ERA approves Manoel Island project / Malta News Briefing – Saturday 5 June 2021

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Updated 1245

Covid-19 Update: Nine new COVID-19 cases were reported by health authorities on Saturday, while seven persons recovered. A total of 2764 swab tests were carried out yesterday. No deaths were reported, while active cases have increased to 76.

ERA approves Manoel Island project: Malta’s environmental regulator greenlighted the development of Manoel Island after an appeals tribunal had annulled the project’s initial EIA. In a statement, ERA said that its assessment laid out the need for marine works to be correctly phased, silt curtains to be used and a requirement to bar vessels and barges from passing through a nearby area where they could damage protected Maltese snail.
The project, being led by Midi, plans to develop the area for residential and commercial use.

Govt reacts to Fitch report: In a statement this morning Government welcomed the confirmation of Malta’s A+ Rating by Fitch. Government said that this positive certificate to our country from the international agency Fitch Ratings is another confirmation of the wisdom with which the economy and public finances were run in this challenging time. Together with the improvements in the field of governance, these results will provide a solid foundation for the strong growth of our country in the coming years, it added.

: Nine new COVID-19 cases were reported by health authorities on Saturday, while seven persons recovered. A total of 2764 swab tests were carried out yesterday. No deaths were reported, while active cases have increased to 76.

ERA approves Manoel Island project: Malta’s environmental regulator greenlighted the development of Manoel Island after an appeals tribunal had annulled the project’s initial EIA. In a statement, ERA said that its assessment laid out the need for marine works to be correctly phased, silt curtains to be used and a requirement to bar vessels and barges from passing through a nearby area where they could damage protected Maltese snail.
The project, being led by Midi, plans to develop the area for residential and commercial use.

Govt reacts to Fitch report: In a statement this morning Government welcomed the confirmation of Malta’s A+ Rating by Fitch. Government said that this positive certificate to our country from the international agency Fitch Ratings is another confirmation of the wisdom with which the economy and public finances were run in this challenging time. Together with the improvements in the field of governance, these results will provide a solid foundation for the strong growth of our country in the coming years, it added.

Newspaper Review

L-Orizzont quotes House Speaker Angelo Farrugia who said that non-elected citizens should have a right of reply in cases where members of parliament breach their privileges. The Speaker was speaking during the official ceremony marking Sette Giugno.

The Times leads with the decision by PN MP Therese Comodini Cachia to quit politics at the end of the legislature. The human rights lawyer said she will continue to help the party in a different role.

The Independent quotes survey findings published by the Office of the President on the state of the nation. The results find that six in ten people are satisfied with their lives and more than half said they are not comfortable mixing with other cultures.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Bernard Grech who called for a radical change in politics to build unity in the country. Grech was addressing the national conference of the state of the nation hosted by the Office of the President.

The Times reports that Malta registered the first Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus on Thursday. Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said that it has not been established yet whether the virus was imported or locally transmitted.

The Independent reports that the public inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia has concluded the hearings after text messages from Yorgen Fenech’s phone were presented as evidence on Friday.

L-Orizzont publishes an interview with a homeless migrant who shared her plight since her childhood in troubled Iraq. The woman was raped as a child and forced to marry the perpetrator until she finally escaped to face further suffering and injustice.

In-Nazzjon follows a discussion on national television with Energy Minister Miriam Dalli who said that the government is looking at ways how the utility billing system can be improved. The paper says that households have lost some €50 million in extra charge

Morning Briefing

Fitch confirms Malta A+ rating

Global ratings agency Fitch affirmed Malta’s credit rating at ‘A+’, saying Malta’s rating is supported by high per capita income levels, a large net external creditor position and a pre-pandemic track record of strong growth and sizeable debt reduction. These strengths are balanced against its large banking sector and the small and highly open nature of its economy, which makes it vulnerable to external developments.

Full story here.

President announces Foundation for National Unity

President George Vella has announced the setting up of a Foundation for National Unity. I want to make a contribution to a less divided country,” he said on Friday. Areas identified so far vary from environment, journalism, education and partisan politics. Vella was delivering his concluding remarks at the end of the State of the Nation conference held at the Verdala Palace and online.

The event was also addressed by the Prime Minister and the Leader of The Opposition. The former highlighted the positive results of the survey presented during the same event, with a majority of the population reporting that they are happy to be living in Malta, and that only a small minority of people feel that they will be worse off in the future.

Bernard Grech argued that recent political events have cast a dark shadow on Maltese politics, with a growing scepticism on whether those in power are acting in the national interest.  “We lost faith in each other’s genuineness,” he said. “Let’s not be scared of showing our wounds if we want to heal from them

The President appealed to both Prime Minister Robert Abela and Opposition leader Bernard Grech to help put a stop to politically motivated hate that was used on social media platforms such as Facebook.  

Covid-19 Update: Two new coronavirus cases were reported on Friday afternoon from 2,545 swab tests. With four persons recovering, active cases have gone down to 74. No deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours. Just over half of the adult population (51%) are now fully vaccinated, while 74% had at least one dose. In her weekly press conference, Prof Charmaine Gauci revealed that a first Indian variant case was identified.

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