Tag Archives: Top News

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 –

(ITALPRESS).


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 –

(ITALPRESS).


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 –

(ITALPRESS).


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.
(ITALPRESS).

– 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

Malta, teen arrested over planting homemade bomb outside the Labour Party’s HQ

LA VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The police in Malta has arrested a 19-year-old man on suspicions of having placed a homemade bomb outside the Labour Party’s headquarters on Thursday. The explosive device was found inside a waste bin outside of the building.
The suspect was identified through CCTV footage, with sources saying that police had received reports of the man “acting oddly” in various other places on Thursday. He was wearing the same clothes as the person spotted on CCTV outside Labour Headquarters.
The Police confirmed that the suspect had been arrested from a site in Triq Guze Pace in Sta Venera. Explosive material was also found and the residents of the apartment block on top of it were evacuated from their homes as a precaution.
The material found in the garage is known as TATP, a volatile explosive that is also called ‘mother of Satan’. It is often used in terrorist attacks as it is potent and can be made out of household supplies.
Residents who spent the night out of their homes are expected to be able to return there later this morning.
An explosives team was called on Thursday after the building’s security officials spotted what was described as a “small device” outside the Labour Party’s headquarters.
Neighbours also reported hearing a “small explosion” coming from a dust bin very early on Thursday morning. No one was injured in the incident but the building was evacuated while a police investigation was conducted.
The building was given the all-clear for people to return by 1pm yesterday.
The situation in Malta at the moment is quite tense after criminal proceedings started this week against former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, former Ministers Konrad Mizzi, Chris Fearne and Edward Scicluna, and against former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri All of them, together with others, are facing serious criminal charges in relation to the fraudulent agreement for the privatization of three public hospitals.
Malta will vote for the next EP and local council elections on June, 8.
-photo Agenzia Fotogramma –
(ITALPRESS)


Source: medNews

San Donato Group and GKSD, new agreement in Iraq for Basra hospital

MILAN (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Following the visit of the San Donato Group and GKSD in Iraq, the Iraqi Minister of Health, Saleh Mahdi Al-Hasnaw, participated in two meetings with the leadership of GSD, at the Galeazzi-Sant’Ambrogio Hospital and the San Raffaele Hospital.
During the meeting, the Iraqi Minister announced the signing of the agreement for the public-private partnership management of the new large hospital in Basra, the Sayyab Teaching Hospital.
This second agreement follows the one concerning the management of the Najaf hospital, signed three months ago and is part of the strategy of the Government of Iraq to involve international private players who can collaborate with public institutions, bringing innovation and development of state-of-the-art health models.
The agreement was signed in Baghdad last week in the presence of the Iraqi Minister of Health, Saleh Mahdi Al-Hasnaw and the vice president of the San Donato Group, Kamel Ghribi, Francesco Galli, President of the GSD Strategy & Operations Committee and the Director General of Health of the Basra Region, Abbas Khalaf Al-Tamimi.
The University Teaching Centre, the Basra Hospital with 492 beds, 18 operating theatres, intensive care and emergency room and all the most important medical and surgical specialties.
Also thanks to its now extensive network of international hospitals, the San Donato Group will guarantee two years of management, with an option of another year that can be renewed, the continuous presence of 20 head departments, as well as specific visiting doctors and training programs for local doctors and nurses.
With this second contract, the San Donato Group expands and strengthens its business in Iraq, reaching nearly 1,000 beds and a turnover of over $160 million, presiding two of Iraq’s most important regions.
“This contract confirms our firm desire to invest in quality and innovation in this country’s health system, making the know-how of our doctors available to the entire population. It also testifies to our constant commitment to consolidating relations between Italy and Iraq,” commented Kamel Ghribi, President of GKSD and Vice President of the San Donato Group .
The Minister of Health of Iraq, Saleh Mahdi Al-Hasnaw, also wanted to emphasise how much these agreements have a positive impact on the relationship between his country and Italy.
-photo GSKD


