PALERMO (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The seminar which will focus on the presentation of the results of the cross-border project “AMPPA – Protected Marine Areas and Artisan Fishing” will take place on Saturday 25 November 2023 at 10.00 am, at Giardini Del Massimo, in Piazza Giuseppe Verdi in Palermo.
Integrated management through environmental awareness and education” involved three marine protected areas (Egadi, Ustica, Gozo), four Sicilian and Maltese municipalities, the Sicilian Region (Fisheries Department) and the Maltese Government and the ERA (Environment and Resources Authority ).
The initiatives with precise objectives consisted of transnational cooperation including conserving marine biodiversity, maintaining the productivity of ecosystems and contributing to the economic and social well-being within the communities.
The results of a series of activities carried out during the entire project period will be presented in the presence of the Italian and Maltese partners and authorities. The events included environmental information and awareness campaigns, workshops and educational courses, experimental fishing campaigns, courses for diversification of fishing activities, amongst others.
Meanwhile, further actions were taken, including the set-up of four environmental information centres; three in Favignana, Ustica and Ghajnsielem and another one which will be virtual.
Furthermore, a common regulation for the implementation of the MPA has been structured, for the management of small-scale professional fishing activities to safeguard the local environmental and cultural heritage.
The AMPPA project is an initiative financed under the INTERREG V-A Italy-Malta Program with priority axis: III (protection of the environment and promotion of efficient use of resources); specific objective: 3.1 (Contribute to halting the loss of terrestrial and marine biodiversity in the area by maintaining and restoring ecosystems and protected areas). Lead partner: Municipality of Favignana – Managing body of the “Egadi Islands” Marine Protected Area; partners: Regional Department of Mediterranean Fisheries; Municipality of Ustica – Managing body of the Marine Protected Area of the Island of Ustica; Gharb Local Council; Ghajnsielem Local Council.
LA VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The European Commission has asked Malta to end its energy support measures to reduce its government deficit, and instead it is recommending the Maltese government means-tested support measures for energy price increases.
A Commission Opinion on Maltàs Draft Budgetary Plan warned that, as a result of hefty energy support measures, Malta has no related savings to be used to reduce the government deficit.
The EU Commission explained that the Draft Budgetary Plan of Malta is not fully in line with the Council Recommendation of 14 July 2023. The report declares: “the Commission invites Malta to wind down the energy support measures as soon as possible in 2023 and 2024”.
The previous council recommendation, published in May this year, had recommended that the Maltese government should wind down its energy support measures by the end of 2023, and to use the related savings to reduce the government deficit.
In case an increased energy prices necessitate fiscal support measures, the Council instead suggested using targeted measures to protect vulnerable households and firms.
The Commission’s 2023 Autumn Forecast predicted that Maltàs net budgetary cost of energy support measures at 1.6% of GDP in 2023. This will increase to 2% in 2024 and 1% the year after.
Budgetary projections have indicated that the government will spend around 320 million in fuel subsidies every year until at least 2026, or until Malta fixes its electricity supply.
Maltese Finance Minister Clyde Caruana has committed to maintaining the fuel subsidies until necessary to keep energy prices stable.
– photo Agenzia Fotogramma-
ROME (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The agreement signed two weeks ago by the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama “is significant within the overall strategy of the government, considering the international context of growing instability which risks increasing migratory flows and the ruthless traffickers’ business, a business that continues to make profit from desperation and claim victims, as demonstrated by what occurred yesterday off the coast of Lampedusa”. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani during a briefing in parliament.
“Migrants”, Tajani recalled, “will have exactly the same treatment as provided by the Italian and European regulations. The treatment will be the same as those provided for in Italy by the European Union and will be guaranteed as provided by the Italian jurisdiction. The right to health and protection are fully secured while lawyers and international organizations will be able to enter the centre”.
