Malta removed from FATF Grey Listing / Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 15 June 2022

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1745- Latest News update

Times of Malta says grain importers are to be given additional storage space free of charge, allowing them to bulk-buy the staple food to offset rising international prices.

MaltaToday says the Women’s Rights Foundation has filed a judicial protest in court this afternoon, calling for the decriminalisation of abortion on the grounds that the State’s refusal to decriminalise abortion is leading to women being subjected to human rights violations.

Newsbook says a 35-year-old man has been hospitalised after he was involved in a traffic accident on Thursday morning.

TVM says in the coming days, 540 air conditioning units will be installed at the Ħandaq school in Qormi with an investment of €2 million.

Update 1745

The Times reports that Malta has been removed from the FATF grey list. The vote was taken on Wednesday and is secret and a formal announcement of that decision will only be made at the end of its plenary, on Friday afternoon.  

The Times reported that it has confirmed that Malta’s financial regime was given the all-clear in a high-level plenary vote at around 5pm in Berlin. The report also says that one of the main challenges in the coming months is to convince assessors that Malta is committed to keeping up the current pace of reforms.

Updated 1500

The Women’s Rights Foundation has filed a judicial protest in court this afternoon, calling for the decriminalisation of abortion on the grounds that the State’s refusal to decriminalise abortion is leading to women being subjected to human rights violations. More on Maltatoday.

Updated 1255

MFSA appoints Acting CEO: The MFSA has announced that its Board of Governors has appointed the Chief Officer Enforcement, Dr Michelle Mizzi Buontempo, as Acting CEO in Mr Joseph Gavin’s absence, effective 15 June 2022. The regulator’s short statement said that its CEO, Mr Joseph Gavin, is currently indisposed, providing no further details.

Gaming Authority scraps applications linked to Iosif Galea: The MGA, Malta’s gaming regulator, has stopped 35applications related to gaming consultant Iosif Galea. These applications were related to 24 licensees or potential applicants, according to sources at the Malta Gaming Authority who spoke to The Times of Malta. The decision was taken when word leaked that Galea was wanted by the police, and because of worries about the jurisdiction’s reputation being harmed. Since the Galea news broke, the MGA has received a lot of complaints from prominent operators in the island’s gambling sector, according to the sources.

MDB launches support scheme for businesses impact by Ukraine war: The Malta Development Bank has launched the Liquidity Support Guarantee Scheme which is the second emergency liquidity support measure as part of an aid package in response to the Ukraine crisis.  The first measure was in support of grain imports. The LSGS consists of two measures, one open to all undertakings affected by the crisis and the other specific to the fuel and oil importers. It will enhance access to bank financing to support undertakings whose cashflow was adversely impacted by the disruptions in supply chains and other pressures brought about by the Ukraine crisis.

Covid-19 Update: There were 273 new cases of Covid-19 as 114 recovered. Today’s numbers take the active case tally again above the 2,000 mark.

Morning Briefing

Two police officers to face charges on death of man at Police HQ

Two police officers will face criminal charges after a man died while being arrested at police headquarters two years ago.
The police today stated that the action was taken in response to the findings of a magisterial inquiry and police investigations, yet no information on the two policemen was provided in the formal announcement announcing the charges. After they are served with a formal summons, the case against them will begin to be heard in the coming days. Richmond Tong’s family are demanding compensation. The 35-year-old died a few hours after being arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession.

PN MPs object to new regulations allowing music in Valletta till 1am

A number of PN MPs have shared their disapproval to new regulations allowing music to be played at a moderate volume in residential streets Valletta until 1am. Former PN Deputy Leader Mario de Marco said that the legal notice should be withdrawn immediately because it will undermine the capital’s unique attractiveness and render it similar to Paceville, Buġibba and Qawra. Speaking during a debate on the financial estimates of the Malta Tourism Authority, de Marco argued Valletta’s success lay in the fact that it was different from other localities, however important they also were. “The moment we allow open air music in Valletta’s residential streets up to 1am, we will not only be disrespecting the residents, but we will be over-commercialising Valletta and denying it the recipe of its own success,” de Marco said. A number of other Opposition MPs echoed his sentiments throughout the debate.

Number of people in employment up 4.3%

The number of people in employment in the first quarter of the year stood at 274,493, 4.3% more than the same period a year ago, according to the National Statistics Office. During the first quarter, the number of people in employment accounted for 61.2% of the population aged 15 years and over. Unemployed persons stood at 9,090 (2%) while inactive persons totalled 164,677 (36.7%). The activity rate for the quarter under review was estimated at 78.7% with the highest rate recorded among persons aged 25 to 54 years (90.1%). .

Covid-19 Update

There were 200 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday as 101 people recovered. One person died. The number of active cases stands at 1,853.

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