Car importers urging buyers to wait until next year due to microchip shortage / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 16 November 2021

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Updated 1745- Latest update

Times of Malta says that Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar is to be reprimanded by parliament following an ethics probe into her role in allegedly brokering a property deal with Yorgen Fenech, although the Opposition wanted her suspended from the House. 

MaltaToday says that the Opposition will present a parliamentary motion to repeal a legal notice published by government that gives tax defaulters an amnesty

Newsbook says that Steward Health Care has “admitted” that the hospitals’ privatisation deal was awarded amid ‘fraudulent and corrupt’ practice, lawyer Edward DeBono stated on Tuesday afternoon in court.

TVM says that a pharmaceutical company will start operating from Malta to produce liquid-form medicine to be used as part of Covid treatment.

Updated 1245 – Mid-Day Briefing

Car importers urging buyers to wait until next year due to microchip shortage: Car importers are facing delays due to a global shortage of microchips, the Association of Car Importers Malta said. The organisation said it does not expect the industry to return to normal for at least another six months. Car making is one of the industries impacted worldwide by supplies of semiconductor chips failing to meet demand. “The delivery of new cars should be getting back to normal in the second quarter of next year,” she said. She noted that the pandemic had left a negative effect on prices but said manufacturers
were striving to maintain prices as they were, especially for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid EVs and low-polluting cars.

‘Nurse quitting at a rate of three a week’- MUMN: An average of three nurses quit their jobs at Mater Dei Hospital every week, union chief Paul Pace claimed, once again sounding the alarm on a staffing crisis that has hit the health system. Many are resigning to work in the UK, where foreign nurses and their families are being promised citizenship, free accommodation and better pay to plug its own staffing crisis. Burnout, stress and lack of new recruits are depleting the nursing complement. “The work has become tiring and overwhelming and, apart from poaching by countries offering better conditions, we also have people nearing retirement who have simply had enough,” he said.

Covid-19 Update: 64 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday, while 31 virus patients recovered. 16 people are hospitalised, including 2 in intensive care, the health authorities said.

Morning Briefing

PM Abela appeals for vaccination take-up
PM Robert Abela said that the country’s economic recovery depended on everyone’s attitude and actions. Speaking in Parliament, Abela urged citizens to take the COVID-19 vaccination to avoid the return of restrictions being witnessed in other European countries. He added that the situation in hospital will be the basis for further decision-making related to the pandemic, re-iterating that the health authorities see no need to tighten COVID-19 restrictions or remove the few that are still in place. Abela said that 76,000 booster doses had been administered.

Grey-listing already taking its toll – De Marco

PN Shadow Finance Minister Mario De Marco said that Malta was already experiencing an impact of grey-listing, noting how a number of financial services operators had closed shop and left. De Marco also quoted a recent survey which had highlighted a strong decline in Malta’s attractiveness for direct foreign investment and a study by the Malta Employers Association, which had shown that 88% of its members believe that the grey listing decision will have a negative impact on their business.

Metsola to run for EP Presidency

MEP Roberta Metsola on Monday said she will vie for the European Parliament presidency, establishing her as a potential consensus candidate from the body’s powerful conservative group. The Maltese politician revealed her decision in an email, seen by POLITICO, sent to MEP colleagues in the center-right European People’s Party (EPP), the Parliament’s largest bloc. “I want to help get people in our member states to believe in Europe,” Metsola said in a statement to POLITICO confirming her candidacy. First elected to the European Parliament in 2013, Metsola was one of Malta’s first female MEPs and has become one of the EPP and Parliament’s point people on migration.

Read more here.

Covid-19 Update: Active Covid-19 cases edged above 600 on Monday with 55 new cases, while 17 persons recovered. Despite the higher number of infected persons, which now stands at 603, only 13 of them are currently being treated in hospital, two of whom in ITU.

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