Malta abstains on key migration vote / Malta News Dispatch – Friday 9 June 2023

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Malta abstains on key migration vote: Malta abstained on an EU vote during which European nations reached an agreement on a long-delayed revision of the bloc’s regulations to distribute the responsibility of hosting asylum seekers and migrants more fairly. The announcement of the breakthrough was made by Sweden, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, following a tense day of negotiations among EU interior ministers in Luxembourg. After years of disagreements over asylum policy, the agreement required approval from a majority of countries representing at least 65 percent of the EU’s population. Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Interior Affairs, praised the agreement as a “highly significant step” for the EU in terms of migration. As per reports, Malta, along with a few other countries, chose to abstain from the vote. The only countries that voted against were Hungary and Poland. (Maltatoday, Reuters)

Money-laundering cases take less time but lag EU average: According to the EU Justice Scoreboard the average duration of money laundering court cases in Malta decreased by more than half between 2019 and 2021. The scoreboard provides an annual overview of the efficiency, quality, and independence of justice systems in EU member states, utilizing multiple data sources to evaluate the effectiveness of each country’s national justice system. The data reveals that in 2019, it took more than 1,300 days on average for a money laundering court case to be resolved in Malta. By 2021, this duration had been reduced to just over 600 days. Despite the improvement, Malta’s figures for 2021 still remain considerably higher than the average, with only Romania, Spain, and Slovenia reporting lengthier waiting times. (Times of Malta)

Wanted man found in prison: A man who was being sought by the police in relation to an ongoing court case has been located, and according to former MP Jason Azzopardi, he is currently incarcerated. On Thursday afternoon, the police issued a public appeal for information regarding Marziq Abdelaziz, who was wanted in connection with an ongoing court proceeding. Subsequently, the police announced that they are no longer actively searching for the individual. (Newsbook)

Morning Briefing

Malta’s GDP contracts, consumption down

Malta’s economy has contracted by 0.5% in Q1 when compared to the previous quarter, the fifth-highest decline in GDP in the EU, Eurostat has shown. Poland recorded the highest GDP increase (3.8%), followed by Luxembourg (2%) and Portugal (1.6%). On the other hand, Malta reported the second-highest growth in employment in the EU during the first quarter of this year. Consumption by Maltese families is also declining, the EU data shows.

Malta gets EU approval for €20m STM project

Malta has been granted approval by the European Commission to support STMicroelectronics in its efforts to enhance standards in the semiconductor industry. As part of an EU initiative aimed at boosting microchip production within the European Union, STMicroelectronics will receive funding exceeding €20 million to upgrade its production lines. Malta Enterprise, in collaboration with the Enterprise Ministry, submitted the project proposal and expressed their satisfaction with the approval of Malta’s application under the second call for Important Projects of Common European Interests (IPCEI) in the semiconductor sector. The European Commission has sanctioned a state-aid package worth €8 billion, and Malta is confirmed as one of the 14 participating EU member states. (Times of Malta)

20 film productions inject €60m in economy
During a span of 6 months, Malta was selected as the filming location for 20 productions, including films and TV series, resulting in an estimated contribution of €60 million to the Maltese economy. June is expected to be another busy month for the Maltese film industry. This month, the first scenes of ‘Gladiator 2’ by Ridley Scott will start being filmed, with thousands of extras expected to take part in this production. Right now there are 6 productions being filmed at the same time around the Maltese islands. ‘The Last Breath’ featuring actor Woody Harrelson in the main role is being filmed mostly at the Malta Film Studios in Kalkara. (TVM)

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