Air Malta chairman confirms Malta will have a new airline / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 18 April 2023

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Updated 1700

TVM reports that Government has employed 41 of Steward Health Care Malta’s employees after the Court annulled the contract through which it was managing St. Luke’s, Karin Grech and the Gozo hospital.

Maltatoday follows the court case of a 47-year old man who the police say is addicted to crack cocaine and who has been remanded in custody on domestic violence charges.

Newsbook reveals that Two owners of a Valletta establishment are set to face court proceedings over threats they made to residents who complained about the volume of music they played well into the night, as the disruption to Valletta residents’ lives caused by such establishments continues unabated.

The Malta Independent reports that Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said that “only around 35% of the deck chairs that were present last year would be present this year atthe Blue Lagoon.

Updated 1230

Air Malta chairman confirms Malta will have a new airline

David Curmi, Air Malta’s chairman, has confirmed that Malta will have a new national airline by the end of the year but the transition from Air Malta will be “largely seamless” for passengers. In comments to The Times of Malta, Curmi said the creation of a new airline to replace Air Malta was in the final phase, as were discussions with the European Commission, which had rejected the government’s request to inject nearly €300 million into the airline in a bid to save it. “We are nearing the end of long, difficult and complex discussions with the European Commission, which did not want a photocopy of Air Malta. We showed the commission that we mean business,” Curmi revealed.

Nurses will get increases, but within reason – Health Minister

Health Minister Chris Fearne said that government is allocating a substantial sum of money to be negotiated for pay increases for the nursing sector. He refuted claims by MUMN supremo Paul Pace that government has ‘no money’ for nurses. Fearne insisted that government had a duty to maintain relativity when it comes to wages in the public sector. “This is like having a father with four children. He can’t give more to one because he is screaming more than the other three,” Fearne said. This evening, nurses will vote on the latest government proposals for a new sectoral agreement. (Maltatoday)

Rosianne Cutajar removed from Parliament’s Social Committee
MP Rosianne Cutajar has been removed from Parliament’s Social Committee – which she was chairing – in the first parliamentary sitting that has taken place since her resignation from the Labour Party. Katya De Giovanni has been named as the committee’s new chair. MPs from both political parties voted in favour of Cutajar’s removal. (Newsbook)

Morning Briefing

Teachers, parents to have their say in new Education Strategy

Teachers, students and parents will be able to share their views in the first draft of the National Education Strategy covering 2024 till 2030. The Education Ministry said that it will be doing outreach with stakeholders and adopt a bottom-up approach to drafting the first document. The Ministry said that the strategy will focus on removing the gender gap, supporting students at risk of poverty and from low socio-economic status, increasing participation in lifelong learning and raising levels of student retainment and attainment in further vocational and tertiary education. A specific priority of the strategy will be a focus on student and educator wellbeing, with a look towards post-pandemic wellbeing. (Maltatoday/The Malta Independent)

CCF stops all contacts between inmates and Hitler biographer

The Corradino Correctional Facility has stopped all contact between inmates and the prison warden who last week was under the spotlight for publicisng his holocaust-denying biography on Adolf Hitler. Reports suggest that Ronald Bugeja’s contact with inmates was already limited because he was responsible for infrastructural projects in prison, but the prison administration nonetheless stopped his contact with inmates as a preventive measure. “The Correctional Services Agency is unequivocally against any views that portray a racist or far-right ideology,” a spokesperson for prison said. (Times of Malta)

More then half of social payments are not means-tested

The Social Protection outlay for 2021 totalled €2,721.2 million, a €120.0 million or 4.6 per cent increase from 2020, the NSO said. The largest increases were reported under Hospitals and Other Health Care Facilities (€69.0 million) and Social Security Contributory Benefits (€50.7 million). Old Age and Sickness/Health care benefits accounted for 69.5 per cent of the total. In 2021, 56.6 per cent of social protection was provided in the form of non means-tested cash benefits. (NSO)

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