medNews

LEBANON WILL HAVE ITS OWN CRYPTO-CURRENCY

The Governor of Banque du Liban has announced the launch of a new 100% Lebanese crypto-currency in the near future. The currency will be a “virtual Lebanese pound” destined exclusively for local use. It will be issued by Banque du Liban in Lebanese Pounds and its goal is to ease payment methods, to implement a technological transformation of financial institutions and to lower the costs borne by consumers.

Last October, the Parliament adopted a law on electronic transactions and personal data. Article 61 of the law makes the first official mention of “electronic and crypto currencies” in a jurisdictional text. The Parliament dodged the issue by giving the Central Bank full responsibility on the enactment of a regulatory framework for these currencies.

A digital form of an existing currency, such as the Lebanese Pound, would therefore act as a bridge between the real and the digital world, and improve banking inclusion by offering everyone the possibility to pass from physical money to a digital currency after opening an account at the Central Bank.

The Lebanese banking system would never have accepted the creation of a “stablecoin” or a decentralized crypto-currency, unregulated by Banque du Liban. Any such currency would significantly impact money transfers between the diaspora and Lebanon, which currently represent 20% of Lebanon’s GDP. A peer-to-peer decentralized crypto-currency would allow Lebanese to transfer money without having to pay banking fees.

Even when regulated and centralized, digital currencies may induce risks that the controlling authorities say they are fully aware of. For a healthy digital currency to emerge in Lebanon, authorities will have to respond to requirements of compliance, identity checks on the client (KYC), and the origin of the client’s funds (AML), which are the same as those undertaken by the traditional banking system. Yet, the procedures are very different, and are often based on the blockchain.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

GIANNI MORANDI IS GOING TO SING LIVE AGAIN IN MALTA

Gianni Morandi is going to sing live again and will be at the MFCC of Tà Qali, in Malta.
The special event of Morandi’s show live is scheduled for April 12th at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Center.
You can’t miss the show, which is organized by Giuseppe Rapisarda Management. More than 40 tracks in the playlist, over two hours of live and a wonderful journey through time. The greatest hits of Gianni Morandi’s repertoire and the new songs will form a playlist that retrace the fundamental stages of his sixty years of career: “Occhi di ragazza”, “Scende la pioggia”, “La fisarmonica”, “Non son degno di te”, “Uno su mille”, “Dobbiamo fare luce”, “Una vita che ti sogno”.
These last two tracks are part of the 40th album “d’amore e d’autore”. In this album of unpublished Morandi has chosen to interpret songs of love. A unique project that bears the signature of great authors of Italian music: Elisa, Ivano Fossati, Levante, Luciano Ligabue, Ermal Meta, Tommaso Paradiso, Giuliano Sangiorgi. The special date at the MFCC in Malta was long-awaited.
Arrivals from all over the island and from neighboring Sicily are planned at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Center, thanks to fast connections to the port of Pozzallo and the airport of Catania. Morandi’s fans are going to reach Malta from other Italian cities as usual for the members of the “MorandiMania Fan Club”, the association founded in 2002 whose purpose is to spread Gianni Morandi’s art and music, a meeting point between the artist and his fans.
The show starts at 21:30. Tickets are already on sale in the Ticketline circuit: www.ticketline.com.mt

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

MALTA, IMF RELEASES PRELIMINARY FINDINGS OF A VISIT

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released the preliminary findings (Concluding Statement) of a visit carried out during 2018. The document underlines that “Malta’s economic growth continues to be one of the strongest in Europe, resulting in rapid income convergence towards the European Union (EU) average”. This is attributable to specific reforms aimed at strengthening the private and public – sector balance sheet, combined with the lowest unemployment rate in history.

While underlining that economic prospects remain favourable, the report also lists the criticalities of the system, indicating the pressure on infrastructure, rapidly rising housing costs and labour and skills shortages as the main challenges to be addressed. The document also mentions that “Attention should also be given to safeguarding financial stability and integrity, including against the risks attached to new activities involving virtual financial assets.”

