Slovenia in favor of Moroccòs plan on the Western Sahara issue

ABAT (MOROCCO) (ITALPRESS) – Slovenia welcomed the Moroccan Autonomy Plan as “a good basis for reaching a definitive and consensual solution” to the regional dispute around Western Sahara, under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary General and of his personal envoy. This position – as reported by the Map Express website – was expressed in the joint press release published following the talks, which took place in Rabat between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, and the Deputy Prime Minister Slovenian Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Tanja Fajon. Slovenia reiterated its country’s continued support for the process carried out under the auspices of the UN and welcomed, in this regard, Moroccòs serious and credible efforts to reach a mutually effective, realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution. acceptable and based on compromise on the issue of Western Sahara, is underlined in the joint press release. The two ministers, adds the same source, expressed their common position regarding the exclusive role of the United Nations in the political process, reiterating their support for the resolutions of the UN Security Council, including resolution 2703 of 30 October 2023. They reiterated their countries’ support for the efforts of the Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General to advance the political process on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, as well as their support for Minurso. This constructive position by Slovenia, the 16th European Union country to support Moroccòs Autonomy Plan, is part of an international dynamic that has seen more than one hundred United Nations member countries provide their support for this initiative.
– Photo credit: Map –

Source: medNews

Malta among EU countries with the highest rate of female prisoners

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – According to the annual report published by the Council of Europe, Malta is amongst other European countries with the highest rates of female prisoners in the continent, with just under one in ten prisoners being a woman. That is almost twice as many as the European average of five, but behind other small European countries like Andorra, Iceland and Cyprus. The report finds that just over a million people are currently held in Europès prisons. Maltàs incarceration rate is in line with most other European countries, with 107 inmates for every 100,000 residents, for a total of some 581 prisoners. Maltese inmates have an average age of 38. Half of Maltàs inmates are foreign nationals, according to the report, almost twice as much as the European average of 27%. The vast majority of foreign inmates, just over 80%, are non-EU nationals.
The report sheds light on the issue of court delays in Malta. Over a third of all inmates in Malta, 39%, are still awaiting a final sentence and are incarcerated on remand. Inmates serve an average of almost 11 months in Malta, again in line with the European average. Just like most other European countries, drug charges are the single most common reason why people in Malta may find themselves behind bars, according to the study. A quarter of all inmates in Malta have been incarcerated because of drug-related offences, with a further 16% for homicide or attempted homicide. Theft is far less common, with just 5% of all prisoners responding to theft charges. The report also finds that Maltàs prisons are generally well-staffed, with a staff member for every 1.2 inmates.

– Photo: Agenzia Fotogramma –

Source: medNews

Ue. EP elections sent shockwaves, Metsola won most votes

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The European parliamentary elections sent shockwaves into the Labour Party which was left reeling from various scandals, not least the fraudulent privatization agreement of three state hospitals which has led to the arraignment of former PM Joseph Muscat, three former Ministers and the former Chief-of-Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister. The gap between Maltàs two main parties was reduced to three per cent, completely defying the pre-election polls. In 2019, Labour won the European elections by a whopping majority of 42,600 votes over the PN and in the 2022 general election obtained a 39,400 majority. While the Labour Party secured the popular vote, it lost around 75% of its 2019 majority and conceded a European Parliament seat. The Nationalist Party narrowed the gap by an impressive number. The Labour Party has with a majority slashed to 8,454 votes and one less seat. Nationalist MEP and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola won the highest number of votes ever by an MEP candidate. She has polled a record-breaking 81,130 votes. EP President Roberta Metsola, David Casa and Peter Agius were elected for the Nationalist Party while Alex Agius Saliba, Daniel Attard and Thomas Bajada will represent the Labour Party as MEPs.
Labour obtained 117,805 votes while the Nationalists obtained 109,351. 269,551 people cast their vote in the European Parliament election on Saturday, with turnout for the entire election week reaching 72.82% of registered voters, according to the Electoral Commission.

