LA VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has officially recognised the search and rescue work carried out by members of Maltàs Civil Protection Department in the Malataya province last February, following the earthquakes which left 51,000 people dead in Turkey, and another 9,000 victims in Syria.
During a ceremony, the President presented the Malta group leader, Kevin Pace, with the Turkish Presidential Medal and the Order of Distinct Humanitarian Service.
38 Maltese officials and volunteers, along with a rescue dog, conducted search and rescue operations in one of the areas worst hit by the earthquakes. The rescue operations were delicate and challenging, especially considering the very cold temperatures.
Two months ago, the ambassador designate for Turkey to Malta, Erdeniz Sen, had words of praise for the Government and the people of Malta for their generosity.
Last February Turkey was shaken by a number of earthquakes, including one which reached a force of 7.8 on the Richter scale.
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – A 22-year-old Italian man, who worked at the Portomaso casino, admitted that he assisted gamblers to defraud the casino of around 8,000. Luigi Giuseppe Comelia residing in Swieqi admitted receiving 150 to assist gamblers in deceit during a game that involved playing cards. The fraud was carried out over three days. Police started investigating Comelia following a report lodged by the casino. Comella who told the court that he had since been fired and was currently unemployed, was assisted by a court-appointed lawyer.
The youth was charged with fraud, misappropriation and falsification. His defence lawyer said that the youth was ready to refund the defrauded amount. Although the charges carried a potential maximum five-year prison sentence, or a fine of up to 50,000, or both fine and imprisonment, the prosecution said it was “not going to insist on a very harsh punishment.”
ROME (ITALPRESS/MNA) – “I am thinking of a Europe that is not hostage to the parties, becoming prey to self-referential populisms, but which neither transforms itself into a fluid, if not gaseous, reality, into a sort of abstract supranationalism, forgetful of the lives of peoples.” This was stated by Pope Francis while addressing the authorities, civil society and the Diplomatic Corps, in the hall of the former Carmelite Monastery at the Sandor Palace in Budapest.
The Pontiff added “this is the nefarious path of ‘ideological colonizations’, which eliminate differences, as in the case of the so-called gender culture, or when reductive concepts of freedom are put before the reality of life, for example by boasting a senseless ‘right to abortion’ as a conquest, which is always a tragic defeat”.
Pope Francis remarked “on the other hand, how wonderful it is to build a Europe centered on the person and nations, where there are effective policies for the birth rate and the family, where different nations are a family in which the growth and uniqueness of each other are preserved”.
He referred to the theme of hospitality, which arouses many debates in our days and is certainly complex. “We need to face the problem without excuses or delays. It is a theme to be faced together, as a community, also because, in the context in which we live, the consequences will sooner or later have repercussions on everyone. Therefore it is urgent, as Europe, to work on safe and legal ways, on shared mechanisms in the face of an epochal challenge that cannot be stemmed by rejecting, but must be accepted to prepare a future which, if not will be together, it will not happen”, Pope Francis concluded.
– photo Agenziafotogramma.it –
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela reiterated that his Government would continue with reforms to strengthen further the field of justice.
While meeting with the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, the Prime Minister claimed that in the field of justice, it was important that that things were done and seen to be done. He explained how Malta went through a rough patch in the last few years where good governance was concerned, adding that the Maltese government had “learnt a lot”. He referred in particular to Maltàs greylisting by the Financial Action Task Force.
He referred to the consultation process with the European Commission regarding the implementation of a number of reforms in strengthening the rule of law, justice and good governance in Malta.
During a meeting in Valletta, the Maltese Prime Minister mentioned the reforms the Government was pushing including the change in criminal inquiries known as the compilation of evidence, which aims to increase efficiency in the judicial process, the amendments to the Criminal Code to protect the health and life of the mother in case she is in grave danger as a result of medical complications during pregnancy, other legal amendments to strengthening the fight against crime where, in the event of very serious crimes, the Police will have the right to request the Magistratès permission to extend the arrest for more than 48 hours and other amendments that further clarify punishment in cases where there are aggravating circumstances.
