Author Archives: admin.01

Malta first EU state to operate commercial flights to Libya

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta became the first EU state to operate a commercial flight to Libya. The flight operated by MelAir is a result of a bilateral agreement signed between the two countries when Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah visited Malta earlier this month.
Commercial flights between Malta and Libya were stopped following the unrest which erupted in the North African country in 2014.
Maltese economy minister Silvio Schembri who was on board the flight said both Malta and Libya are committed to collaborate with each other to each other’s benefit. He referred to the “enormous” potential in Libya, and said it deserves to be led by the Libyan people.
Libyan transport minister Mohammed Salem Al Shahoubi remarked that Libya intends on resuming a weekly flight between Malta and Libya. “We hope for a successful future for this vital airline, which will contribute to the economic growth and service of the Libyan people”, he said.
Minister Schembri met his Libyan counterpart, Mohammed Haweg, to discuss potential sectors where the two countries can collaborate.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta, Italian man seriously injured in a traffic accident

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – A 19-year-old Italian from Catania was grievously injured on Friday night after he was involved in a traffic accident in Naxxar. A car driven by a 50-year-old man with a 48-year-old woman in the passenger seat was involved in a crash with another car being driven by the Italian man. The Italian man and the female passenger of Swieqi were taken to Mater Dei Hospital. The man was found to have suffered grievous injuries while the woman was only slightly injured.
The Civil Protection officers were on-site to assist. The police are investigating the case.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta, wife of former Muscat chief of staff accused of money laundering

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) (ITALPRESS) – The wife of the former Chief of Staff at the Office of the Maltese Prime Minister pleaded not guilty for money-laundering charges. Josette Schembri Vella, 45, from Mellieha was accused with financial crimes including money laundering. According to the Anti Money-Laundering Squad some €1.5 million were laundered. Schembri Vella was questioned by the Financial Crimes Investigation Police Department in recent days. The Court upholds the freezing order over the company’s assets. One of the companies in question is 3City Designs Limited, in which Schembri Vella owns a 50% stake. Kasco Holdings, her husband’s company, owns the remaining 50%.
Josette Schembri Vella was granted bail against a €10,000 deposit and personal guarantee of €40,000. Her husband, Keith Schembri who is currently undergoing medical treatment, was accused of financial crimes, including fraud, money laundering and corruption. Schembri, who served as former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff from 2013 to 2019, was arrested in March.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Caruana Galizia murder, von der Leyen “Sacrifice for democracy”

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The president of the European Commsssion declared that Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia “made the ultimate sacrifice for democracy.” Ursula von der Leyen honoured Caruana Galiziàs memory while paying respect during a visit to the site where the Maltese journalist was assassinated by a car bomb in October 2017 just few meters away from her private residence in Bidnija.
During this surprise visit, Von der Leyen was accompanied by family members of Daphne Caruana Galizia; including her husband Peter and one of her sons Matthew.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

EU Commission President, Maltàs recovery plan one of the “greenest”

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen declared that Maltàs recovery plan is one of the “greenest” that the European Commission has received. She was addressing a joint press conference with Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela during a short visit in Malta. She declared that the European Commission has approved €316.4 million for Maltàs plan to recover from the pandemic and to transform the local economy to become greener and more digital. Malta will get €41.1 million in pre-financing for the approved projects, once the plan is also approved by EU finance ministers in the next four weeks. All initiatives will be financed from EU grants until 2026. Malta will spend 54% of the funds to reach climate neutrality goals. These include investing in sustainable transport such as a terminal site for ferries and electric vehicles, as well as in energy efficiency improvements in buildings. Furthermore, Maltàs plan foresees better transport planning more free access to public transport, waste management systems, among others. “Maltàs plan meets the criteria which have been established,” von der Leyen remarked. The EC president also noted that 25% of the Maltàs Recovery and Resilience Plan budget will go towards the country’s digital transition.
von der Leyen said the €800 billion recovery plan for Europe will not only help member states recover from the coronavirus pandemic but it would also reshape the bloc, as the countries would digitalise their economies and societies like “never before”.
The golden passport scheme was also discussed amongst other issues during the bilateral talks between Malta and the EU Commission President. von der Leyen underlined that it is of utmost importance to stop the cash-for-passports scheme.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta, due to Covid losses of 1.5 billion