He added, “there are those in the opposition who feared a violation of international and European law, who described the project with an Italian-style Guantanamo, which spoke about deportations and evoked the precedent of the agreement between the United Kingdom and Rwanda. Faced with these gloomy scenarios, it would be enough to mention the simple observation of the European commissioner for internal affairs, Ylva Johansson, an important exponent of Swedish social democracy, which I will quote: “The EU law is not applicable outside the territory of the European Union, but we know that Italian law follows EU law and that, according to the Agreement, Italian law will apply in Albania”. The Protocol between Italy and Albania therefore, concluded Johansson, does not violate the EU law. The German Chancellor went even further: “Albania will soon be a member of the European Union and we are therefore talking about how to solve challenges and problems in the European family together”, commented Scholz at the congress of European socialists in Malaga. And he added, verbatim: “Irregular migration must be reduced and there will be close collaboration with countries outside the European Union, as it is happening now for example with Turkey, and there could be others. The Protocol between Italy and Albania? We will follow it carefully” declared the Chancellor”.
For Tajani, “in this sense, it is useful to note that this Protocol cannot be compared to the Agreement between the United Kingdom and Rwanda. There is no outsourcing to a third country in the management of asylum applications and there is no derogation on guaranteed international rights, which are, indeed, expressly reaffirmed several times in the Protocol. Soon Albania will join the European Union and it is a member of the Council of Europe. Exceptions would have been impossible”.
– Photo Agenzia Fotogramma –
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The European Union confirmed it would continue to support non-governmental organizations for recovery projects after the floods disaster in eastern Libya, where Strom Daniel and ensuing floods killed thousands in last September.
The EU said it had assigned 5.7 million euros to provide health, education, water, and sewage services, in addition to developing the systems of rapid response to disasters in Libya.
The EU ambassador to Libya, Nicola Orlando, and members of the EU delegation were participating in the opening of the second edition of an exhibition aims to support local organizations, where a number of youth civil action leaders were present.
According to the EU’s statement, the exhibition aims to support organizations, raise their capabilities in social contribution, and encourage their local development initiatives in comprehensive development, capacity building, and community wellbeing.
The EU praised the role of Libyan civil society in building the state and improving the lives of citizens. Orlando added during his speech at the opening of the exhibition that “it is wonderful to meet with many heroes of Libyan civil society at the annual Tripoli exhibition for non-governmental organizations.”
He stressed that the EU is a proud partner and supporter of many organizations that make Libya a better place for its citizens every day.
– Foto: Agenzia Fotogramma –
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta has registered the highest increase in greenhouse gas emissions in all of the EU. According to a study by Eurostat, Malta registered an increase of 7.7% in greenhouse gas emissions in 2023 compared to the second and the same quarter in 2022.
The study looked into these emissions in the second quarter of 2023 and compared them to the same quarter in 2022 – it also considered quarterly socio-economic data – like gross domestic product (GDP) and employment – in conjunction with greenhouse gas emissions.
The EU registered a decrease of 5.3% compared to 2022 while its GDP remained more-or-less stable with a minor variation of a 0.05% increase in 2023.
Alongside greenhouse gases, Malta also registered an increase of 3.9% in GDP in comparison with the same quarter of last year.
Following Maltàs increase in emissions are Latvia at 4.5%, Ireland at 3.6%, Lithuania at 3.0, Cyprus at 1.7%, and Croatia at 1.0%. Meanwhile, Croatia, Cyprus, and Lithuania also registered increases in their GDP at 2.6%, 2.2%, and 0.7% respectively.
The largest reductions in greenhouse gases were reported in Bulgaria at -23.7%, Estonia at -23.1%, and the Netherlands at -10.3%.
Out of the 21 EU members that decreased their emissions, 10 recorded a decline in their GDP – Estonia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Sweden, Austria, Czechia, Poland, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands.
Italy maintained its GDP at the same level as the second quarter of 2022 and decreased its greenhouse gases emissions. Ten EU countries; Denmark, France, Belgium, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain, Romania, and Greece managed to decrease emissions while growing their GDP.
