Gozo tourism increases, but consumers wary of spending / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 22 August 2023

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Gozo tourism increases, but consumers wary of spending – GTA

While the tourist figures in Gozo, even during the peak Santa Marija period, seem to have reverted to the levels seen before the onset of the Covid pandemic, there has been a noticeable prudence in visitor expenditures, as stated by Joe Muscat, the Chief Executive of the Gozo Tourism Association. Muscat emphasized that the island and its tourism stakeholders prioritize quality over quantity. However, the impact of inflation, both domestically in Malta and internationally, has seemingly had an effect. “We are observing that due to the prevailing global inflation, which is also being felt in Gozo, tourists are displaying more caution in their spending habits and the choices they make,” Muscat remarked. (Newsbook)

Malta can’t cope with demands of electric fleet – MEP candidate

Peter Agius, a PN MEP candidate, has argued that the current Labour administration is ill-prepared for an upcoming scenario wherein the entirety of Malta’s vehicle fleet becomes electric. He has raised concerns over the inadequate infrastructure’s ability to cope with the heightened electricity demand this shift will bring about. Agius pointed out that the existing electricity crisis will deteriorate further due to the projected addition of 65,000 electric vehicles on Malta’s roads by 2030. He referenced information from an independent engineer, who foresees a necessity for an extra 77 Megawatts of power to facilitate the charging requirements of such a significantly expanded electric vehicle fleet. (Maltatoday)

New flyovers for Regional Road planned

Ivan Falzon, the CEO of Infrastructure Malta, has announced plans to initiate a tender process around the middle of the upcoming year to remove the traffic lights along Regional Road, just before the entrance to Paceville. Instead, these traffic lights will be replaced by the construction of two flyovers. The creation of these two flyovers is a component of a broader three-phase project currently underway in Pembroke and Swieqi. This specific area witnesses an estimated flow of 1,600 vehicles every hour. (TVM)

Morning Briefing

Less accidents at work reported this year – NSO

During the span of January to June 2023, a single fatal workplace accident was reported by the Occupational Health and Safety Authority. In contrast, the National Statistics Office revealed that during the same period in 2022, there were nine fatal workplace accidents. The NSO’s data also highlights a reduction in non-fatal workplace accidents in the first half of the current year. The number of claims for non-fatal workplace accidents dropped by 102, equivalent to an 8.8 percent decrease, in the first half of 2023 in comparison to the corresponding timeframe in 2022. According to administrative records, a total of 1,062 individuals were affected by non-fatal workplace accidents within the initial six months. (Times of Malta)

First green bond debuts on MSE

The Water Services Corporation’s €25 million green bond was officially listed on the Malta Stock Exchange on Monday, as confirmed by the CEO of the exchange. The trading of this pioneering bond will begin on Tuesday morning. This bond, which is the first of its kind, was issued by the WSC’s subsidiary, ClearFlowPlus plc. It bears an interest rate of 4.25% and has a maturity date set for 2033. Remarkably, the bond was completely subscribed within just a few hours after its issuance on August 1st. (Maltatoday)

PN, PL trade barbs on inflation

The PN called for Government support to Maltese families and businesses in the wake of increased cost of living. In a statement, PN MPs Albert Buttigieg and Jerome Caruana Cilia said that the latest figures show that Malta has a higher cost of living than other euro zone countries. The PN MPs said that the highest costs are those of essential products, such as food. They expressed concern that the Government is not doing enough to support the people from the effects of high living costs, especially families and elderly people who struggle to make ends meet until the end of the month. In a reaction, Labour said that the PN is not the authority to speak on high cost of living, since it would have increased electricity, water and fuel prices. Labour recalled that Bernard Grech had repeatedly stated that what is happening overseas in the energy sector should also happen in Malta, and that the aid given by the Maltese government is not sustainable. The PL added that with a free energy market, energy prices will keep rising. (TVM)

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