Malta, Italy left alone on migration – Metsola: European Parliament President Roberta Metsola suggested the necessity of a more compassionate approach to managing inevitable migration flows, highlighting that the current migration system in the European Union (EU) “is not functioning.” During an appearance on the final episode of a programme hosted by TV presenter Fabio Fazio on the Italian state broadcaster Rai, Metsola argued hat “the system does not work, and it has been ineffective for several years.” Acknowledging that Mediterranean countries like Italy and Malta, which have consistently called for increased solidarity and burden-sharing within the EU, often feel isolated and abandoned to handle the situation on their own. (Newsbook)
AGM denies migrants pushed back to Libya: The Armed Forces (AFM) have dismissed allegations made by NGOs claiming that they forcibly returned a boat with 500 individuals to Libya. According to the AFM, there was no such boat found in the location indicated by activists. In a statement an AFM spokesperson explained that extensive searches were conducted based on multiple verifications of the boat’s reported position. However, no boat was sighted in that location. The spokesperson further clarified that Maltese authorities do not have jurisdiction over autonomous actions taking place in international waters. The AFM’s denial adds to the mystery surrounding the vessel, which was initially reported by the sea rescue hotline NGO, Alarm Phone. (Times of Malta)
Possibility of menstrual leave depends on discussion with stakeholders – Reforms Parl Sec: The possibility of menstrual leave being introduced is dependent on discussions with stakeholders, Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms and Equality Rebecca Buttigieg has argued. Buttigieg addressed a press conference on menstruation and the stigma surrounding the subject. She said that the discussion on menstrual leave needs to be incorporated in the same subject. Pressed for a time frame for the possibility of seeing the implementation of menstrual leave, Buttigieg said that this is a discussion that needs to happen with all stakeholders.”Let’s discuss how we can better introduce, and if we should introduce this concept so that we take the best decision for the best of our country,” she said. (The Malta independent)
Slight drop in jobless rate
The unemployment rate in Malta experienced a slight decrease in April, dropping by 0.1% to reach 2.8% compared to March. According to data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO), the unemployment rate in April exhibited a decline of 0.2% compared to the same month in 2022. Overall, Malta’s unemployment rate has remained relatively stable at approximately 3%. In April, the NSO reported a total of 8,523 unemployed individuals, with 2,263 falling within the age group of 15 to 24, and 6,259 between the ages of 25 and 74. Of these, the majority, comprising 5,352 individuals, were men.
Union directives at TM means only one driving test every 2 hours
The UHM has ordered Transport Malta officials to only conduct one driving test every two hours. The directive is one of a series issued by the trade union, which says it is still awaiting an acceptable offer by Transport Malta management in talks on a new collective agreement. The union on May 9 had also directed enforcement officers not to issue tickets for infringements of traffic rules, but to warn motorists or another law breakers instead. That directive remains in place. (Times of Malta)
Social benefits crackdown saves government €10m
Social Policy Minister Michael Falzon announced that a crackdown on abuse resulted in savings of €10 million in social benefits between 2021 and 2022, providing relief to the public purse. The Benefits Compliance Unit conducted inspections, uncovering 2,233 instances of abuse, which led to annual savings of €4.9 million each year. Falzon stated that payments of benefits were halted and overpayment notices were issued in response to the identified cases.