9,840 persons registered as unemployed in June / Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 28 July 2021

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Updated 1330: Unemployment steady in June

Unemployment remained steady in June 2021, with the seasonally-adjusted monthly rate remaining, at 3.6% on par with the previous months. This is equivalent to 9,840 persons.

The unemployment rate for males was 3.7 per cent while the rate for females stood at 3.4 per cent. The youth unemployment rate stood at 7.7 per cent.

Updated 1240

Covid-19 update: 91 new cases of coronavirus were reported on Wednesday, with recoveries reaching 125. These were identified from 3,862 swab tests. Active cases stand at 2,194. Two men aged 95 and 85 died while Covid-19 positive at Mater Dei Hospital, with the death tally reaching 423. A total of 36 positive patients are currently being treated at the hospital.

Nurses escalate directives: The Malta Union for Midwives and Nurses has instructed nurses working at healthcare to refrain from carrying out a number of jobs as part of industrial action. The issue relates to a decision by health authorities to instruct doctors to focus on seeing patients and put on nurses the responsibility to ensure the allocation of patients and separating those with COVID-19 symptoms from the rest, a process known as training. The MUMN said that this should have not been the nurses’ task. On the other hand, Martin Balzan, Medical Association of Malta, argued that “doctors are willing to help if those carrying out the triaging need assistance. But all this job entails is asking a few simple questions. Doctors were wasting their precious time on this to the detriment of patients. But ultimately, it’s not the MAM who needs to sort this out, but the authorities”.

PN wants bi-partisan effort to enact recommendations of Caruana Galizia inquiry: The Opposition has extended an invitation to the government to set up a bi-partisan effort to enact the recommendations of the public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, once they are known. Opposition Leader Bernard Grech wrote in today’s Independent that the party is “committed to bringing this process to the conclusion it deserves. We owe it to Daphne Caruana Galizia and we owe it to her family. We also owe it to ourselves, as self-respecting citizens, who should no longer be forced to take action by foreign institutions. We owe it to our country and our children.”

Updated 0845: Newspaper Review

The Independent follows the testimony of Matthew Caruana Galizia in the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech. He said that he was working with his mother to uncover secrets in the Electrogas deal before she was killed by car bomb.

Malta Today quotes Matthew Caruana Galizia that his mother Daphne never stored sensitive information directly on her laptop but saved everything to an encrypted hard drive instead. The journalist’s son was being cross-examined in court by Yorgen Fenech’s lawyers.

The Times reports on Matthew Caruana Galizia’s testimony in court on Tuesday where he claimed to have seen emails by businessman Yorgen Fenech expressing regret about his involvement in the Electrogas deal.

L-Orizzont says that more than 2,000 migrants are reported to have tried to flee Libya last week before they were intercepted by the North African country’s coast guard. An immigrant living in Sicily said that the first attempt typically costs each person €700.

In-Nazzjon quotes a PN statement calling on the Police Commissioner to act against those responsible for corruption. The party said that Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed because she knew too much about those around former prime minister Joseph Muscat.

Malta Today reports that a 14-year-old stabbed a 21-year-old in a fight in Sliema on Tuesday. Officers on patrol found the young man bleeding heavily and the two persons were rushed to hospital.

The Times quotes survey findings showing that only around a tenth of the population feels it is safe enough to travel abroad. Two-thirds of respondents said that they are not comfortable making travel plans right now.

L-Orizzont says that the public spend on social benefits rose to €583 million in the first half of the year, an increase of €27 million from the same period in 2020. Retirement pensions made the largest category of contributions.

The Independent quotes an opinion piece by Opposition Leader Bernard Grech urging the government to launch a bi-partisan effort to implement the recommendations of the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia when they are published.

In-Nazzjon follows a seminar for PN election candidates on Tuesday during which leader Bernard Grech said that the party is attracting new people who want to offer their help. Grech urged candidates to work as one team to restore Malta’ reputation.

Malta Today speaks with oil worker Thomas Mansfield who is required to quarantine at one of the hotels selected by the government once he returns to Malta from Angola. Mansfield, who owns property in Malta, said he is being discriminated against.

Morning Briefing

Matthew Caruana Galizia says no Electrogas details on his mother’s laptop

Journalist Matthew Caruana Galizia compared his mother’s investigation into the Electrogas scandal “like a train on tracks heading towards the station and someone would have to blow it off the tracks to stop it.” Testifying in the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech, Caruana Galizia said that his mother was working on a massive leak of documents from the power station consortium at the time of her murder in October 2017.

He was helping his mother out, not only in terms of the investigation itself, but also helped her set up secure IT systems, storing the data on an encrypted external hard drive for her. Cross-examined by defence lawyer Charles Mercieca, Caruana Galizia said that the data relating to the murdered journalist’s investigations into 17 Black was stored on an encrypted hard drive instead, rather than on her personal laptop.

Government to invest €76 million over 20 years in mass scale renewable energy projects

In what is the largest allocation assigned for large scale renewables to date, the Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development, together with the Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS) has launched the latest investment opportunity, with a capacity allocation of 16MW. The Invitation to Bid, which will be open for three months until the 5th of October, will invite interested parties to submit offers for mass scale renewable energy systems installations, this time for projects exceeding 1MW.

In a press conference addressed by the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli, it was explained that the allocation of 16MW translates into an investment of €26 million over 20 years.

Teenager detained after stabbing

A 14-year-old Maltese boy has arrested in connection with a stabbing that took place in Sliema on Tuesday afternoon. The victim, according to the national broadcaster, is a 21-year-old British youth from Mosta and it is alleged the boy stabbed the youth with a knife in the stomach. Duty magistrate Ian Farrugia has launched an inquiry, and district police are investigating.

Covid-19 Update

There were 142 new cases reported on Tuesday as 174 people recovered. 4,031 swab tests were taken as active cases reached 2,230. The average age of yesterday’s cases was 34. A total of 37 Covid positive patients are currently being treated at Mater Dei hospital, one of whom is in ITU.

CDE News