Updated – Malta News Briefing – Sunday 19 February 2023

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News Update

23-year-old Polish dies after falling five storeys in St Paul’s Bay

A 23-year-old Polish woman has died after falling a height of five storeys from a balcony in St Paul’s Bay. The police said the accident happened in Triq is-Simar at around 2am. A medical team administered first-aid to the woman at the site of the accident, and transferred her to Mater Dei Hospital, but she died shortly after.

Turkish President thanks Malta for assistance in quake after-math

President George Vella was on Sunday contacted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who underlined Turkey’s “heartfelt appreciation for the hands-on assistance that has been mobilised by the Maltese authorities, NGOs, and the people of Malta”. In a call with Maltese President George Vella, Erdogan noted Malta’s cooperation has strengthened the country’s resilience and touched the hearts of the Turkish people

PM Abela addresses political critics and those disillusioned by politics

Prime Minister Robert Abela said that those who feel disillusioned by politics and are critical of the party are valued and their voice is heard. Speaking in Vittoriosa, the PL Leader said that “those who, up to some time ago, used to form part of the Opposition or did not believe in the government and are now approaching us as they believe they can contribute to the country, will not be called opportunists.” Abela said there could have been instances where the party could have “worked differently”, and in instances where the government stuck to its decisions, it would explain its position.  Abela’s speech follows also what the PN leader said last week and can be seen as a response to latest political polls which showed a growing sense of disgruntlement towards the political class in Malta.

Malta to lead UN debate on Ukraine’s war

Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg has said that if it were up to him he would allow all countries to give Russia a “strong message” against its war in Ukraine in an upcoming United Nations Security Council, which Malta will be chairing. Borg was speaking to The Malta Independent on Sunday at the United Nations headquarters in New York City after two days of activities in the United Nations Security Council which were part of Malta’s presidency of the prestigious institution. (Malta Independent on Sunday)

Anti-Grech petition in PN stopped

An attempt by a group of Nationalist Party delegates to garner enough signatures to force an extraordinary general council that would place pressure on Bernard Grech to step down, has been scotched by senior MPs. Members of a small group of veteran parliamentarians told MaltaToday they had brought to an end an attempt to force the PN into a General Council that would have once again, played out its leadership troubles with internecine consequences. (MaltaToday)

Financial firm directors claim damages against Police Commissioner and AG

The police commissioner and attorney general are facing a claim for damages by two directors of a financial firm who have been charged with money laundering and other financial crimes in cases connected to Keith Schembri and Nexia BT. The two former Zenith Finance directors claim to have been “maliciously prosecuted” and are pinning responsibility for damages upon Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg, Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà, as well as two former senior financial crimes investigators. Financial advisers Matthew Pace and Lorraine Falzon, of Zenith Finance Ltd and Zenith (Tied Insurance Intermediary) Ltd, are holding the four responsible both in their official and personal capacities. (Times of Malta)

Morning Briefing

Bernice Cilia murder inquiry concluded – Minister

Home affairs minister Byron Camilleri has confirmed that the inquiry that took place in the wake of the murder of Bernice Cilia has been concluded, and that its findings are to be published. Cilia was killed in Corradino back in Noveber, with Hhr estranged husband, Roderick Cassar, charged with the murder. Later, it was revealed that Bernice made numerous reports to the police concerning domestic violence, and that an arrest warrant against Cassar was set to be issued on the eve of the murder. (Newsbook)

Grant for first time buyers launched

Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that the electoral proposal of giving a yearly €1,000 grant to first-time buyers over ten years is now being implemented. First-time buyers who bought a property last year with a bank loan can start applying for the grant at the Housing Authority on Monday, 20 February. This grant will not be subject to any means test, and the Housing Authority will be issuing annual payments during June by means of a bank transfer directly into the applicant’s bank account, if the applicant is the sole beneficiary, or into a joint account, if the applicant is a couple.

PN wants answers from Ian Borg

The Nationalist Party stated that Minister Ian Borg should explain how, when a relative of his who was yesterday charged with harassment against a colleague, he was given a job at Transport Malta when Dr Borg was the Minister in charge. The Opposition argued that Borg should also state when he got to know that his relative was harassing a Transport Malta employee, as well as how this relative was given a promotion and company car despite the reports made against him.

No changes to winning Maltese Eurovision song

Eurovision song contest winners The Busker have revealed that they will be performing the song that won them this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest at the big event in Liverpool in May. Last week, The Busker secured a qualifying spot for the showcase event in Liverpool with their song Dance (Our Own Party) which obtained 121 points overall, beating Ryan Hili’s In the Silence, (85 points) and Matt Blxck’s Up (76 points).

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