FMS CEO suspends herself after new bribery allegations / Malta News Dispatch – Thursday 1 June 2023

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FMS CEO suspends herself after new bribery allegations
The CEO of the Foundation for Medical Services suspended herself from her position but denied reports in a Pakistani newspaper that she had received €443,500 from Gozo International Medicare Ltd – part of the VGH group – in less than four months. Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) was the company that was controversially handed a government concession to run St Luke’s, Karin Grech and Gozo hospitals in a deal that was struck down by a court earlier this year.
“Following the media report I am tendering my suspension to be in a position to defend my position,” Carmen Ciantar told Health Minister Chris Fearne in a letter published by the government. (Times of Malta)

New documentation providing ‘evidence of fraud’ on hospitals deal presented to Magistrate
PN MP Mark Anthony Sammut has submitted new documentation to Magistrate Gabriella Vella, who is presiding over the inquiry into the Steward hospitals concession. Sammut said that the new documents raise concerns of potential fraud related to the deal. Sammut was observed entering the courtroom with a substantial number of documents but left without them later. The extensive documents suggesting fraud in the deal, were passed on to Sammut by an individual who is willing to testify in front of the magistrate. (Maltatoday)

Malta reaches 12 gold medals at GSSE

In the ongoing Small Nations Games hosted in Malta, Team Malta achieved an exceptional milestone on the third day by securing three additional gold medals. This remarkable feat has set a new record for the highest number of gold medals won by Malta in such competitions. With three days remaining until the event concludes, Malta’s current medal tally stands at 12 gold, six silver, and 13 bronze medals.

Morning Briefing

Minimum age for construction licence raised from 18 to 21

The minimum age for applying for licenses to carry out demolition, excavation, or building works will be increased from 18 to 21. This change is being implemented due to the experience necessary to operate certain heavy machinery involved in these activities. Planning Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi explained that the initial proposal for licensing requirements, introduced in March, had a minimum age of 18. However, based on feedback received during a six-week consultation period, it has been decided to raise the minimum age. The finalisation of the legal notice that will enforce the licensing requirement for contractors is underway. It will be published once it receives clearance from the European Commission, aligning with a European directive. (Times of Malta)

Govt officials meet Eastern Libya military leader
In a historic development, a diplomatic delegation from Malta engaged in discussions with Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the Eastern Libya military in Benghazi to address the security challenges confronting both Malta and Libya in the region. Led by Christopher Cutajar, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, the Maltese delegation held a series of meetings in both Tripoli and Benghazi on May 29 and 30. (Maltatoday)

Industrial producer price index registered an increase of 4.6% in April
When compared to April 2022, the industrial producer price index increased by 4.6 per cent. Price increases were registered in the consumer goods (7.9 per cent), capital goods (5.2 per cent) and intermediate goods (3.6 per cent). No price change occurred in the energy sector. Industrial producer prices for the domestic market increased by 1.9 per cent. Price rises were recorded in the consumer goods (6.0 per cent) and in the capital goods (2.6 per cent). The intermediate goods dropped by 0.7 per cent. Non-domestic prices increased by 6.4 per cent. The prices of goods destined to the non-euro area rose by 7.2 per cent while those destined to the euro area increased by 4.9 per cent.

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