– Photo: Agenzia Fotogramma –

Source: medNews

Malta, Labour’s majority slashed in EP vote, PN registers strong gains

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Labour Party received the highest number of first-count votes in the European Parliament election, but its celebrations were subdued as the Nationalist Party registered strong gains among the electorate.
The Nationalist Party claimed that the gap between the two parties has been slashed to around 13,500 votes from nearly 43,000 in 2019, insisting that it has obtained its best-ever result in EP elections since Malta joined the EU in 2004. This also means that the Labour Party has lost its fourth, out of six seats, at the European Parliament, at the gain of the Nationalist Party. Labour leader Robert Abela said it was a “solid” victory, but voters had sent the party an “important message”. Nationalist leader Bernard Grech said it was his party’s “best” showing in the European Parliament elections. Grech who was speaking on the party’s TV station, said that he is “satisfied” with the PN’s best-ever result in European elections and showed that the people increasingly distrust Labour’s politics and embracing the PN. “The PN is moving forward, with caution and calm, because people are understating that only the PN can offer solid leadership,” he said. Political observers said that the sharp decrease in the gap between the two largest parties would send worrying signs to the party in government, not least since it will continue to face the fallout of various scandals, not least the state hospitals concession which has led to the arraignment of its former leader, prime minister Robert Abela’s predecessor Joseph Muscat. For the Nationalist Party, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola will return to the EP with a huge number of votes, with sources saying she is on course to win two quotas.
Voter turnout in the 2024 European Parliament elections has been 72.82% nationwide. Turnout for local council elections was significantly lower, at 59.47%.(ITALPRESS).

Foto: Net News

Source: medNews

Marocco, agreement for the set up of the first gigafactory in the region

RABAT (MOROCCO) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Chinese-European Gotion High-Tech group yesterday signed the strategic investment agreement that will allow the set up in Marocco of the first gigafactory in the Middle East and Africa region, with the creation of 17,000 direct jobs with an expected investment of 1.2 billion dollars. According to an official statement, this is an important strategic investment, which concerns the creation of a complete industrial ecosystem, which will be operational in 2026, for the production of electric batteries in Kenitra.
The agreement was signed at the Prime Minsiter’s office of Marocco.
According to the official statement, this is an investment that will consolidate the Kingdom’s position as a regional leader in the automotive industry and energy transition.
It was stated: “For this first gigafactory, the Moroccan State has decided to entrust the Chinese-European group Gotion High-Tech, world leader in the electric battery sector, to develop an integrated project for the production of batteries for electric vehicles with a capacity of 20 GWh”.

– photo MAP –

Source: medNews

Migration, Meloni “Operational centers in Albania from August”

ROME (ITALPRESS) – “A complex of two centers for migrants in Albania will be operational from 1 August 2024”. The Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, confirmed this latest announcement in a press conference with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama after the visit to the Shengjin migrant center.

“There are those who have raised objections about the timing and operation of the centres, on which there would be a delay: it’s a bit curious, because first they accuse us of wanting to create Guantanamo and then they complain about the construction times of Guantanamo…”, she underlined.

“Seven months after the signing of the agreement with Albania we are here to announce the completion of the first structure, that of Shengjin, which will perform the typical functions of initial reception centres, i.e. the flashpoints which clearly also exist in Italy and which are dedicated to the migrants who are rescued and disembarked”, explained Meloni.

“Here, health screening, identification, photo-signalling and the formalization of the application for international protection will be carried out,” she continued, adding, “Only migrants rescued in international waters by Italian ships will be able to disembark at the port of Shengjin, while vulnerable people, like minors, women, elderly and fragile people, will not be brought to Albania”.

“We are not spending additional resources, we are making an investment: making a quick calculation, with the current capacity of these centers at full capacity, considering the migrants who are not welcomed in Italy, we will save 136 million”, she said.

The Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama remarked: “I cannot fail to take this opportunity to express sadness over the many half-truths that have been told by the Italian media, including the public service, about Albania, with the very clear intention of throwing mud on this country, to attack the cooperation agreement between the two governments in the fight against illegal immigration.”

“The Special Prosecutor’s Office against organized crime has reassured us that the criminal heart does not exist neither in this area nor in other areas of Albania where criminal groups certainly operate but, again according to the Special Prosecutor’s Office which is part of the Eurojust network, there are no conditions to talk about an Albanian mafia, a concept widely used lately to throw mud at Albania”, he underlined.

“I have received many messages of solidarity from friends in Italy and around the world following the mud unleashed towards Albania and our government, which will have all the sins but has never had a single day of peace in the fight against crime and corruption, nor did it turn the other way”.

Rama recalled that “Italy has been useful to Albania many times” and said he was “proud” that Albania can be “useful to Italy: let’s take up this opportunity and do it with our hearts and with the conviction that the sea between Italy and Albania is not a space that divides us, but it is a space that unites us”.

