PM dismisses calls for public inquiry into Jean Paul Sofia death / Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 8 March 2023

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Updated 1630

The Times of Malta reports that PM Robert Abela on Wednesday dismissed Opposition calls for a public inquiry into the death of 20-year-old Jean Paul Sofia. Sofia was killed during a building collapse on a Corradino construction site.

Maltatoday says that the Constitutional Court jurisdiction has struck down a €10,000 fine imposed over a breach of COVID-19 quarantine rules.

The Malta Independent leads with a story relating to a comment by Prime Minister Robert Abela that once the hospitals’ concession court judgement is confirmed, the government is not ruling out that they will be run privately through a concession agreement again.

TVM says that Malta has received the first payment of €52.3 million from the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

Updated 1230

Industrial action by nurses announced after no progress on salary revisions

Malta’s nursing union will take wide-ranging industrial action starting from Monday 13 March, as a battle with government to extract sectoral concessions and salary increases gets underway.The union has informed members it will be ordering industrial action at the Emergency & Accident Department at Mater Dei Hospital, primary care, maternity and outpatients wards, the Karen Grech and Gozo General hospitals, homes for the elderly and St Vincent de Paul institution, and Mount Carmel mental health hospital. (Maltatoday)

Heart attack and strokes major cause of death in Malta

The most frequent cause of death in Malta during 2021 was due to circulatory system diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. In total, 1,230 people died due to circulatory diseases. Cancer followed as the second top killer, leading to the death of 997 persons. Respiratory diseases occupy third place with 449 victims, closely followed by dementia with 341. (TVM)

Greens call for BA directive on impartiality

The Broadcasting Authority has been asked to issue the necessary directives which would ensure impartiality on each broadcast media station in Malta without any further delays. The request came from ADPD who sent a letter to the authority in view of the judgement handed down last week, when a court found that national broadcaster and the Broadcasting Authority had breached the Nationalist Party rights. (Newsbook)

Morning Briefing

No documented legal advice on Vitals – PM

The Prime Minister revealed that there is no documented legal advice on the Vitals Global Healthcare hospitals concession. PN MP Mark Anthony Sammut asked Prime Minister Robert Abela to table a copy of legal advice former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said he had in his office regarding the concession and agreements with Vitals. Muscat had insisted that for the deal to happen, the process had to undergo legal scrutiny. Abela appeared to disagree, telling Parliament that “in the Office of the Prime Minister there is no similar advice. I confirm that I had no role regarding the concession and agreement with Vitals Global Healthcare”. (Maltatoday)

Women’s lobby express disappointment at lack of action on domestic violence

The Malta Women’s Lobby has expressed its disappointment at the government’s lack of priority over women’s issues and how “not enough” is being done for victims of domestic violence. Prior to last year’s general election, the MWL had compiled a list of 30 proposals, including on matters such domestic violence, paid and unpaid work, and the gender imbalance in media. Only three of the 30 proposals have been implemented, the lobby group said, describing the situation as disappointing. (Times of Malta)

NGOs to get more help for green projects

The Agency for Energy and Water has issued the third call for voluntary organisations to invest in efficient systems for the sustainable use of energy and water. There will be five calls in all with an investment of £2.5 million Following previous calls, 30 organisations have benefited from this incentive. These included sports, social and environmental organisations. (TVM)

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