The main policy recommendations included in the Concluding Statement are therefore related to the above mentioned challenges. For the financial sector, they focus on guaranteeing the long-term independence of the supervisor and increase supervisory capacity. With regards to the housing market, the IMF suggests to ensure that measures to make housing more affordable remain targeted on low-income families. On fiscal policy, recommendations are related to the need of containing long term fiscal risks, invest more in infrastructure and strengthening revenue collection (a measure that has already significantly improved in the past years). Attention was also given to structural reforms: the IMF underlined the need of further investing on research and development (R&D) and of facilitating access to finance for SMEs.

With reference to GDP growth, the document mentions that it stood at 6.5 per cent in 2018, and it is expected to be above 5 per cent in 2019. It underlines also that it will me mostly driven by internal demand, therefore labour market conditions, mainly wage, will have to reflect this feature.

The document also stressed that risks to the outlook are balanced, despite the exposure that the country has on potentially disruptive factors such as Brexit. On this, it has to be noted that, in a recent statement, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat affirmed that Malta is ready to face any scenario regarding Brexit.

The assessment on the banking system was positive, and defined by the report as “well-capitalized, liquid, profitable and resilient”. Challenges to be faced are related to a possible decrease in profitability, also due to low interest rates.

 

A large part of the Concluding Statement was dedicated to the promotion of inclusive growth, to be reached through addressing infrastructural gaps – a path that the government has already undertaken, with major infrastructural works that might result in additional projects co-financed by EU funds, upskilling the labor force to match the requirements of the market, fostering access to finance and improve housing affordability with schemes that are periodically adjusted.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

MALTA, ELECTIONS AMONG THE MAIN EVENTS FOR 2019

2019 will be a year full of important events for the Maltese political scene. The elections scheduled between April and May will be the main course: renewal of the European Parliament, renewal of local councils and election of the President of the Republic.

The European elections will take place on the archipelago on Sunday 25 May, together with the administrative ones. Malta will elect six European parliamentarians (MEPs) and it is very likely that the two main parties, the Labour Party (PL) and the Nationalist Party (PN) will be the only parties to be represented in Strasbourg, leaving only the crumbs to the remaining political groupings.

PL and PN approach the electoral test in diametrically opposite conditions. The government party comes from a series of electoral successes that began in 2013, when Joseph Muscat led the PL to a clear victory, bringing Labour back to the country’s government after almost three decades in which the “reds” had ruled for only two years. Opposite trend for the nationalist party, which has instead faced a series of electoral failures starting from the 2013 general elections, and which is approaching the electoral appointment tormented by internal problems that are shaking the chairmanship of Adrian Delia, leader of the opposition in parliament.

 

The polls published by local media predict that the scenario will not change in 2019, and that therefore the next elections will confirm the current political scenario: Labour with the wind in its sails and the nationalists struggling to reverse a situation of a clear minority they were no longer used to.

Political confrontation will not be limited to the electoral battle. On the horizon there is also the nomination of the new President of the Republic. The mandate of Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, appointed President in April 2014, will end in just over two months and it is still unclear who will be hes successor. Local news sources indicate George Vella, a long-standing Maltese politician, as the favorite for succession. A doctor by profession, he has served twice as Minister of Foreign Affairs and was Deputy Prime Minister in the period 1996-1998, during the time of the labour government led by Alfred Sant.

In recent months the local press has mentioned, among the possible successors of Coleiro Preca, also Evarist Bartolo, current Minister of Education, Helena Dalli, current Minister for European Affairs, and Louis Grech, former Minister for European Affairs and now advisor of the Government. Two figures linked to the Nationalist Party have been added to this group: Louis Galea, former president of the Parliament and now a member of the European Court of Auditors, and Tonio Borg, former deputy prime minister and former minister of foreign affairs.

