Malta News Briefing – Sunday 8 October 2023

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Morning Briefing

Economy Minister seeks better ties with Saudi

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri engaged with Saudi investors in Riyadh while attending an international conference centered on the global postal sector. His visit to Saudi Arabia coincided with the Gulf nation’s efforts to secure the hosting rights for the World Expo in 2030. Riyadh is in competition with Rome and Seoul, South Korea, as potential hosts for the event. Despite Malta’s historical ties with Italy, there have been reports suggesting that Malta is inclined to support Saudi Arabia’s bid. Accompanied by his permanent secretary, Ronald Mizzi, and Malta’s resident ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Clive Aquilina Spagnol, the Economy Minister conducted bilateral discussions with influential stakeholders and private investors in Riyadh. The purpose of these talks was to explore collaborative initiatives between the two countries, as indicated by the Ministry’s statement. (Times of Malta)

Clientelism is Malta’s scourge – Greens

The Green Party stated on Saturday that Maltese politics is heavily influenced by clientelism, which emphasizes providing handouts rather than upholding individual rights. ADPD took Prime Minister Robert Abela to task, along with members of parliament and Labour ministers, for downplaying the gravity of the driving license scandal through their statements. The party accused them of gaslighting the public by attempting to portray evident and widespread clientelism as a normal aspect of being in close proximity to the people.

NGO calls on police to take action against individuals involved in testing racket

Rule of law NGO Repubblika asked the police commissioner to initiate legal proceedings against seven individuals whose conversations with Clint Mansueto, the director of licensing at Transport Malta, were uncovered. These conversations revolved around efforts to “assist” candidates in obtaining their driving licenses. An investigation by Times of Malta exposed how these officials, along with others, including former Transport Minister Ian Borg, shared the names of test candidates to ensure they would pass their exams. Repubblika called upon Angelo Gafa’ to fulfill his duty and take appropriate action in light of the “incriminating evidence against these individuals that has been in your possession since October 2021.” The NGO contends that all seven individuals should face charges related to trading in influence, participating in a criminal conspiracy, and promoting an organization with the intent to commit crimes. (Maltatoday)

Once you're here...