Updated Malta News Briefing – Sunday 20 November 2022

Reading Time: 6 minutes

News Update

44 people living irregularly in Gozo arrested

Some 44 people were found to be living in Gozo illegally, the police said on Sunday.  In a statement, the police said immigration officers together with officials from the detention service had carried out inspections in Gozo.  During a search in Marsalforn, some 44 migrants were found to be living on the island without the necessary documentation. The migrants are from Ghana, Syria, Nigeria, Gambia, Tongo, Albania, Burkina Faso, and Pakistan. (Times of Malta)

Health Minister Chris Fearne appointed Vice-Chair of Global Leaders Group on antimicrobial resistance

Health Minister Chris Fearne has been appointed vice-chairman of the Global Leaders Group (GLG) on antimicrobial resistance. WHO Europe regional director Hans Kluge congratulated Fearne on his appointment. He tweeted that he looks forward to working with him and the group to tackle the challenges posed by anti-microbial resistance. (Malta Today)

PN will not support Joseph Azzopardi’s nomination for Standards Commissioner – Grech

The Nationalist Party will not support the nomination of Chief Justice Emeritus Joseph Azzopardi for the position of Commissioner for Standards in Public Life, PN leader Bernard Grech asserted on Sunday. Interviewed on the party-owned Net News, Grech accused Prime Minister Robert Abela of leaking the names of the candidates to the press. He insisted that he always made sure to keep the names secret. “He is arrogant and he always wants things to go his way. Just because Abela is the prime minister, that does not mean that he can do as he wants,” Grech said. Grech also said that the government must explain why Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia wasn’t present in Parliament during a parliamentary question session. Grech said that Farrugia must go to parliament and answer questions, “as the people have a right to the whole truth.” He said that if Malta has an arrogant Prime Minister who pretends he can do whatever he wants, then ministers are also going to do the same. He said Aaron Farrugia doesn’t want to answer questions in Parliament. “Ministers have an obligation to be present in Parliament to answer questions.”(Malta Today/Malta Independent)

Tree snaps and blocks Tal-Barrani Road

A tree along Żejtun’s Tal-Barrani road snapped in half following strong rain and wind on Sunday morning, smashing a bus’ windscreen and forcing the temporary closure of two lanes of traffic. (Times of Malta)

2019 events and resignations were a disappointment for party – Robert Abela

Prime Minister Robert Abela made a veiled reference to Labour’s nadir under his disgraced predecessor, in a speech to the Labour Party’s general conference. He referred to his election in early 2020 upon the resignation of Joseph Muscat, as a period of “considerable difficulties for both the country but also the party.” “All of us had the disappointment of those episodes our country was passing through, that did not symbolise what we as a party want for our country,” Abela said, without referring specifically to the revelations prompted by the arrest of Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech in connection with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The arrest prompted the resignations of prime minister Joseph Muscat and his chief of staff Keith Schembri. Addressing the party’s general conference, Abela said that it was this confidence in the people’s capabilities that led to the country;s progress. We created opportunities from challenges to push Malta forward, he said. He urged the opposition to support a government motion allowing doctors to terminate a pregnancy when a woman’s life is at risk. The amendment was proposed after a resuest by an American tourist to terminate a non-viable pregrancy was refused by the health authorities. She was eventually flown to Spain for the procedure to take place. (Malta Independent/MaltaToday)

A van carrying olives killed my wife – driver needs to come forward

The husband of a woman who died when her motorcycle skidded on spilt olives last month believes that the causes of all traffic accidents should be made public if we are to learn from past mistakes. “People should know how accidents happened. Had I not published the photos [of spilt olives on the road] there would have been a big question mark and the public would not know what happened and why in my wife’s case. We need to know what happened so we can learn from it,” Aldo Lombardi said. (Times of Malta)

PN states the elderly are suffering because of problems at Mater Dei Hospital

The Nationalist Party said the Government is ignoring great problems at Mater Dei Hospital and this failure is mainly to the detriment of the elderly. In a statement, the PN Spokesperson for Health, Stephen Spiteri and the Spokesperson for the Active Elderly, Paula Mifsud Bonnici, said the Government is not addressing a lack of nursing staff at the hospital and the result is that elderly persons are being sent back home even though they may not have anybody to look after them or require more specialised medical treatment. (TVM)

Steward Healthcare mum on timeline and costs for St Luke’s master plan

Steward Health Care Malta (SHCM) has remained mum on its timeline for the refurbishment, demolition and reconstruction of the St Luke’s and Karin Grech hospitals complex, after it refiled a master plan for the project in a new planning application earlier this year. (Malta Independent)

Morning Briefing

Police Commissioner, AG intentionally delayed Pilatus prosecutions, former MP claims

Repubblika lawyer and former MP Jason Azzopardi said that Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà and AG Victoria Buttigieg have intentionally delayed prosecuting key Pilatus Bank officials to ensure the crimes they are accused of are time-barred by the time that happens. “It’s deliberate,” Azzopardi said of the police commissioner and attorney general’s failure to act. The lawyer and former MP was being interviewed by Andrew Azzopardi on 103. “A magisterial inquiry that cost more than €7 million concluded that select Pilatus officials and directors should be prosecuted for financial crimes. Up to this day, attorney general Victoria Buttigieg has not presented charges” he argued. (Times of Malta)

Authorities lack ambition on pollution – ADPD warns

ADPD said that government and public authorities lacked ambition and will to decisively and urgently tackle pollution, especially that caused by energy and transport, which accounts for around 80% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Greens’ Secretary General Ralph Cassar said that although the government continuously made a lot of “empty promises” for the sector, it was doing the bare minimum. Cassar said that successive governments have failed to lead the country towards greater energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources. They did the bare minimum, negotiated low targets, and talked the talk without walking the walk just to appear to be taking some sort of action”. (Maltatoday)

Biker suffers injuries at Hal Far

A 47-year-old man from Mellieħa suffered grievous injured after he fell off his motorbike on the Ħal Far track in an incident in the early afternoon. The police said was taken to Mater Dei where he was certified he had grievous injuries. Police are investigating the incident. (TVM)

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