Ministry justifies controversial tax scheme / Malta News Briefing – Thursday 18 November 2021

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Times of Malta says that Matthew Caruana Galizia has described feeling so angry after his mother’s murder that he wanted to kick down the door of then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and “beat him to the floor”.

MaltaToday says that the planning board has indicated its intention to refuse the permit for the construction of a hotel instead of a disused explosives factory on Dingli cliffs.

Newsbook says that current tensions do not lend themselves to mediation, lawyer Mario Mifsud who is representing currently auto-suspended prison director Alexander Dalli said on Thursday morning.

TVM says that the Anti-Drug squad has carried out another successful operation in less than 24 hours

Updated 1300 – Mid-Day Briefing

Ministry justifies controversial tax scheme, says it had carried out consultation: A scheme that exempts people from paying tax on property transfers to set off arrears is temporary, the Finance Ministry has insisted, with a spokesperson describing the measure represented a “one-time chance” to help businesses. The new measure allows those with tax arrears due by January 2021 to pay any taxation due on the transfer of property purchased before March 2021 against their arrears. The move has been met with widespread criticism from a number of industry bodies and professional organisations. (Times of Malta)

Police in major drug haul in Qormi, Marsa
Seven persons have been arrested by the police in three drug raids in Marsa and Qormi over the past 24 hours, the haul including heroin and cocaine which was ready to be trafficked. Police also lifted CCTV cameras and monitors, three cars – a BMW, a Jaguar and a Mercedes – and gold items. Animal Welfare Department were also brought in to take care of a race horse and a pitbull which were found on site. (The Malta Independent)

Covid-19 Update: 66 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday and 32 virus patients recovered. 15 people are hospitalised, including 3 in intensive care, the health authorities said.

Morning Briefing

No Covid-19 cases linked to mass events

No Covid-19 cases were linked to mass activities held in september, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said, referring specifically to mass events held at thee Granaries, such as the Joseph Calleja Concert and BBC Orchestra. “September marked as the return of many cultural activities, where we saw a number of mass events take place. Following the necessary protocols, I can say that not one case of COVID-19 was registered from these activities,” he argued.

Labour MEP promises Metsola support for EP Presidency

Labour Party MEP Alex Agius Saliba has promsied PN counterpart Roberta Metsola support in her bid to become Malta’s first ever European Parliament President. Agius Saliba said on Facebook that despite their political differences, he had promised her his cooperation and not interference for her candidacy for the prestigious post. He augured that if Metsola is successful in her bid, she would use the position to work in favour of the best interests of all Maltese and Gozitans.

Fake booster messages doing the rounds

Fake SMSs were being sent out to people informing them that they have the Covid booster vaccination at the Vaccination Centre at Malta University. Health authorities said that these messages are being sent without containing an identification number and stating that one can go and receive the booster without the need for an appointment. Authorities insisted that messages sent out from governmental systems were clearly marked VACCINE. The appointments sent from the centre contain the person’s ID card number, the location and the time when the vaccine will be administered.
Messages issued by the Health Authorities are personalised and not general.

Covid-19 Update: 64 cases were reported on Wednesday by health authorities, as 30 patients recovered. Active cases have reached 670, with 15 patients being treated in hospital.

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