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta has registered a revenue loss of €1.5 billion in a year and a half due to the coronavirus pandemic. This was confirmed by the Maltese Finance Minister Clyde Caruana. Minister Caruana added that while the government’s financial revenue decreased, the expenditure increased exponentially due to COVID-19 and to safeguard jobs in the private sector. He also acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic has presented various challenges, however Caruana added that next year the Maltese economy will surpass the growth of EU countries with a growth of 6.8%. The current deficit in public finances stands at €1.6 billion. Maltese Finance Minister added that next year, the deficit will decrease from 12% to 5.6%. “This will occur not because of new taxes but because the economy will provide more income and it will once again stabilise itself.” So far, Malta has registered 449 deaths due to COVID-19 while 747 cases are still active. 5 patients are receiveing treatment at the Intensive Care Unit at Mater Dei Hospital.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Maltàs President of the Republic paid tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Almost four years after the assassination of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the President of Malta George Vella this morning paid tribute to Caruana Galizia when he visited the site where she was blown up in a car bomb in October 2017.
The President of Malta was accompanied by the journalist’s family. He laid a wreath where Daphne Caruana Galiziàs was killed by a car bomb a few metres away from her home in Bidnija.
The President’s Office stated that the visit came after a series of talks with the family which started on 3 September. President Vella said that he had apologised to the Caruana Galizia family for what he could have done, and what he was not aware of while serving as a Cabinet minister up to June 2017.
Vella described Daphne Caruana Galizia as a “victim of a criminal act by a criminal or mafia organisation”.
In a statement, the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation said: “in view of the published findings of the public inquiry into the circumstances of Daphnès assassination, we welcome the President’s gesture as the Maltese statès recognition of Daphnès memory and sacrifice and its acknowledgement that it must bear responsibility for her assassination and for its failure to prevent real and immediate risks to her life”.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta and Libya in talks to strengthen cooperation in various sectors

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta and Libya reiterated their commitment to uphold and strengthen the special ties between them, especially in the energy and health sectors, as well as to increase cooperation in the fight against organised crime, smuggling, and illegal immigration.
Addressing a joint press conference in Valletta, both Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela and Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah referred to their common interest to give a new impetus to renewed joint investment for the prosperity of both countries.
Maltese Prime Minister Abela said that Malta fully supports Libyàs quest for peace and stability and will continue to look upon Libya as a major partner.
Libyan Prime Minister Dbeibah announced the resumption of commercial flights between the two countries and Maltàs willingness to train Libyans in specialised fields.
Dbeibah raised a particular criticism concerning the Libyan community in Malta. He said that Libya sought to resolve the problems involving the community in talks with the Home Affairs Ministry. However, the Maltese Prime Minister Abela reaffirmed Maltàs support of its Libyan community and praised “its strong contribution to Maltese society.” “They are welcome in our country, and I hope they feel welcome,” he said.
The Government of National Unity is a provisional government formed last March to unify the two main authorities involved in a civil war which lasted from 2014 to 2020, succeeding Tripoli-based Government of National Accord and the House of Representatives based in Tobruk.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Former EU Commissioner John Dalli to be charged over alleged bribery

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Former EU Health Commissioner and Maltese Minister John Dalli will face criminal charges in court next week in connection to a €60 million fraud allegation. Dalli had resigned as EU Commissioner in 2012 after an OLAF investigation implicated his office in an alleged case of bribery. At the time, Dalli was leading the reforms to the EU’s tobacco directive.
The criminal proceedings against Dalli were initiated over an attempt by his aide Silvio Zammit after requesting a €60 million bribe to help overturn an EU-wide ban on snus, a form of smokeless tobacco. Zammit was charged in December 2012 with trading in influence and complicity in the €60 million bribe request from a Swedish tobacco company.
Dallìs case is set to start on 17 September.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta administers third dose of Covid-19 vaccine

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese health authorities started to administer the third dose of COVID-19 vaccination as from today, a week earlier than planned. Health Minister Chris Fearne said the booster vaccination started in residential homes for the elderly. The local health authorities initially planned on starting the administration of booster shots on September 13, but moved that date forward after two clusters of 14 positive cases were found in residential homes for the elderly last week.
Immunosuppressed people will start receiving the invites next week to get the booster jab. The boosters are either Pfizer or Moderna. The next to get the third dose will be those aged 70 and over, as from the first week of October.
Health Minister Chris Fearne said that the third dose will contribute to the further easing of restrictions. He said that as from today, up to a maximum of 100 vaccinated individuals can attend open-air stand-up events. All those attending must wear a mask and be spread over an area of 200 square metres.
Indoor stand-up events, also limited to 100 vaccinated individuals, will be allowed as of the 13th of September. Attendees must wear a mask and be spread over a minimum area of 200 square metres. Also from that date, the distance between individuals will be reduced to one metre for seated events of up to 100 people.
Pilot larger events with less restrictions are expected to be given the go-ahead closer to the end of the month. All those present must be vaccinated and they will be obliged to do a PCR test five to seven days after the event, the Superintendent of Public Health, Charmaine Gauci said.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Justyne Caruana said that the government’s school reopening plan is ready, with the approval of the health authorities expected shortly, although consultation with teachers’ unions and other stakeholders is pending.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

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