Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 13 September 2023

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Morning Briefing

25% decline in property sales – NSO

Property sales experienced a nearly 25% decline last month when compared to August 2022, continuing a pattern of decreasing sales throughout this year. According to NSO data, there were 949 final deeds of sale and 970 promise of sale agreements related to residential properties. Final deeds of sale saw a decrease of 24.6%, while promise of sale agreements increased by 5.5%. Monthly data from the NSO consistently reveals a year-on-year reduction in residential property sales in recent months, including declines of 19% in July, 18% in June, 14% in May, and 18% in April. (Times of Malta)

GWU study far from ensuring satisfactory quality of life
A new study has revealed that households require a significantly higher income than the current minimum wage to ensure a satisfactory quality of life. Commissioned by the General Workers Union to determine a National Living Income (NLI), this study found that a two-parent household with two children needs an income ranging from €22,000 to €26,000 to maintain a decent standard of living, amounting to as much as €30,734. The primary objective of the study was to determine the level of NLI necessary to secure a respectable standard of living in Malta, where the existing minimum wage stands at €182.83 per week, or €9,507 annually. Remarkably, even the most conservative NLI estimate for a single-adult household without children, which stands at €12,226, is already 30% higher than the current minimum wage. To put this in perspective, the expected weekly cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) of €10 for 2023 would only result in a 5% increase in the minimum wage. (The Malta Independent)

Man jailed four years after cannabis importation

A man has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison and fined €5,000 after confessing on the first day of his trial to importing just under 600 grams of low-quality cannabis from Sicily nine years ago. The trial of Eshiemokhai Yakubu Okhiulu, a 38-year-old Nigerian resident of Sicily, was scheduled to commence on Tuesday a jury. However, prior to jury selection, the court received information that Okihulu desired to change his plea and admit guilt to the charges. He was apprehended upon his arrival on a catamaran from Sicily in December 2014. Police informed the court that they discovered 593 grams of cannabis concealed within a yellow plastic bag wrapped in raw meat in his luggage. Subsequent laboratory tests confirmed that the substance had a purity level of 7.5% and was indeed cannabis. (MaltatodaY)

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