Updated 1200 – Mid-Day Briefing
Bishop questions authorities on 4-year-old girl’s death, Minister blames Europe
Archbishop Charles Scicluna called on authorities, specifically parliament, to explain why a four-year-old asylum seeker to die of thirst at sea. The girl, from Syria, was picked up by a cargo ship along with 60 other asylum seekers, several days after the group started sending out distress signal from their wooden fishing vessel. She was unconscious when she was pulled onboard and died of dehydration shortly afterwards. Speaking on a radio programme on 103, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri sought to shift the blame on the EU, suggesting that Malta was not to blame for what happened. “The manner in which things have happened in this situation,” he argued, “is not a problem with the Maltese government, but a failure of European policy on immigration.” (Times of Malta / Newsbook)
Biker suffers serious injury in Gozo incident
A 64-year-old man was seriously injured in Victoria, Gozo on Friday evening after a collision with a car. Police said that the victim from Sannat who was riding a Kymco motorcycle was involved in a collision with a Toyota Starlet driven by a 46-year-old man from Fontana. (Maltatoday)
24 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Saturday, confirming a trend that has seen the number of new patients at below 50 for four weeks. Active cases now total 148. (The Malta Independent)
Malta to mourn Queen Elizabeth on Monday
Malta will be formally mourning late Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, with flags flying half-mast on Malta’s public buildings. The day of mourning will coincide with the royal’s funeral. President George Vella will be attending the funeral of the monarch who passed away last week after 70 years reigning on the United Kingdom and a number of other of states and territories around the world.
Two officers failed their duties in allowing Iosif Galea to leave country
An internal investigation by the Police has found that two police officers failed in their duties when they did not arrest gaming consultant Iosif Galea despite Galea being subject to a European arrest warrant. The inquiry board, chaired by Judge Emeritus Franco Depasquale concluded that there werefound administrative shortcomings by two officers. The two, whose names were not made public, were investigated after it was discovered that Galea was allowed to leave the country multiple times.
Malta gets EUR817m in Cohesion funds
Malta will benefit from €817 million in Cohesion Policy funding in 2021-2027 to support the sustainable development of its economy as set out in the Partnership Agreement just adopted by the Commission. In a statement, the Commission said that cohesion Policy investments will further contribute to address the disparities in the country and make the Maltese economy more innovative and competitive. EU funds will support the country’s green transition and energy security and its digital transformation. It will improve people’s skills, employment and social inclusion.