LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Hundreds of Maltese who support the national football team of Italy yesterday night went out in carcades to celebrate the historic win by Italy against England in the final of the European championships. Most of the celebrations were helf in Sliema and St. Julian’s areas.
Italian nationals residing in Malta gathered in both localities to celebrate this result by honking horns and waving their national flag.
Police were stationed in various areas to control the influx of fans who gathered together to celebrate the 3-2 Italian win against England.
Ahead of Euro 2020’s final match between England and Italy, football fans across Malta and Gozo decorated their balconies with Italian or English flags in support of their respective favourite team.
Football rivalry between English and Italian supporters in Malta goes back to the political tensions from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Nationalist Party was born directly out of the tensions that existed between English and Italian cultural influences in the late 1900s and one of the party’s founders Enrico Mizzi was court-martialled for his pro-Italian sympathies.
On the other hand, Lord Gerald Strickland’s Constitutional Party believed Malta should remain anchored into British identity. The language issue in 1930 saw Malta descend into violence with Strickland suffering an assassination attempt and Mizzi arrested and later exiled during World War II.
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Dozens of Italian students are stranded in Malta following the Maltese government’s decision to close the 30 English language schools on the island due to confirmed positive Covid-19 cases amongst Italian, French and Spanish students. All embassies, including the Italian Embassy in Malta are in contact with the local health authoritiies and the students. All foreign students were requested by the Maltese government to leave Malta by not later than next Wednesday. According to local reports, there are around 50 Italian students who were found positive to COVID-19, while few tens of others who were found part of the same cluster, were ordered to stay in quarantine in a hotel located in St. Julians. Since Monday 5 July, the number of active vases has shot up from 79 to 457. The Health Ministry confirmed that a cluster of English-language students were among the new detected cases. The Federation of English Language Teaching Organisations (FELTOM) and its member schools expressed shock at government’s decision to close down language schools following a spoke in Covid-19 cases. FELTOM said it was “unprepared and shocked by the government’s unexpected and rigid decision to close down” language schools which it said will inevitably lead to significant economic consequences for the entire tourism industry, its employees and its stakeholders.
However, Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela today downplayed the cause for concern but stated that the government had to act immediately. “We needed to implement a clinical, but difficult, response, and this was what we did,” Abela said.
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese health authorities have announced 109 new cases of Covid-19, the highest recorded since last March. With only two recoveries reported, the total number of known active cases rose to 359. The health authorities added that no deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours. The new cases were identified through 3,164 swab tests: 1,012,577 such tests have been carried out in Malta to date.
According to local reports 20 out of a group of about 80 students who in the last hours have been tested positive for Covid are Italians.
It was reported that the mayor of Molfetta, a village near Bari in Puglia in Italy, has written to Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Regional President Michele Emiliano to find a solution to the problem as all Italian students are stranded in Malta and have to leave the island by Wednesday.
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese government announced this afternoon that as from Wednesday, 14 July, all English language schools will close once again and all peope entering Malta must present an official vaccine certificate. The decision was taken following the announcement of 96 new Covid-19 cases confirmed by the local health authorities. The number of active cases rose to 252 in just few days.
Health Minister Chris Fearne confirmed that the majority of new cases had come from foreigners or Maltese people who were entering Malta from abroad. “A majority of them were unvaccinated as well” he continued.
Children aged between five and twelve must enter Malta with parents or guardians who present a negative PCR test. “These measures have been implemented to protect the Maltese community”, Fearne stressed.
79% of the adult population in Malta has been fully vaccinated, while 84% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine. “We aim to reach 85% of fully vaccinated people as soon as possible”, Minister Fearne added.
Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci confirmed the majority of cases had come from people aged between 15 and 30. She also confirmed that 15 of the 96 cases discovered today had been fully vaccinated. 11 cases were of specific variants: seven cases were of the Delta variant and two each were of the Alpha and Gamma variant, she continued.
Minister Fearne appealed to the public to refrain from hosting or attending any illegal parties and confirmed that enforcement would be stepped up for the EURO 2020 final between England and Italy.
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese health authorities have announced 55 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. The last time Malta recorded over 50 new cases was last April. Recent statistics show that the new registered cases of Covid-19 are increasing at an unsatisfactory rate as the local health authorities confirmed an increase of 30 new cases between Wednesday and Thursday.
According to the health authorities 90% of the people found positive in the last days were not vaccinated and most of them are foreign students who came to Malta to learn the English language. Reports say that the Ministry of Health is considering seriously to vaccinate to those foreign students who will last more than two months in Malta.
The Ministry of Health said that by Wednesday there were three people receiving treatment at Mater Dei hospital; one person at the Intensive Care Unit and two other at the Infection Disease Unit. These patients did not get the vaccine against Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Professor Charmaine Gauci, the Superintendent of Public Health confirmed that as of Wednesday there were 10 patients who were found positive for the Indian variant.
So far, the total number of active cases now stands at 159. No deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours. Malta has had 30,755 cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, with 30,176 of them since making a recovery. However, the pandemic has claimed 420 lives in Malta to date. The health authorities also announced that 696,858 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to date, with 344,666 people being fully vaccinated.
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – One of the brothers accused of procuring the bomb used to kill Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was arrested in Zebbug, Malta few hours after his return from Sicily. The arrest took place on December 4, 2017.