– Photo screenshot from video Palazzo Chigi –


Source: medNews

High-level anti-terrorism meeting held in Morocco

FEZ (MOROCCO) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The 3rd edition of the “Marrakech Platform” was held in Fez, bringing together the heads of anti-terrorism and security agencies in Africa and some Western countries including Italy.
The platform, led by Morocco and the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism (ONUCT) based in Rabat, saw the participation of more than sixty delegations from UN member states, as well as regional and international organizations. In his opening speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco, Nasser Bourita, presented the most recent data, referring to the evolution of the terrorist threat in Africa. Bourita warned that 60% of the world’s terrorism victims are in sub-Saharan Africa and that West Africa alone suffered more than 1,800 terrorist attacks in the first six months of last year. While welcoming the efforts made by African states to combat the terrorist threat, the Minister called for more attention to be paid to the use of new technologies, in particular artificial intelligence and drones, to be explored further.
Finally, Bourita praised the strategic partnership developed between Morocco and the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism (ONUCT), based in Rabat, and its significant contribution to strengthening the national capacities of African states in the fight against terrorism, in particular by providing training to more than 1,500 expert lawyers and law enforcement officers from around thirty African countries.

– Photo Embassy of Morocco –


Source: medNews

Metsola accuses government of failing to protect national interest

VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The European Parliament President Roberta Metsola came out criticizing the Maltese government of not doing enough to protect Maltàs interests at European Union level on issues that disproportionately impact the country.

Roberta Metsola accused the Labour government that has allowed EU rules to be greenlighted without realising the harm they would inflict on Malta.

While speaking at the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Metsola declared, “in some cases the government even fails to present a position on an EU level”.

“EU treaties allow countries to put on an ‘emergency break’ when EU law disproportionately harms a member state, yet Malta is failing to do so,” she said, adding, “in the past five years, we have lost our self-confidence as Malta. We need to be able to say this (a particular policy) is going to harm us and we don’t have to be afraid to say it. We have particular characteristics and particular disadvantages from a logistical perspective.”

Metsola also called on the Maltese government to nominate an EU Commissioner as soon as possible. Former Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, who was Maltàs European Commission nominee, backed out of the role after he was charged before court over the fraudulent deal of the privatization of three state hospitals. Metsola said countries are already lobbying for portfolios in the commission, and Malta is out of that discussion for the moment. “Make no mistake, if we wait any more time, we will not have an effective enough portfolio,” she said. A country’s commissioner is not only responsible for a portfolio on an EU level but is also the member statès ambassador – alerting their government whenever their state is impacted by an EU law, Metsola said.

Malta will go to the polls on June 8 to elect six euro-parliamentarians.

– Photo Chamber of Commerce of Malta –


Source: medNews

Malta inaugurates a new visa application centre in Misrata

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Embassy of Malta in Libya inaugurated a new visa application centre in Misrata, in partnership with VFS Global. In his opening remarks, the Maltese Ambassador, Charles Saliba, highlighted the role played by the Embassy to facilitate commercial and social exchanges between Libya and Malta in order to build ever closer bilateral relations as well as shape a positive narrative regarding the situation in Libya. Ambassador Saliba recalled that just as Malta was the first European Union Member State to introduce direct flights between Malta and Libya, it was again taking the initiative as the first member of the Schengen area to open a visa application office in Misrata in order to facilitate the submission of visa applications for the communities in Misrata and neighboring cities. The Malta-based, MedSky Airlines started flights between Misrata and Malta in May 2022, and added flights between Malta and Tripoli on 2 February 2023. “Misrata is considered as a major hub for business activities, as well as a maritime hub with its port and Freezone area and air link with a newly built airport,” the Embassy said.

– Photo: Ambasciata Maltese a Tripoli –

Source: medNews

Italy criticized for assigning a distant port for a group of rescued migrants

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (MNA/ITALPRESS) – The migrant rescue charities Sea-Eye and Alarm Phone has rescued some 100 people at sea over the last days, after contacting rescue coordination centres of the boats in distress. However, the Italian authorities has ordered the boat Sea-Eye 4, which rescued 51 people on board a rubber boat in distress on 29 May following a 2am distress call in Malta’s SAR region, to take them to a port in Genoa in the north of the country, rather than assign a southern port. Dr Daniela Klein, on-board doctor on the Sea-Eye 4 for the NGO German Doctors, said most of the rescued people were very exhausted, hypothermic and suffering from seasickness. “Now their condition has improved significantly and all those rescued are at least physically stable and in relatively good condition,” she said. Head of mission Julie Schweickert said: “We expect to arrive there on Sunday – that’s almost four days spent sailing to a distant port. Although there are enough ports of safety in the south of Italy, able to receive people on the move and provide the right services to them, we have to leave the search and rescue zone and cannot respond to further emergencies”. The Italian authorities repeatedly assign harbours with long journey times to civilian sea rescue vessels. Meanwhile, the NGO Alarm Phone confirmed that it is in contact with a group of 65 migrants in distress in the Central Mediterranean. The migrants who fled from Libya, say they have been at sea for more than 24 hours. Alarm Phone said that all authorities are alerted, and urged immediate rescue without delay.(ITALPRESS).

Foto: Sea Eye 4

Source: medNews

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