Property sales decline by almost a quarter / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 10 October 2023

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Property sales decline by almost a quarter: In September, property transactions continued to mirror recent trends, with a decrease in the number of finalised property deeds compared to the same month last year, alongside a rise in the count of property promise-of-sale agreements. According to the National Statistics Office, there were 815 finalised residential property deeds in September 2023, marking a decline of 252 deeds in comparison to September 2022. In contrast, there were 1,026 registered promise-of-sale agreements pertaining to residential properties, reflecting an increase of 52 agreements compared to the corresponding period last year. Consequently, final property deeds recorded a 23.6% decrease, while promise-of-sale agreements witnessed a 5.3% uptick. (Times of Malta)

More than 47,000 people earning up to €1,000 – Finance Minister: Finance Minister Clyde Caruana told Parliament that there were 2,372 people on the minimum wage in 2022. Replying to a parliamentary question, Caruana said that the amount does not include income from bonuses and allowances, and only includes full-time employees. Caruana added that 47,412 people were earning up to €1,000 a month in 2022. This figure, however, includes full-time employees as well as full-time employees on reduced hours and part-time employees. (Maltatoday)

Only a dozen inspectors for workplace compliance – Jobsplus CEO: During the public inquiry into Jean Paul Sofia’s death, it was revealed that there are fewer than 12 inspectors from Jobsplus tasked with overseeing workplace inspections across all sectors of the economy. In response to questioning by the board, Jobsplus CEO Alexia Vella clarified that Jobsplus primarily examines employers for compliance with the law, rather than assessing the skills of potential non-EU employees. Vella added that Jobsplus maintains a compliance unit, whose officers possess legal authority to visit workplaces and verify that employees are performing the roles they have declared. When queried about the number of inspectors capable of conducting such inspections, Vella stated that Jobsplus has 12 inspectors, not all of whom are equipped for on-site inspections. (Newsbook)

Morning Briefing

Sliema murder trial delay after accused refuses own lawyer

The trial of 28-year-old Daniel Muka, linked to the double murder in Sliema in August 2020, has been postponed as the accused objected to being provided with a state-funded lawyer. The court rescheduled the case to November 20th, by which time Muka must confirm whether he has retained a personal attorney. The actual trial is slated for April and will be presided over by Judge Aaron Bugeja, involving over 70 witnesses who will testify in the case. The victims of this tragic incident were Christian Pandolfino and his partner Ivor Piotr Maciejowski, who were killed during a suspected robbery at their residence on Locker Street three years ago, on August 18th, around 10:15 pm. (Maltatoday)

PM says MCAST investment reflects long-term vision

Prime Minister Robert Abela argued that the outcomes of investments made in an MCAST (Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology) centre align with the government’s long-term vision for the next decade. Abela made these remarks during his visit to the Freshers’ Week held at the Paola campus. He underscored that this vision places significant importance on both innovation and vocational education, representing essential components of the transformative changes the country is currently undergoing. The aim is to empower young individuals to make choices that lead to high-quality careers within Malta. (TVM)

Justice Minister, AG cannot continue to abdicate from their responsibility – PN

The Nationalist Party has expressed its concern over the revelation that a lawyer, George Camilleri, who formerly served as a prosecutor within the Attorney General’s Office, is now representing the Degiorgio brothers, who had previously been convicted in the case of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination. This development, according to the PN, underscores the inaction of Justice Minister Jonathan Attard, who, they argue, has disregarded the findings of the public inquiry that he had commissioned three years ago. “The Justice Minister and the Attorney General cannot continue to abdicate from their responsibility and must answer these questions. The message they are sending is that with or without them its the same, and that people who have money can freely buy the services of a lawyer who until recently was working against them in court”, the party said in a statement.

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