Malta News Dispatch – Monday 22 May 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Updated 1300

Infrastructure Malta says new roads ensure better safety after latest fatality

The death of a 17-year-old girl in the fourth traffic fatality in a month on Sunday provoked social media calls for better roads, stronger law enforcement and improved driver training. In response, Infrastructure Malta has stated that it is already undertaking the redesigning of major roads to ensure safer traffic conditions, calling instead, for more effective law enforcement, particularly during nighttime hours. The incident occurred when a car collided with a wall and an electricity pole on the Central Link in Attard at 3am on Sunday, resulting in the loss of Kasey Sciberras’ life. The driver and another passenger sustained severe injuries during this terrible incident. (Times of Malta)

Academics endorse environmental protest, call for sustainable economic model

Over 250 academics from various faculties within the University of Malta have publicly endorsed an environmental protest scheduled for Saturday morning.
The national protest is calling for change in policies, a radical reform of all institutions responsible for environment, planning and lands, as well as a change in the economic model to one which seeks a better quality of life for everyone instead of endless economic growth based on the profits of the few.
In a brief statement, the academics said that they join the organisers in promoting an economic model that equitably enhances quality of life, and in demanding institutional and policy reforms in the fields of environment, planning, and lands. (Newsbook)

Govt was on verge of renewing Steward concession – reports

According to the National Audit Office’s report on the annulled hospitals deal, the government was on the verge of finalising a new concession agreement with Steward Health Care. This new arrangement would have involved the hospitals being returned to the government’s ownership while still being managed by Steward. Surprisingly, this proposal was put forward despite Abela, Health Minister Chris Fearne, and Finance Minister Clyde Caruana were all previously agreeing to abandon the concession shortly after PM Abela assumed office. In the end, it was the apprehension of potential legal challenges based on breaches of procurement regulations that prevented the government from finalizing the new agreement with Steward, despite a scheduled signing date being in place. (The Malta Independent)

Morning Briefing

Fearne gets WHO major post

Health Minister Chris Fearne has been appointed as the president of the World Health Assembly, the policy-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). This ssembly is responsible for appointing the Director-General, overseeing financial policies, and reviewing and approving the budget. The annual meetings of the Health Assembly take place in Geneva, Switzerland. Fearne expressed his deep honour for this appointment, considering it a significant recognition for both himself and Malta. The current assembly, with the theme “saving lives, driving health for all,” commenced on Sunday and will continue until the end of the month. (Times of Malta)

24 individuals found residing illegally
During inspections conducted on Sunday morning in Hamrun and Qormi, the police discovered 24 individuals residing in Malta illegally. These individuals originate from countries such as Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Guinea, Niger, Ethiopia, and Somalia. The police said that it took appropriate action upon discovering their illegal status within the country. (The Malta independent)

Żurrieq residents express concern on Nigret proposed rezone
Residents from Żurrieq expressed their anger over the proposed rezoning of agricultural land in Nigret, which would enable the development of 11,500sq.m of land. The executive council of the Planning Authority (PA) will make a decision on PC/00049/19 this Tuesday, and the case officer recently recommended its approval. The affected area currently serves as a buffer zone between the Nigret and Bubaqra hamlets. Catherine Farrugia, a resident, questioned the authorities’ commitment to protecting their quality of life, emphasizing that profit seems to be the primary concern rather than the well-being of the community.(Maltatoday)

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