella said that he believes this report can, and must serve as the point of departure for a national healing process for the trauma this brutal assassination has precipitated since 2017: “This can be done as well in the spirit of the national unity conference the President convened in February, as well as the with the work of the foundation for national unity that will be founded in the weeks to come,” the office of the President added.
PM insists that things have changed since 2020
PM Robert Abela insisted that the situation in our country has changed drastically since taken over the premiership of the country. Listing a raft of reforms enacted in the judicial and governance sectr, the PM said he would continue moving the country forward with concrete reforms and results, rather than playing the blame game. I am prime minister of a country that wants to move forward. I want to give people a positive choice. We will learn from our mistakes, but keep moving forward”. He insisted that no one will be given impunity as long as he leads the country.
Bernard Grech says Malta deserves better
PN leader Bernard Grech said that what the PM said in the aftermath of the public inquiry, was pointed out by the Opposition months earlier, adding that “to work together, you have to help humility first; the acceptance that you are not the source of the beginning and the end.” Grech said that “Malta deserves better than this. We need to reach a point where fear is turned into peace of mind. Peace of mind for everyone, not just for certain politicians”.
111 new cases were reported on Friday, while 199 people recovered. 3,693 swab tests were taken as active cases reached 1,972. The average age of yesterday’s cases was 33. In total, 36 Covid-19 positive patients are in Mater Dei, one of whom is in the ITU.