Malta News Dispatch – Sunday 21 May 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes


17-year-old dies in Central-Link traffic accident

A 17-year-old girl died in a traffic accident on the Central Link road in Attard early on Sunday.A Chevrolet Aveo in which she was a passenger is believed to have gone out of control next to the government plant nursery. It spun, badly damaging both its front and rear as it hit a wall and an electricity pole. The accident happened at 3am.The girl, who is from St Paul’s Bay, died on the spot. The St Paul’s Bay festa committee said she was Kacey Sciberras, a hard-working member of its youth committee.  Another 17-year-old girl, from Attard, and the driver, a 20-year-old man from St Paul’s Bay, were hospitalised. Their condition is serious, the police said. The festa committee said the driver, Luke Debattista, is also a member of its youth (Times of Malta)

‘I was elected party leader to do things differently and I will remain true to my word’ – Robert Abela

Prime Minister Robert Abela said that he will remain true to his word when he was elected party leader and do things differently. During a Labour Party event in Marsaxlokk on Sunday morning, Abela said that if his government did not do things differently, it would be breaking the promise made to the nation prior to the 2022 election. Abela said that the Maltese trusted the Labour Party again after it showed that it could deliver change. The PM said that he always insisted that the hospitals’ concession saga had to be analysed, before any decisions were taken. “This week’s NAO proves this. We were consistent and firm with Steward Healthcare, and we constantly delivered a message that obligations had to be honoured,” Abela said. (MaltaToday)

€400 million were ‘thrown away’ while Malta is last to get newest medicines – Grech

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech has decried the government for “throwing away” €400 million in the now annulled hospitals deal while Malta is the slowest in Europe to obtain new medicines. Speaking in an interview on party media, Grech said that it is evident that Robert Abela has “big problems”, many of which he’s brought by his own hand, and some left over from before him.  “Robert Abela is caught in a compromise with Joseph Muscat, and Muscat is continuing to tell him ‘don’t touch me or I’ll bring you down’,” Grech said. The PN leader said that the National Audit Office’s investigation shows that after taking office from Muscat, Abela tried to renegotiate with Steward Health Care for the hospitals concession to be renewed. (Malta Independent)

Morning Briefing

Labour and Abela hold on despite hospitals deal fiascoMaltaToday Survey

Robert Abela and the Labour Party registered gains in the latest MaltaToday survey partly held in a tumultuous week dominated by damning revelations on the hospitals concession. The PL polled 33.1%, an increase of 2.3 points since March, while the Nationalist Party registered 28.7%, an uptick of 0.3 points. The PL widened its lead over the PN from 2.4 points in March to 4.4 points now, translating into a gap of around 15,624 votes. (MaltaToday)

Seek to recover the €400m of Vitals deal, MAM says
The President of the Medical Association of Malta, Martin Balzan, has emphasized the importance of making a genuine effort to retrieve the funds allocated to the hospitals concessionaire. Failure to do so may raise suspicions of a cover-up. Balzan stated that it is the government’s responsibility to recover the €400 million provided to the concessionaire between 2016 and 2021. He stressed that if there is no serious attempt, especially through legal means, to recover the funds, it will give rise to suspicions that there are underlying motives behind the lack of action. Balzan emphasized the need for the Maltese government to earnestly pursue the recovery of the money on behalf of the citizens. (The Malta Independent)

NGOs say they’ve had enough of the PA
Ahead of an upcoming national protest against overdevelopment, activists called for immediate reforms of planning and environmental institutions. Demonstrating outside the Planning Authority in Floriana, the activists held placards with the message ‘xebbajtuna’ (“we’ve had enough”). Various speakers outlined the reasons behind the groups’ call for a national protest. Andre Callus, of Graffiti told the crowd: “We have good reason to protest the rate at which the country is being built up, because the way it is being done is obscene,” he said. “Next Saturday, people will have the opportunity to fight for their country and not let greed win.” (Times of Malta)

Woman tragically dies in sea incident
A woman lost her life after encountering difficulties at sea in Sliema. During the incident, four other individuals were successfully rescued. Preliminary reports conveyed to the authorities indicated that a total of five people had fallen into the water. Law enforcement, Armed Forces, and Civil Protection personnel promptly arrived at the scene to provide assistance and support. (TVM)

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