These two events will be crucial steps for the Maltese political scenario, because they will have consequences on the internal dynamics of both parties. But while the Nationalist Party will have to reflect on the election results and on the appointment of the new President of the Republic immediately, and handle a change in leadership that risks of being particularly complicated and politically dangerous, the Labour Party will be in a position to manage the transition with no hurry. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has indeed stated on several occasions his intention not to run for a third term.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)

 


Source: medNews

GOVERNMENT OF MALTA "DISDAIN AT THE ALLEGATIONS BY SALVINI"

“In response to Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s claim regarding the alleged unfulfilled voluntary reallocation pledges by EU member states, the Government of Malta wishes to remind that several days prior to this case in question, Malta had coordinated the first example of intra-EU voluntary reallocation from the Lifeline vessel. From the Lifeline, Italy had pledged to take 50 migrants from Malta”, the Government of Malta declares in a official statement.

“When this second case occurred, and Italy requested support for a voluntary intra-EU reallocation of these migrants, Malta was the first nation to respond by pledging to take from Italy the same amount it had earlier pledged to take from Malta in the Lifeline case – the Government of Malta adds -. After several requests from Malta, when the Italian and Maltese experts eventually got together to decide the modalities to fulfil these pledges it was agreed that since both countries had agreed to take the same amount from each other and since these migrants are human beings who had already suffered a difficult crossing and rescue, that rather than have them undergo another voyage to another state, each country would retain 50 and thus fulfil its pledges by cancelling each other’s pledge.  Therefore, Malta retained the 50 from the Lifeline that should have been transferred to Italy and Italy retained 50 from the Pozzallo case that should have been transferred to Malta”.

The Government of Malta expresses “disdain and surprise at the inaccurate allegations by Minister Salvini”. Malta also reminds that “DG Home, who was coordinating the modalities of these voluntary reallocation initiatives, considers both Malta and Italy to have fulfilled their pledges to each other”. The Government of Malta invites “the Government of Italy to revise its statistics and refrain from repeating unfounded claims”.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

EGYPT'S TOTAL PUBLIC INVESTMENTS RECORD

Egypt’s total public investments during the first quarter of the 2018/2019 fiscal year have registered EGP 80 billion, with government investments of about EGP 27.4 billion, Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform Hala El Saeed said Saturday.

Most of the government investments have been directed to develop infrastructure.

A total of 18 percent of these investments have been allocated to the sector of construction and public utilities, while the transport sector and electricity sector have been provided with 13 percent and 11 percent of the investments respectively.

In addition, 7 percent of these investments were directed to the health and education sectors with public investments exceeding EGP 5 billion.

The minister stressed the state’s keenness on supporting SME sector by implementing the CBE’s initiative to allocate EGP2 billion to finance small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as increasing the Upper Egypt-allocated investments to EGP 26 billion compared to EGP 22 billion in previous years.

Egypt has achieved positive growth rates in all economic sectors, driven by the leading the growth of foreign direct investment sector.

The industry sector’s vital role in achieving sustainable development and applying Egypt Vision 2030.

Source: Al Ahram Online.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

SYNDIAL, PILOT PLANT BEGINS TRANSFORMING ORGANIC WASTE INTO BIO-OIL

Syndial, Eni’s environmental services company, begins operating at its pilot plant at the the Gela refinery. The plant transforms Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (OFMSW) by recycling it into bio-oil, which can then be used to produce next-generation fuels. The plant represents the first milestone in a process driven by Eni’s own research and launched with the development of the proprietary waste-to-fuel technology created by Eni’s Renewable Energy and Environmental R&D Center in Novara.

Through waste-to-fuel technology, the process of converting biomass into energy can be completed in just a few hours with a low environmental impact. Additionally, the technology generates a byproduct that is a precious and increasingly scarce resource: water, for both civil and industrial usage. Wet waste is exploited not only by producing bio-oil and biomethane, but also by recycling and treating its water content, which is around 70%, in a system which will provide great benefits for society.

