Update – 19-year-old dies in traffic accident in Rabat – Malta News Briefing – Sunday 18 April 2021

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Update 1230 h – Fatal Traffic Accident in Rabat, Malta – A 19-year-old person died in a traffic accident in Triq l-Infetti L/O Rabat Malta. Media reports said that the accident happened on Sunday morning when the car had a violent impact with a tree in the zone. Several members of the civil protection, medical officers and police are in the zone. The road has been closed for traffic for the time.

The Times and Independent reports that the man who died was driving a Volkswagen Bora when he lost control and crashed into a tree and a wall. His passenger suffered grievous injuries.

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The victim was identified to be Julian Spiteri, a law student who was involved in a number of youth and student organisations.

This is a developing story. Newsbook / NetNews / TVM / iNews / Times of Malta

Update – 1230h Covid19 Update – There were 39 new Coronavirus cases reported in the past 24 hours and 52 recoveries. The Ministry of Health’s update also announced there were 274,641 vaccine doses administered so far of which 84,152 received the second dose. Currently, the total number of active cases is 595.

PM Interview

PM and PL Leader Robert Abela was interviewed on Sunday by Pablo Micallef. The interview focused on a number of issues including the current pandemic, the rent reform and other themes. Abela referred to the current administration’s vision for the country and the commitment to change the country further. The newly inaugurated Marsa junction is part of government’s wider holistic view to improve the country’s transport sector, the Prime Minister Robert Abela has said. The PM said that faster travelling times and less pollution will result in a better quality of people for people, especially those living in the southern part of the country. He also praised government for abiding by the set deadline, and within the allocated budget. Speaking on the pandemic, Abela welcomed the reopening of schools and care homes earlier this week, insisting people must now be more vigilant. “We must not let our guard down. We have to continue abiding by protocols so we can get out of this situation,” he said. MaltaToday

PN’s Leader interviewed

PN Leader Bernard Grech was interviewed on Sunday by the Malta Independent editor Neil Camilleri. The interview focused primarily on the changes ahead for the PN. Grech has warned that people who harbour the “wrong attitude” be them party members, members of internal party structures, or even MPs are not welcome within the PN. “We need people with a sincere and humble attitude.  We do not want people with an attitude that they know everyone, that they prejudice everyone, that they are in some form of ivory tower looking down upon everyone, that they think that only they have a divine right to govern”, he said. He said that the party understands that it has made mistakes, and said that it needs to show the electorate that it has changed and that it is ready to regenerate on all fronts. The Malta Independent

Newspaper Review

The Sunday Times reports that around 300 people from the business community are under investigation by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. Money laundering probes have increased by 200 percent in the last three years.

The Independent on Sunday says that the PN is spearheading an effort to open its structures, including the parliamentary group, to new people. Veteran MPs are being asked to move to new roles within the party.

Malta Today reveals that the government is considering electronic tags for people convicted of minor crimes with sentences of less than a year. The system is intended to ease population pressures on Corradino Correctional Facility.

Illum quotes survey findings showing that 55 percent of the population is against further restrictions. Two-thirds of in the 18-35 age bracket disagree with more restrictions while 60 percent of people aged 51 to 65 want stricter rules.

It-Torċa carries an interview with Health Minister Chris Fearne who said that the rate of deaths caused by the coronavirus in Malta is lower than in other countries where the pandemic has claimed a life in 45. The rate in Malta is one casualty from 75 people.

Il-Mument says that social partners are urging the government to draw a comprehensive plan for tourism. The president of the Association of Travel Agents said that the body has presented a series of proposals.

Malta Today publishes survey findings showing that worries about corruption have risen by six points from March, rising as the main concern in Malta. The issue was flagged by PL voters for the first time this month, albeit at a far lower rate than by PN voters.

Kullħadd leads with the official inauguration of the Marsa Junction project this week. Prime Minister Robert Abela described the flyover complex as a reflection of the ambition and perseverance of people in Malta.

The Sunday Times quotes a statement by the Health Ministry which said that 14 percent of Covid-19 victims died of other conditions, but the virus contributed to their death. The virus was the primary cause of death in 346 cases.

The Independent on Sunday says questions sent to former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat about Keith Schembri remained unanswered a month after the arraignment of his chief of staff and other accomplices.

Illum says that proposals by the Nationalist Party to revitalise the tourism sector will include a seven-percent deduction in VAT for catering and accommodation providers. The party is expected to launch its plan in the coming days.

Il-Mument publishes an interview with the PN spokesperson for Air Malta, Mario de Marco, who appealed to the government to remove all political influence from the airline and allow management to develop a strategic plan that is commercially sustainable.

It-Torċa says that Commissioner for Standards is investigating a government decision to relocate elderly people treated at the Gozo General Hospital to a nearby hotel, last year. Source told the paper that the decision was made in line with established procedures.

Kullħadd dismisses claims by former PN Leader that the last election was skewed by the power of incumbency of the Labour government. It says that 324 people were added to the public service in 2017 compared with 509 in 2013.

Morning Briefing

President Vella marks 100th anniversary of 1921 Constitution

President George Vella said that the 100th anniversary of the granting of the 1921 Constitution was an important milestone for the people to appreciate that Malta became a nation. He said it also shows how the country was a victim of colonial circumstances and remained so until Independence and the creation of the Republic.

Dr Vella argued that granting of the Constitution was not a sole event but was a reflection on the fact that only British Colonialism ruled to emphasise British dominance and avoid any kind of Maltese Governance. Thus the 1921 Constitution gave the Maltese the opportunity to form part of their own administering.

“Knowledge of our history leads us to be prouder of who we are and to appreciate how we became a nation, how democracy in our country was built little by little over time in the fabric of political and social life, as well as how organisations, political parties, and trade unions emerged and got stronger”, the President added.

New Energy Schemes launched

New schemes launched by Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli are set to encourage more families to invest in renewable energy and to reduce their energy bills. The three schemes launched Saturday will allow consumers to switch from the conventional geyser to more efficient water heaters, thus saving a considerable amount of electricity and allowing households to heat water in an efficient and environmentally sustainable way.

The schemes focus on two technologies: solar water heaters and air-to-water heat pumps to cater for those households who do not have roof access. The installation of these systems can also be carried out by those who have already invested in a PV panel system.

Four deaths from Covid-19

Coronavirus cases have increased after the dip of the past few days, reaching 67 on Saturday. Health authorities reported 38 recoveries. Four people died, including three men aged 61, 77 and 79 and 63-year-old woman This means that 409 persons have now lost their lives after contracting coronavirus.

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