More witnesses took the stand in the criminal proceedings against brothers Adrian and Robert Agius, known as Tà Maksar, and their associates Jamie Vella and George Degiorgio on Tuesday morning.
Police Inspector Malcom Bondin recalled being told that Adrian Agius had just returned to Malta; and the suspect was in Sicily. Asked about Agius’ reaction when he was told he was being arrested in connection with the murder of Caruana Galizia, Bondin said that Adrian Agius remained calm. The witness added that Agius had explained that he had just returned from a retreat in Sicily and saw the presence of the Police around the garage. His car was still loaded with clothes and bags of dirty laundry from the trip.
The Agius brothers are accused of acquiring the bomb used to kill journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia while George Degiorgio is facing separate proceedings over the murder of Caruana Galizia together with his brother Alfred Degiorgio.
VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltàs national airline, Air Malta operated its first flight to Tripolìs Mitiga Airport yesterday morning carrying a Maltese delegation led by Finance and Employment Minister Clyde Caruana and Air Maltàs Executive Chairperson David G Curmi.
The delegation, which included aviation safety experts of both countries, discussed the eventual resumption of scheduled flight services between the two countries.
Following the one-day visit, Minister Clyde Caruana said, “seeing the Air Malta plane on Libyan soil in years is a certainly a positive sign. We must continue working together to see progress in aviation. Malta and Libya supported each other on many fronts over the past decades and we will continue strengthening this strong relationship between the two peoples”.
Air Maltàs Executive Chairman added, “the resumption of scheduled services between Malta and Tripoli is seen by Air Malta as an important step. Libya was always a very important market for the national Maltese airline, and we are happy to have had the opportunity to discuss commercial operations to the country with our Libyan counterparts. Such flight services will increase cooperation between the two countries on several aspects be they economic, social, or cultural. We are eager to resume our services subject to careful assessments to conduct a safe and viable commercial operation and reconnect both countries for the benefit of both nations”.
Air Malta operated its last scheduled service to Tripoli International Airport seven years ago, in July 2014. Flights to Benghazi were also suspended following the closure of the airport in May of that year.
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – A Libyan coastguard vessel was reported of firing shots as it intercepted a group of migrants in the Malta search-and-rescue area.
The incident was observed by the Seabird, an aircraft operated by NGO Sea-Watch International, which reported that shots were fired into the sea. “This brutality endangers peoplès lives. Refugees are not a target! Malta, act now to stop the violence,” Sea-Watch insisted.
Anthoner NGO, Alarm Phone, which operates a hotline for those seeking to cross the Mediterranean to reach safety, confirmed that there were around 50 people on board the boat which was being intercepted by the Libyan vessel. Describing the incident as a “crime scene in Malta SAR” and emphasising that an illegal pushback was taking place, it insisted that the group should be brought to safety in Europe without delay.
Malta was accused of coordinating a pushback of another group – of around 90 people – over the weekend. Maltese authorities reportedly shared the boat’s location with the Libyan coastguard to prevent them from reaching Maltese waters.
Sea-Watch declared that Libya could in no way be considered a safe place for asylum seekers, and accused Malta of breaching its international obligations in coordinating the illegal return.
LA VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltese swimmer Neil Agius, 35, has broken a world-record after completing a swim from the island of Linosa to Gozo on Wednesday night, in a marathon swim that began last Monday.
Agius had originally planned a 153km swim across the Strait of Sicily, from the coastal town of El Haouaria on the tip of Tunisiàs Cape Bon to the Sicilian resort of Kartibubbo. The plan had to be changed due to weather conditions in Tunisia. The Linosa-Malta route is somewhat shorter than the original plan to cross the Strait of Sicily, though its 130km length is still above the world record of 125.6km for the longest continuous and unassisted swim in 52 hours. Agius was set to conclude his swim in Malta, but the route had to be shifted north and end in Gozo instead due to currents. Agius finished his marathon in Xlendi Bay where a crowd of supporters gave him a heròs welcome. The first to hug him was his girlfriend Lara Vella, who just before starting the marathom had proposed to marry him. Thirty-two crew members on 5 sailing boats and 2 rhibs accompanied Agius along this challenge. Through his swim, Agius seeks to raise awareness about sea pollution through the NGO ‘Wave of Changè. The Maltese public is encouraged to collect 1 million pieces of plastic that would end up in our seas.
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese Health Minister Chris Fearne confirmed today that Malta has registered the second case of the Delta variant. The first case was detected in early June. According to the Health Minister, the local authorities are investigating and it is not yet clear whether it has been imported or whether it is somehow linked to the first case. The second case of the variant was detected in recent days, Fearne said, meaning that two out of the 45 active cases are infected with the Delta variant. European countries, including Malta, are worried about the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant which evidence suggests is around 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant first found in England, causing more hospitalisations. Minister Fearne added that “the prediction is that within six or seven weeks, up to 90% of all new cases in Europe will of the Indian variant. There is no better way to do so by getting vaccinated.” Speaking in Parliament, 73% of the adult population in Malta is fully vaccinated, however the Maltese government is aiming at an 85% rate to strengthen herd immunity. 664,859 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to date, with 320,604 people being fully vaccinated.
In the last 24 hours, the health authorities confirmed five new cases of Covid-19. No new recoveries were reported. The total number of active cases now stands at 45.