Through these operations, Eni is putting in place another major pillar for a strategy characterised by an integrated circular economy model. Following the completion of the pilot phase, Eni will build waste-to-fuel plants on an industrial scale, which will eliminate a great amount of organic waste through reuse and provide significant environmental benefits to large urban areas in Italy and abroad. 

The activity at the Gela plant will enable Eni to gather the data needed to inform the design of future plants. The Gela pilot plant has a bio-oil production capacity of approximately 70 kg per day and is supplied with 700 kg of organic waste per day by SRR, a waste management company in Ragusa.

The waste-to-fuel project is a tangible example of Eni’s integrated circular economy model in action. In addition to repurposing reclaimed or disused sites, Eni extracts value from raw materials found in waste by transforming them into new energy materials with zero impact on the food chain. Simultaneously, Eni makes a contribution to the areas where it operates by offering support to the municipal waste disposal system.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

SPARKLE, NEW TALENTS FOR MEDITERRANEAN HUB OF THE FUTURE

Sparkle, the International Services arm of the TIM Group and among the top ten global operators, strengthens its ICT innovation skills by welcoming on board twelve young STEM graduates in South Italy and in particular in its offices in Palermo and Catania.

Within the ICT and Network divisions, the Telecommunications and IT engineers will manage the transmission platforms to support Sparkle’s network and submarine cable systems, as well as control the infrastructures and platforms for automation, programmability and virtualization of network functions.

The new recruits successfully completed a training period focused on assurance processes and transmission services, specializing in various installed technologies, in line with the transversal approach required by the international market.

Via the two poles of Palermo and Catania, Sicily has been a strategic area for Sparkle for years, confirming its vocation as Mediterranean Hub, the heart of technological innovation and the main gateway for Internet traffic between Europe and Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Palermo hosts the Sicily Hub, a neutral data center that is emerging as the main hub for Internet traffic in the Mediterranean thanks to its proximity to North Africa and the Middle East and its connectivity to all cable landing stations in Sicily.

Sicily Lab is the hyper-converging data center and technology innovation laboratory in Catania. It has recently contributed to the success of Sparkle, awarded for two cutting-edge projects during MEF 2018, the leading industry meeting dedicated to the development of innovative technologies for international connectivity.

The specialized training of new employees is part of the broader Global Training Program dedicated to partners, operators and service providers, that Sparkle has been carrying out for several years and which in 2019 will be further expanded with new initiatives in collaboration with institutions based in Sicily.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)

 


Source: medNews

MALTESE MP PARTICIPATES IN FERRARI EXHIBITION

Within the framework of “Palermo Capital of Culture 2018”, a show of about thirty models of the Prancing Horse took place in the Sicilian capital, promoted by the Scuderia Ferrari Club Palermo and San Vito Lo Capo and presided over respectively by Alessandro Li Muli and Roberto Leone.  The Major Leoluca  Orlando took part in the event, together with the municipal councilor Giulio Cusimano and, in representation of the Government of Malta, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Protection of Consumers in Valletta, Deo Debattista. The two chairmen of the Scuderia Ferrari Club have given the souvenir plates to the Maltese guest.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

TUNISIA, RECORD IN FOOD EXPORT

Positive signs come from Tunisian food exports, which show an increase of 63% in the first six months of 2018, compared to the same period of last year.

According to data published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydroelectric Resources and Fisheries, olive oil is the driving force behind the sector, which has seen an increase in exports: 80.4 thousand tons for an estimated value of 776.9 million dinars compared with 26.4 thousand tons in 2017 for a value of 233.3 million dinars. Olive oil confirms itself to be one of the protagonists of Tunisian exports, representing 15% of the total value of total agricultural production.

The exports of dates and fish products also contributed to this positive result, which grew by 60% and 34% respectively in the same period of reference.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

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