Malta News Briefing – Sunday 2 April 2023

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Morning Briefing

ID Malta raises Visa rates for faster processing of Eastern TCNs

Workers from specific third countries will have to pay up to €400 for a visa before coming to Malta but the service will be faster with better checks – or so Identity Malta claims. The rates have gone up substantially for the workers from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Previously, anyone from these countries paid €100 for a standard procedure and €300 for a fast service. Now they will have to pay €200 for the basic service or €400 for the fast-track procedure. The price rise comes as Identity Malta takes over the visa vetting process from the foreign affairs ministry amid a backlog of applications. (Times of Malta)

Chatbots to provide customer care at Ministries

Malta’s government will deploy an Artificial Intelligence chatbot on Monday that will replace customer-facing employees, in a bid to curb the culture of dispensing favours or jobs to people calling at ministries. The move, proposed by civil service top brass, was approved in the face of opposition from ministers who use “customer care” units to collect complaints from citizens, as well as cold-calling potential voters, to dispense favours. Users will be limited to access the system a maximum of three times a month. (Maltatoday)

Green calls for changes in party financing

ADPD – The Green Party focuses on party financing in their weekend presser. ADPD secretary general Ralph Cassar called for the improvement of the political parties financing legislation, including by being extended to all registered parties who win at least 1% of votes in an election. He added that a party who satisfies these criteria should receive a state grant annually for every vote won in the election. (TVM)

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