While listing reforms that have already come into effect including the new method of appointing the President of Malta, the Chief Justice and the Police Commissioner, the Prime Minister also mentioned the creation of a separate prosecution unit and strengthening the functions of two institutions – the Office of the Ombudsman and the Permanent Anti-Corruption Commission.
The Maltese Prime Minister spoke about the draft laws that will give the highest level of protection to journalists and how the committee of media experts is carrying out a public consultation process after the Government accepted the request of the chairperson of the same committee to extend the consultation.
Meanwhile, while meeting the Foriegn Affairs and EU Parliamentary Committee, the EU’s justice commissioner said he was surprised that Malta has frozen only low amounts of Russian-owned assets following the enforcement of sanctions. Reyenders noted that Malta had only frozen some 220,000 Russian-owned assets as part of the efforts to hold the Russian state accountable for the invasion of Ukraine. The commissioner said he would be discussing further this issue with the Maltese government to understand why the figure was so low.
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – An investigation by the Safeguarding Board of the Malta Football Association, has found the former Malta coach Devis Mangia guilty of improper conduct but not sexual harassment. Mangia may appeal the decision. In a statement, the Malta Football Association said that there was sufficient evidence to support the allegation of improper conduct, but not enough to back the accusation of sexual harassment. The italian coach was removed from his duties in september of last year, after two national team players reported him for improper conduct. As a result, he was immediately suspended and the case was reported to the police for further investigations. Mangia categorically denied the allegations of misconduct. Mangia was appointed Maltàs national team head coach in 2019 and had signed a contract until december 2023.
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LA VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese government confirmed that an international company has asked the Maltese authorities to assist in the evacuation of its employees from Sudan.
Maltese Foreign Minister Ian Borg told Parliament that Malta is helping an international company to evacuate its workers, however, “none of the employees are Maltese.”
The Times of Malta reported that the international company is Corinthia Group, which is fully owned by the Maltese and has a hotel in Sudan’s capital Khartoum. No Maltese nationals are at the hotel, however, the hotel management is doing its utmost to secure the safety of all the workers and guests.
Fighting erupted between forces loyal to the Sudanese army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan against those of his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the Rapid Support Forces.
The Maltese Foreign Minister also confirmed in Parliament that he will be visiting Ethiopia and Rwanda in the coming days to talk to African leaders about the conflict. He added that Libya, which borders Sudan, is anticipating problems, and the situation might affect Malta, as it is the first European state bordering North Africa.
ISTANBUL (TURKEY)(ITALPRESS/MNA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has canceled the engagements scheduled for today after falling ill during a live television programme which was aired yesterday. “Today I will rest at home on the advice of doctors,” he tweeted. Following a TV broadcast interruption, Erdogan returned to speak live with reporters stating of being absent due to a stomach bug and was feeling tired as a result of the many commitments related to the electoral campaign.
Today he was due to hold rallies in three Turkish cities. However, the rallies will be addressed by his deputy, Fuat Oktay. Erdogan is preparing for next elections scheduled on May 14 and he is being challenged by a coalition of opposition that supports Kemal Kiliçdaroglu.
LA VALLETA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltàs national airline, Air Malta, will not be employing more people despite that recently it was advertising new job opportunities. Finance Minister Clyde Caruana assured Parliament that the current level of staff is perfect for Air Mata to operate eight aircrafts. He confirmed that Air Maltàs workforce was reduced to 375 from 1,000 employees. Malta is expected to have a new national airline by the end of the year. Recently, Air Maltàs Chairman David Curmi declared that the airline will close by the end of 2023 and will be replaced by a new national airline. Minister Caruana told Parliament that Malta will continue to have a national airline, however, he did not go into details. The Finance Minister only added that there are ongoing discussions between the Maltese government and the European Commission. The European Commission is not expected to give the go-ahead for more state aid. Although the Maltese government is requesting the European Commission to approve an aid of around 300 million euros, the Maltese Finance Minister declared that “this long-drawn saga has cost the country a lot of money” while adding that the Maltese government needs to be certain that with the decision taken, the problems faced by the airline will be concluded once and for all”.
