News

POLITICAL PARTIES IN MALTA HOLD FINAL RALLIES AHEAD OF VOTE

The electoral campaign in Malta for the European Parliament and local councils elections came to an end at midnight last night ahead of tomorrow’s voting. The two main political parties, the Labour Party in government and the Opposition Nationalist Party rallied their supporters to put their last political message across the country and to gather voter’s support.

According to the latest statistics issued by the Electoral Commission, there was an increase in those eligible to vote and did not collect their voting document. Thus, it is expected a less turnout for both the European Parliament and local councils elections when compared to the previous election. However, this will not change the outcome of the results, as the Labour Party is still the favourite to net close to 55 percent of the votes in the European elections. It is unlikely for the  Nationalist Party to keep the third MEP from a total of six seats allocated to Malta.

The Leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia addressed a rally on the last day of the electoral campaign with the slogan ‘Together For Our Country’ in front of the Nationalist Party Headquarters in ?amrun. He said that whatever the outcome of the European and Local Council elections, the Nationalist Party is already committed to work harder and be closer to families and the vulnerable who were not benefiting from the economic wealth Malta is registering. “Our journey starts on Monday whatever the people’s verdict is. From Monday my colleagues and I will work harder to earn the respect of voters.” 

Adrian Delia appealed to the Maltese electorate to vote to all Nationalists candidates as a sign of disapproval with the way the Labour Party is governing the country. He referred to various national and international damning reports conducted by local and European institutions condemning the Labour Party in government on corruption, the rule of law and the take over of Maltese institutions. The Leader of the Opposition also said that a vote for the Labour Party would mean a vote to the Socialists in the European Parliament who are proposing the introduction of tax harmonization and the right to abortion.

Addressing a large crowd in Vittoriosa, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat spoke about how Malta has made great changes over the last six years of Labour government and therefore the judgment on election day is clear; a choice between Muscat and Adrian Delia.

Joseph Muscat mentioned various initiatives taken by his government including the reduction in electricity and water bills, the reduction in taxes, the reduction in poverty and an increase in pensions and the minimum wage. This along with a record number of unemployment and a record of people engaged in the labour market.

The Maltese Prime Minister spoke about a number of other challenges including better work and equality, mentioning in particular that it is unacceptable that a woman is paid less than a man. He said the Labour government will push forward reforms so that more women will be elected in the national parliament.

“My appeal is to vote for all the Labour candidates. Five years ago we have achieved a majorty of 33,000 votes. On election day, vote early and vote for all the candidates on the Labour Party ticket. We changed the country and we will be the change for Malta. On Saturday, I will be at the forefront to choose between Joseph Muscat and Adrian Delia,” concluded the Maltese Prime Minister.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)

 


Source: medNews

LABOUR PARTY IN MALTA IS EXPECTED TO WIN THE EP ELECTIONS

One week ahead of the European Parliamentary elections in Malta, the gap between the Labour Party of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and the Nationalist Party in Opposition led by Adrian Delia is 19.6 percent for the Labour Party. With an expected turnout of about 70 percent, this will result 50,000 votes in favour of the Labour Party.

The Labour Party is expected to win four parliamentary seats out of six; which means the Nationalist Party, member of the Popular Party, will lose a parliamentary seat. It is expected a tight run for the second Nationalist’s parliamentary seat.

The prediction of the outcome of the European Parliament elections in Malta is, 56.9 per cent for the Labour Party, the Nationalist Party will get 37.3 percent of the votes, the green party Alternattiva Demokratika will get 2 percent, 1.7 percent vote will go to the far-right party Imperium Europa, 1.1 per cent for the Democratic Party and 1.1 per cent vote for other parties and independent candidates.

According to the latest poll, the Labour Party managed to increase the gap with the Nationalist Party by 8.2 per cent over the last election. The Labour Party has increased the gap mainly because there are more Nationalists that say will not go to vote, or ready to vote for other parties. The Maltese vote less for the European Parliament election when compared to the general election. Indeed the turnout usually is about 75% of the eligible voters.