– Foto: Agenzia Fotogramma –
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta is expected to register an economic growth of 4% in 2024 and 4.2% in 2025 according to a forecast by the European Commission. This will put Malta as the EU country with the largest growth and the lowest unemployment during this period. In its autumn forecast for Malta, the European Commission remarked that private consumption slowed down slightly due to higher inflation and a decrease in investment. Inflation is still projected to reach 5.7% in 2023 and then moderate to 3.3% in 2024 and 3.1% in 2025. EC economists said that energy prices in Malta are set to remain unchanged until 2025 due to government measures.
The general government deficit is expected to decrease gradually from 5.7% of the Gross Domestic Product in 2022 to stand at 4.1% in 2025. Meanwhile, the public debt is forecast to reach 57% of GDP in 2025.
– Photo credit: Tourist Office of Malta –
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS) – The various authorities in the Mediterranean were alerted by the international NGO Alarm Phone about 11 boats full of migrants, mostly in the area between Tunisia and Lampedusa.
Alarm Phone added that eight of the boats are still in serious conditions. The NGO added that even though during the night, the authorities were alerted about the difficult situation the migrants are facing, so far there was no response for an urgent rescue.
– foto: Agenzia Fotogramma –
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta is taking an active diplomatic role in the context of the Gaza war by coordinating resolutions within the ambit of the United Nations Security Council. This was stated by the Maltese Foreign Minister Ian Borg in Parliament, adding Malta is using its seat at the UN Security Council to try to come to a decision on a resolution.
Minister Borg declared “Malta cannot turn a blind eye when international treaties are blatantly being breached.” He said Malta expects everyone to respect the territorial sovereignty. He added that while the Maltese government condemned the Hamas aggression against Israel, it warned that the Israeli response should be in line with international law.
More than 11,000 people were killed in Gaza after a surprise attack in Israel on October 7 when Hamas terrorists killed 1,400 people.
Malta favours a two-state solution in conformity with the UN Security Council, with Jerusalem being the capital of two nations who can live side by side.
– foto: Agenzia Fotogramma –
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MPA) – During the third quarter of this year over 248,000 residents of Malta travelled abroad for holidays; an increase of 28.35% over the same period last year and the most popular destination remained Italy.
According to the National Statistics Office, close to 39% of all travelled to Italian cities. It also emerges that travel by the Maltese to European Union countries increased by 26.5%, while travel to countries beyond the continent increased by 35.1%.
Between January and September, the Maltese spent close to 539 million euros during their holidays abroad. 50.1% more than that registered during the same period in the previous year.
During the summer months of July and September, the total spending by the Maltese during their holidays abroad increased by 37.1%. This means 241.4 million euros, an average of 973 euros per person.
– foto: Agenzia Fotogramma –
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Ggantija temples, a Unesco World Heritage site in Gozo almost one thousand years older than Egypt’s oldest pyramid is attracting public outcry and scrutiny following a decision by the Planning Authority to grant the approval for a controversial 22-apartment block and 20 basement garages. The approved development will be situated less than 200 meters from the Ggantija Temples. This decision has drawn attention and criticism, especially considering the sitès proximity to the ancient temples, which hold significant cultural and historical value. The controversy has also generated hundreds of objections from concerned individuals, citing potential repercussions on the Ggantija Temples’ World Heritage status.
Despite Unescòs request for a heritage impact assessment, the decision by the Maltese planning authority has sparked criticism and concerns about the potential impact on the historic site. The Planning Board stated that the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage did not request the Planning Authority to mandate the assessment. They cited statements from the SCH and the Unesco World Heritage Sites Technical Committee, indicating no objection to the proposed building’s volume and massing. The Unesco World Heritage Centre had underlined the need for a Heritage Impact Assessment in line with operational guidelines. The Planning Commission had initially suspended a decision on the application, awaiting the assessment. Although NGOs argued that the site falls within the buffer zone of the temples, the Planning Authority said that it lies in an area of archaeological importance but outside the formal buffer zone.
– Photo credit: Heritage Malta –