Source: medNews

Maltàs GDP remains higher than any other EU country

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltàs gross domestic product registered an increase during the first three months of 2024 compared to the same period last year, but has dipped slightly since the end of 2023. According to the National Statistics Office, the GDP grew by 4.6% during the first quarter of this year, now standing at €4.9 billion in nominal terms, or roughly €8,800 for each person in Malta. GDP calculates the value of goods and services produced by Maltàs economy, effectively measuring how well a country’s economy is performing.
While this is 8.4% (or some €380 million) higher than at the same point last year, it represents a slight dip from the previous two quarters, when it had hit the €5 billion mark. The data indicates that Maltàs economic growth is largely driven by its services industry, with financial services, real estate and professional or scientific services all recording strong growth rates over the previous year. Likewise, exports of goods and services remain a driving force of Maltàs economy, although their contribution to Maltàs economic growth has dipped compared to previous quarters.
The latest data also shows that Maltàs GDP growth remains higher than any other EU country. EU data published earlier this month shows that GDP across both the EU and the Eurozone had grown marginally by 0.4% in the first quarter of 2024, compared to the first three months of 2023. Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela posted on X that Maltàs economy had grown at twelve times the rate of that across the rest of the European bloc.
(ITALPRESS).
– Photo credit: Malta Tourism Office –


Source: medNews

Malta, l’ex premier Muscat accusato di corruzione e riciclaggio

VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Former Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat; his ex-chief of Staff, Keith Schembri, and former minister Konrad Mizzi, were among 28 individuals and companies, according to a Police statement, who were arraigned before a criminal court on Tuesday morning. Muscat and all the others accused pleaded not guilty. The court after hearing the submissions issued seizing and freezing orders against all individuals and companies involved.

Muscat, Mizzi, and Schembri stand accused of money laundering, bribery, and trading in influence among other charges, including criminal association. If found guilty, they face a jail term of up to 18 years and fines of up to €2.5 million.

Loyalists to Joseph Muscat have mobilized to draw a large crowd showing solidarity with the former Prime Minister accused of bribery, corruption, money laundering and illicitly profiting from a fraudulent three public hospitals concession deal.

Shouts of ‘Viva l-Lejber’ and “Joseph, Joseph,” rang out in the streets of Valletta as Joseph Muscat was given a heròs welcome by Labour supporters just before being arraigned on unprecedented corruption charges – the first time a former Maltese leader will face such criminal accusations. Joseph Muscat was flanked by his wife, Michelle, and other loyalists.

Ignoring Prime Minister Robert Abelàs calls for Labour supporters to stay home, hundreds of Muscat loyalists, some waving Labour Party flags, gathered outside the courthouse as Police were on high alert over fears tensions could boil over.

The same heròs welcome was given to Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi, all charged with bribery, corruption, and money laundering.

Speaking to journalists, Mizzi called the magistratès inquiry as full of conjecture, bias, and lies, and insisting he never received any money. He described the experts’ report in the magisterial inquiry as “unprofessional” and “biased”.

– Foto Ipa Agency –

(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Piano Mattei, Urso signs Italy-Tunisia protocol on digital development

TUNISIA (TUNISIA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso, as part of his official visit to Tunis, today signed a joint statement with the Minister of Communication Technologies of Tunisia, Nizar Ben Neji, aimed at promoting initiatives of economic and industrial collaboration in the field of artificial intelligence and research in the digital transition, in full coherence with the principles of the Mattei Plan that sees Tunisia as a country of priority interest for development actions.
The Italy-Tunisia agreement is aimed at facilitating direct investments and joint initiatives between companies in both countries, exploring forms of cooperation in the context of the digital transition, through the exchange of information and knowledge in the field of research, frontier technologies, and the training of new skills.
“With a focus on the digital economy and connectivity between our countries, this agreement opens a new frontier in our future cooperation,” said Minister Urso.
The joint declaration puts at the center the project to establish a hub on Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Development, as foreseen by the ministerial G7 in Verona on the industry chaired by Urso himself, which will act as a catalyst for Artificial Intelligence ecosystems in the African continent, to foster important synergies to accompany digital development.
“Among the main policies of the Mattei Plan, we give great importance to the digital transition, on which we believe to consolidate the collaboration with Tunisia for the benefit of the entire Mediterranean area,” Urso said.
On the sector of the digital economy, Urso focused on the “purpose of the AI Hub, which aims to realize partnerships that allow access for African countries to the computing capacity necessary for artificial intelligence models, enhancing local infrastructures and supporting the development of skills”.
As part of the implementation of the joint statement, Urso and Ben Neji decided to form a “New Technology Development Working Group,” focused on the issues of submarine cable infrastructure for intercontinental data transmission and the development of artificial intelligence through the AI Hub.
“Tunisia has a role to play because of its geographical position, together with Italy, a key role in connectivity between Europe and Africa,” said Urso. He added: “Our country, with its own port, energy, and cable infrastructure connections with the countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, sees Tunisia as a fundamental partner for the development of the entire area”.

– photo Mimit –
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

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