The recent arrest of two Armed Forces of Malta soldiers charged with the cold-blooded murder of a migrant from Ivory Coast dominated the election campaign over the weekend. The Opposition has requested for an independent inquiry into how one of the accused was engaged in the Armed Forces of Malta while serving a bail sentence. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat appealed to the Maltese society to embrace integration of foreigners including migrants.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

MALTA, FINAL RUSH TO THE ELECTIONS

A week from the elections that will see the citizens of the archipelago state elect their representatives to the European Parliament and the local councils (the equivalent of Italian municipalities), the electoral battle continues amid crossed attacks, rallies and particular initiatives put in place by some candidates.

Parliamentary activity was suspended until after the election at the initiative of the majority, a choice motivated by the fact that participation in parliamentary sessions was considerably diminished due to the numerous campaign activities. The opposition strongly criticized this choice, defined by the leader of the Nationalist Party Adrian Delia as a move that endangers the country’s democracy. Among the accusations made against the majority, also the fact that the decision was taken suddenly, without prior discussion with the opposition, and on the eve of an important parliamentary debate that provided for the discussion on the finances and on the work done by the Embryo Protection Authority.

 

The Labour Party, frontrunner in the polls, has implemented a particularly intense campaign, full of activities that have involved – or will involve in the coming days – all the towns of the country. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is dedicating himself to these initiatives, accompanied from time to time by prominent members of the party, together with candidates for the European elections and for local councils.

The Nationalist Party, divided internally and with a leadership that cannot hold the party together, continues to show its difficulties even during the electoral campaign.

The local media have highlighted, on several occasions, the disparity in spending between parties, with the Labour Party investing more resources than the Nationalist Party, and even among candidates. Some of the latter have put in place very specific initiatives. For example, two candidates organized a lottery. The first prizes are a car and a vacation, respectively.

The difference in investment in the electoral campaign reflects the state of finance of the two main parties. In particular, the Nationalist Party is also facing a period of financial crisis, while the Labour Party has more economic resources, which also derive from the citizens’ great response to fundraising organized by the majority party.

 

Just seven days from the vote, the polls are stable, and predict a clear victory for the Labour party, expected to win – for the first time – four of the six Maltese seats in the European Parliament. The Labour Party is affiliated with European socialists, while the Nationalist Party identifies itself with the European People’s Party, which currently holds a majority in the Strasbourg Assembly. The elections in Malta will take place on Saturday 25 May 2019.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)

 


Source: medNews

JORDAN: IN JANUARY EXPORTS INCREASE BY 11.4%

The statistical data issued by the Department of Statistics indicate that the value of total exports reached JD 857.7 million during January and February 2019 [i.e., an increase by 9.8% compared with the same period of 2018]. The national exports value reached JD.721.4 Million during January and February 2019 [i.e. an increase by 11.4% compared with the same period of 2018]. The value of re-exports reached JD 136.3 million during January and February 2019 which indicates an increase by 2.5% as compared with the same period of 2018.

The imports value reached JD 2242.9 million during January and February 2019, thus decreasing by (1.8%) compared with the same period of 2018.

The deficit in the trade balance has reached JD 1385.2 million therefore; the deficit has decreased during January and February 2019 by (7.8%) compared with the same period of 2018. The imports coverage by total exports has become 38.2% during January and February 2019 while it was 34.2% for the same period of 2018, which means an increase by 4.0 percentage points.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)

 


Source: medNews

ITALY-TUNISIA, SEVEN COOPERATION AGREEMENTS SIGNED

Last Tuesday Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed urged Italy, as a member of the European
Union (EU), to support Tunisia’s request to be removed from the European list of high-risk money laundering and funding countries of terrorism.

The meetings between Italian and Tunisian representatives were held during the visit to Tunis by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and a large delegation of Ministers, for the signing of
seven cooperation agreements between Italy and Tunisia.

“Tunisia relies on Italian support to help it obtain a favorable EU response, to its request to introduce a common management of the annual tariff quota for olive oil, in order to promote the
export of Tunisian olive on the European market “, added Youssef Chahed at the closure of the Tunisian-Italian economic forum.

Addressing the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the head of government expressed the desire to see the EU effectively implement the principles that govern the negotiations under the free trade agreement (ALECA). It also urged the Italian government to support his government in its efforts to increase the number of Italian tourists in Tunisia, which in his opinion do not yet meet
the ambitions.