-photo credit Air Malta-
ROME (ITALPRESS/MNA) – All the Italians who have asked to leave Sudan have been evacuated. This was announced by the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni late on Sunday evening.
“After a day of anxious waiting, all our compatriots in Sudan who have asked to leave have been evacuated. There are also foreign nationals with them. “Italy leaves no one behind,” said the Prime Minister, adding “I want to thank all those who participated in this very difficult operation, in the middle of a combat zone, my applause goes to Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani and to the Farnesina Crisis Unit, to Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, Undersecretary Alfredo Mantovano, the Chief of Staff at the Defense Ministry, Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, the COVI commander, General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, to our ambassador in Sudan, Michele Tommasi, and to the Security Services. Also on this occasion I want to renew my appeal for an end to the war, for the opening of negotiations that lead to a civilian government. Sudan needs peace”.
Defense Minister Guido Crosetto thanked the effort and professionalism of the Italian Armed Forces. The first 107 Italians aboard one of the C130s landed in Djibouti at 10 pm Italian time, 7 had already arrived a few hours earlier and another 40 returned on an aircraft in collaboration with the Spanish armed forces. “All Italian civilians have been evacuated to Djibouti where a refreshment area has been set up awaiting the subsequent return to Italy”, explained Crosetto.
On Monday, a C130 will take the Italian ambassador to Sudan and the commander of the Extraction Force who implemented the operation back to Djibouti.
“Thanks to the commitment of our air force and our special forces of the army, navy and carabinieri,” the minister reiterated, “the operations will continue until the complete safety of all the Italians. Everything takes place in the closest cooperation with our European partners. To the Operational Command of the Joint Forces Summit and to the soldiers who are carrying out this delicate and risky mission, I want to express the gratitude of the government and of the whole nation”.
“All the Italians who wanted to leave the country are now in Djibouti and will return to Rome with an Air Force flight at around 6 or 7 pm at Ciampino airport. They are all fine. There are some Emergency volunteers left and I think some missionary who did not want to leave the country, it is their free choice”, said the foreign minister Antonio Tajani, upon his arrival at the European Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg.
“I want to thank the Farnesina Crisis Unit and all the soldiers who participated in the evacuation operation. It was a difficult, risky and complicated operation, but everything went the right way. I have remained in contact with the leaders of the two factions that are fighting each other, they have respected their commitment to guarantee the safety of our convoys, I thanked them for this”, explained Tajani.
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TUNIS (TUNISIA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – During the last hours, 15 boats full of migrants fled from Tunisia towards Italy, however some of the boats were stopped by the Tunisian authorities. This was confirmed by the international NGO Alarm Phone in an alert via Twitter confirming that it is also aware of more boats are preparing to leave from the Tunisian coasts.
Alarm Phone said that some of the boats were intercepted by the Tunisian authorities, preventing them from crossing the Mediterranean Sea. It added that the Tunisian authorities removed the engines from other boats and migrants left abandoned. The NGO urged the Tunisian authorities to stop this assault on people who are trying to escape from Tunisia which is considered dangerous and safe following the recent political developments and the economic situation which is in a bad state.
Earlier, Alarm Phone confirmed that a group of 38 migrants were adrift off Al Amra. The southeastern coastal town which is around 250 km away from Tunis is one of the departure points for migrants in their attempt to start a clandestine voyage to Italy.
Alarm phone was alerted by a group of people who tried to flee Tunisia but got attacked by the Tunisian National Guard who stole the engine. The NGO urged the authorities to stop this violence and to launch an immediate rescue operation.
– photo Agenziafotogramma.it –