UPDATE – Malta News Briefing – Sunday 10 October 2021

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Midday Briefing

There were 24 new Covid-19 cases and six recoveries reported by the health authorities.This brings the number of active cases to 281. From these seven are hospitalised, one of which is in ITU. Saħħa

The budget for the year 2022 was designed with the people, for the people, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday during a brief phone interview on ONE Radio. Abela was asked about the budget set to be presented on Monday evening. He described it as “a realistic budget from a united government.” He said that the government held meetings with various social partners and organisations from different sectors, and even held public consultation sessions in squares around the country. “It is one of the budgets that saw the most consultation,” he said. Malta Independent

Prominent businessman Yorgen Fenech was given privileged access to confidential documents and correspondence for at least three projects and ventures spearheaded by former energy minister Konrad Mizzi. Times of Malta is informed this included correspondence in March 2014 between Mizzi and Azerbaijan’s energy minister about the Azeri government’s “kind intentions” to directly supply Malta with LNG. Times of Malta

Opposition leader Bernard Grech asked on Sunday what is holding the police commissioner from investigating Konrad Mizzi, given revelations on his activities in office. He asked why the Labour parliamentary group and Prime Minister Robert Abela continue to defend Mizzi when they know about his activities. “I want to ask the Police Commissioner, what are you waiting for to investigate Konrad Mizzi and take him to court? Now that it is clear he was breaking the law, why are we not taking the necessary steps to bring him to justice,” he continued. Times of Malta

Support for the Nationalist Party has plummeted over the past month, leading to a 16-point gap with the Labour Party, a MaltaToday survey shows.  The October survey puts the PN at 27.3%, a decrease of four points since September. The Labour Party remains relatively stable at 43.2%, a minimal decrease of less than a percentage point.  ADPD registers 1.6%, an increase of 0.4 points over last month. The party has seen its support grow consistently since April, albeit in baby steps.  When taking into account how people voted in the last general election and analysing what would they would do now, shows that the PL enjoys a margin upward of 50,000 votes over the PN. MaltaToday

Meanwhile, Grech has dismissed the poor polling results of the Nationalist Party, after a MaltaToday survey found that support for the PN plummeted four points in just one month. “True, the surveys don’t indicate that we are progressing forward – but there are 80,000 people who are not speaking out in these surveys. They are not regularly quizzed, but they will have their say on election day,” Grech said during a political activity on Sunday.

Works are at an advanced stage on the upgrading and modernisation of an electricity distribution centre on the Bulebel Industrial Estate to convey a better electricity supply to scores of zones in the country, stretching from Cottonera to Luqa. TVM

Morning Briefing

PN loses Gozo, Northern region in LCA elections

Independent candidate Samuel Azzopardi, a former PN mayor, was elected to the executive committee of the Local Councils Association, on behalf of the Gozo region.

This was the first time that the Nationalist Party lost control of the sister island, while it also lost its majority in the Northern region. Ironically, the PN has a majority of councillors in this region which covers localities such as Mellieha, Mgarr and Naxxar, yet a number of PN councillors abstained or voted for the PL councillor.

This leaves the PN with a majority only in the Eastern region, where Anthony Chircop was confirmed in his post, while the PL holds the Northern, Western, Port and Southern regions.

Green Party expresses opposition to metro plans

The Green Party, ADPD, argued that a metro will have detrimental effects on the environmental, public spaces and historical heritage. “When one considers all the known information, the Metro proposal is not suitable. It creates too many environmental problems and is a threat to both existing public spaces and our historical heritage.” . It added that the public consultation on Malta light-rail metro will be useless unless all the studies are made available to the public.

ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo argued that “the effective solution addressing traffic congestion is the creation of alternatives to the use of private cars, aiming at their reduction as a result of a facilitated mobility. This is the aim to be achieved by mass transport: helping people to travel short or long distances.”

Covid-19 Update: 16 cases were reported on Saturday while 35 patients recovered. Active cases stand at 263, seven of whom are receiving treatment at Mater Dei.

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