Keith Schembri threatens PAC with Court action – Finance Minister / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 25 April 2023

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Updated 1735

The Times of Malta reports that Keith Schembri’s testimony before the Public Accounts Committee was cut short on Tuesday when his lawyers threatened to open a constitutional court case following a demand for a perjury investigation filed by the committee’s PN members following last week’s grilling.

Maltatoday says that Nationalist MEP David Casa has submitted a court application in which he denounces money laundering and VAT fraud by No Deposit Cars owner Christian Borg, which were never investigated or prosecuted.

The Malta Independent reveals that the Ghadira road is set to be ready by first week of June, but rest of project to be completed by next year.

TVM says Opposition and Nationalist Party Leader Bernard Grech said the Nationalist Party will continue to build its economic vision by continuing with its consultations with the social partners, which is based on the quality of life of workers.

Updated 1300

More to emerge on Sofia’s death – Grech: PN leader Bernard Grech insisted that “more information is yet to emerge” on the death of Jean Paul Sofia when a building under construction collapsed in Kordin last December. Grech continues to insist that there is a need for a public inquiry to determine any faults, a call that the government is refusing. He argued that the fact that the government’s industrial parks agency is asking for the property back shows that there are other bad things that have yet to emerge on this story. He said that the PN will continue supporting the victim’s mother’s cries for help because this “is the right thing to do.” (The Malta Independent)

St Venera motorbike incident causes gridlock: A traffic accident involving a motorcycle in the south-bound Santa Venera tunnel has caused a long rush-hour traffic jam in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The accident happened at 7.45am with a motorcycle getting caught between two vehicles. As a result of the accident, heavy traffic built up, with long lines of cars extending to the Regional Road in St Julian’s. (TVM/Newsbook)

Serious doubts in Campus Hub tender – NAO: An audit of the University of Malta’s tender award for the development of a campus hub to Vassallo Builders has raised “serious doubts” on fairness in the process. The National Audit Office did not find any illegalities in the process but casted doubts on whether process respected ‘free competition’. The National Audit Office said the university should have entrusted the 2015 tendering process to the Department of Contracts. (Maltatoday)

Morning Briefing

No more new jobs at Air Malta – FinMin
Air Malta will not be employing more people, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana told Parliament. Facing a series of parliamentary questions about the beleaguered airline, Caruana said that under his watch Air Malta’s headcount had been reduced from 1,000 employees to 375. While refusing to give details about the airline’s future due to ongoing negotiations with the European Commission, Caruana said that should the airline continue to operate eight planes, the current staffing levels are optimal. (Times of Malta)

Parliament debates bill proposing contractors licensing
Licensing of building contractors will raise the bar in the construction sector, Planning Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said in parliament on Monday. “The amendments will define clearly the responsibilities of those who work on a construction site, to ensure a more professional sector and improve its quality,” the minister said. Parliament on Monday started debating the second reading on the licensing of building contractors. The proposed legislation will oblige applicants to have to have insurance policies in place, safeguarding protecting both third parties and their employees. (Maltatoday)

Almost half of young people claim to have suffered childhood abuse
Domestic violence leaves a negative effect not only on a parent but also on the children, with a new study showing that more than half of children experience violence at home and as a result of this trauma they fall behind on their schoolwork. The same study shows how 43% of those aged between 18 and 24 said they have been victims of some form of sexual abuse during their childhood. The study was carried out by the Department of Children and Families at the University of Malta and the Commission Against Domestic Violence using a sample of 433 people. (TVM)

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