For his part, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expressed the desire to strengthen economic cooperation with Tunisia, in particular in terms of investments in order to provide social
stability and promote growth to stem the flow of irregular migration. ” Italy wants to implement all the favorable conditions for an advantageous collaboration with Tunisia in many sectors,
including mainly infrastructure, energy, industry and technology, “said Conte, recalling that 900 Italian companies are currently established in Tunisia, generating around 68 thousand jobs. “This
number makes Italy the second largest foreign investor in Tunisia,” said the Italian Prime Minister.
The head of the Tunisian government Chahed Youssef and Giuseppe Conte, President of the Italian Council of Ministers signed the joint declaration of the first meeting of the strategic Superior Council between Tunisia and Italy, focusing on the prospects for bilateral partnership for the period to come.

Another agreement was signed between Tunisia and Italy in order to strengthen the
Elmed electricity transmission infrastructure to promote energy exchanges between Europe and North Africa. According to Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, this agreement will allow the Tunisian
electricity and gas company and the Italian energy company to effectively start the project by 2023.

Financed by the European Union for 600 million euro, the project received a first tranche, with an Italian contribution of 5 million euro to develop the studies necessary for the realization
of this project.
Furthermore, an agreement was signed between Tunisia and Italy for the conversion of a second quota of Tunisian debts into investment projects worth 25 million euros from 2020 to finance part of the integrated development project at El Mohdeth in the delegation of El Faouar. This project consists of the development of 1000 hectares for palm plantation with a budget of 155 million dinars. Italy has paid 500 thousand euro to finance the specific study of this project.

A memorandum of understanding was also signed on improving infrastructure and school services in primary schools with a credit of 25 million euros, as well as a memorandum of
understanding on the implementation of a program to strengthen decentralization in Tunisia and a gift of 25 million euros for the construction and equipping of 31 new municipalities and the
signing of a memorandum of understanding between the foreign ministries of Tunisia and Italy regarding diplomatic training as well as a memorandum of understanding on the project of the
Italian-Tunisian savings account.

Finally, the Tunisian foreign minister Khemaies Jhinaoui had a meeting with his Italian counterpart, Enzo Moavero During a joint press conference held after the meeting, Jhinaoui said: “The focus was on the need to follow up on the decisions of the Italian-Tunisian High Council for the


Source: medNews

BUSINESS SENTIMENT IN TURKEY IMPROVES

Business sentiment in Turkey showed improvement for the fourth month in a row in April, according to a survey by the Central Bank. The business confidence index increased by a strong 3.3 percent on a monthly basis to touch 105.5 in the month, the Central Bank said. That followed 5 percent, 4.5 percent and 1.6 percent increases recorded in March, February and January, respectively. Five of the business sentiment survey’s eight main sub-indices rose in April month-on-month, data from the Central Bank also showed. The sharpest increase was registered in the sub-index for total orders received over the past three months. The related index soared nearly 17 percent from the previous months to stand at 105.7 in April. The sub-index for current orders and export orders in the next three months rose by 6.4 and 7.6 percent, respectively.
(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

MALTA HAS THE SECOND BEST BUDGET SURPLUS IN EUROPE

According to the latest data published by Eurostat, Malta has recorded the second best budget surplus in Europe, in proportion to GDP. The increase recorded by the state – archipelago amounts to 2%, equal to that of Bulgaria and second only to the performance by Luxembourg, which experienced a 2.4% surplus.

In the Eurostat document, Germany (+ 1.7%), the Netherlands (+ 1.5%), Greece (+ 1.1%), the Czech Republic and Sweden (both + 0.9%), Lithuania and Slovenia (both + 0.7%), Denmark (+ 0.5%), Croatia (+ 0.2%) and Austria (+ 0.1%) show as virtuous countries. Two countries, on the other hand, have budget deficits above 3% of GDP: Romania (-3%) and Cyprus (-4.8%).

With a tweet, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced that Malta, for the third consecutive year, recorded a budget surplus that further lowered the state’s debt, now at 46% of GDP. The opposition did not wait for criticism, stating that the surplus derived mainly from the scheme that provides for the sale of passports.

 

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, in a press conference, said that Malta has seen its economy grow strongly in recent years, and that consequently some sectors of the country, especially infrastructure, need to be improved to be able to support the new economic reality.

Scicluna added that growth in 2018 stood at 7.1% and put the government in front of new challenges. Confirming the sustainability of the economic model implemented by the government, the minister also stated that it slightly lowered (from 6% to 5.7%) the growth forecast for 2019, due to the fact that the expectations of citizens, which after years of economic growth now demand more services provided by the government, have increased.

In his speech, the minister explained how the passport sales mechanism only contributes 0.5% of the surplus and said he was satisfied that the percentage of people at risk of poverty fell to 19.3%. Among the measures taken to achieve this goal, Scicluna mentioned tax exemptions, free school transport, the increase in the minimum wage, free childcare and tax exemptions for certain pensioners.

 

In this context, Malta has officially entered the electoral campaign, in view of the elections for the renewal of the European Parliament and of local councils. According to the polls, the Labor Party has a clear advantage over the Nationalist Party, and could win four or even five seats in the Strasbourg parliament, out of six total seats allocated to the smallest member state. So far, the two largest Maltese political parties have always equally shared the six seats.

The election date, set for Saturday 25 May, will be a historic event as it will be the first election following the reform of the electoral law that has extended the right to vote to all citizens who are over 16 years of age.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

ISRAEL, NEW OFFSHORE NATURAL GAS FIELDS

The Greek energy company Energean Oil & Gas plc announced the discovery of 28-42 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas in the northern Israeli offshore gas field. This is in addition to the 45 BCMs already discovered. This is a much smaller site than the 281 BCM in the Tamar field and the 605 BCM in the Leviathan field, however consistent enough to allow Energean to become a competitive player in the Israeli energy market. The share price of Energean rose by 7% after the news was released. This is reported by the economic newspaper Globes.

Exploratory drilling began on 15 March and reached a depth of 4,880 meters, and was completed a week earlier than expected. A further evaluation will now be launched to further refine the potential of resources and determine the actual content.

 

The CEO of Energean, Mathios Rigas, said: “We are pleased to announce this significant new gas discovery at Karish North, which further demonstrates the attractiveness of our gas field off the coast of Israel. We are building the FPSO Energean Power with unused capacity , which will allow us to quickly, safely and economically develop both North Karish and future discoveries. We have already signed a contract to sell 5.5 billion cubic meters (0.2 Tcf) of this new resource, and our strategy it is now to guarantee the transfer of the remaining volumes. We continue to see a strong demand for our gas, which we believe will be further supported by today’s announcement “.

Once the operations on Karish North are completed, Stena DrillMAX will return to drill in Karish’s field. Following this program, Energean will have six other drilling options remaining under the contract with Stena Drilling.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

GIANNI MORANDI IN CONCERT, GREATEST HITS OF 60-YEAR CAREER

The first notes of “Un mondo d’amore” were enough to make the 3.000 people present at Malta Fairs & Conventions in Malta, which welcomed Gianni Morandi with an enthralling enthusiasm. The show, organized by Giuseppe Rapisarda Management, saw Gianni Morandi retrace the fundamental stages of his sixty-year career. In the playlist his greatest hits: “Occhi di ragazza”, “Scende la pioggia”, “La fisarmonica”, “Non son degno di te”, “Uno su mille”, “Dobbiamo fare luce”. The fans witnessed a journey through the music of yesterday and today, the same that marked the career of the artist but also that of Italian costume and musical culture.  Gianni Morandi returned the warmth of the audience by giving a great show. The next appointment with Italian music in Malta will be July 19th when the three young artists of Il Volo will be on stage at the MFCC.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

TURKEY WANTS TO GET RID OF ENERGY DEPENDENCE

Turkey wants to get rid of energy dependence and become an exporter of oil and gas, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey Fatih Donmez said, Trend reports March 28 with reference to the Turkish media. He said that for these purposes, oil and gas exploration is being carried out in the country. The minister noted that Turkey is an energy hub, and this is evidenced by such important projects as TANAP and the Turkish Stream. TANAP project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field to the western borders of Turkey. The length of TANAP is 1,850 kilometers with an initial capacity of 16 billion cubic meters of gas. Around six billion cubic meters of this gas is meant to be delivered to Turkey, with the remaining volume to be supplied to Europe.

(ITALPRESS/MNA)


Source: medNews

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