Newspaper Review

Good morning,

Today’s Newspapers focuses on the revelations made in Parliament by the Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi on who alerted the three suspects of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder about the imminent raid which saw their arrest on December 4th, the announcement that Government is seeking to attract foreign IVF specialists through tax incentives, the implication that former PN leader’s sister’s ex husband is linked to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder and the struggle that families are going through to make ends meet.

The full analysis, prepared by Jesmond Saliba follows.

The Malta Independent’s main story is about the proposed changes for the IVF legislation. Entitled <<Government seeks to attract foreign IVF specialists through tax incentives>> focuses on the announcement made yesterday in Parliament that ‘Embryologists’ have been added to the list of Highly Qualified Persons, a cheme which attracts specialised professionals who are not domicilied in Malta by offering tax cuts as of 27th April 2018. The reports says that the timing of such a move may raise eyebrows in view of the fact that the Opposition is staunchly against certain aspects of the amendments, such as embryo freezing and the prospect of children being born by third parties without knowing their genetic parents. The story is also presented as one of the lead-to stories on front page of The Times.  Another story on today Independent focuses road repairs. The report <<160 roads that have never been fixed will be main prioirity of Road Agency>> quotes Minister Ian Borg who announced that the prioirtisation of the works will be based on many factors. Borg was commenting after a press conference in which the Government announced 6,500 people are to be refunded for their extra VAT the government had charged on car registration tax between 2004 and 2008. The third story is a photo story which shows a young baker churning out trays of pastizzi at a Maltese bake shop in Ontario. The caption accompanying this photo is <<Food and diaspora.>> The back page stories are foreign related. The first is a photo caption story about the suicide bombing carried in Afghanistan which killed 25 people, including nine Afghan journalists and wounded 45. The caption is entitled <<Caught in the blast>>. The second story is about Syria and is entitled <<Syria monitor: Missile attack kills 26, mostly Iranians>>

The editorial of the newspaper carries the title <<The greening of Comino>>. The editor refers to the speech delivered in parliament by Minister Herrera about action undertaken at Comino to restore and reinvigorate its environment.

L-Orizzont’s main story quotes Matthew Caruana Galzia and implies that Kris Bajada, the ex husband of PN former leader Simon Busuttil’s sister was involved in the fatal bombing which killed journalist Daphne Caruan Galizia. The report goes on saying that Bajada worjed so that Adrian Delia becomes the new PN Leader. The second story of L-Orizzont reports two new initiatives taken by the GWU for Workers Day. <<Il-GWU tħabbar żewġ inizjattivi għal Jum il-Ħaddiem>> is the main title of a report which also refers to the GWU’s stance of expressing its support for the changes in the IVF legislation. The third report is the message of the GWU’s president Victor Carachi for Workers’ Day. The main theme of the speech is portrayed in the byline of the story which states <<Impenn biex ikollna aktar impjiegi li jkunu ta’ kwalita’>>. The back page carries two internaitonal stories. One is a photo story showing a Roman amphitheatre in Syria flooded by rain. The second report entitled <<L-INTERPOL teħles vittmi ta’ traffikar uman>> reports an operation taken by the INTERPOL which saw the release of 350 victims of human traffickin in the Carribean and Latin America.

The editorial of L-Orizzont is about the workers. <<Il-Ħaddiem is-Sinsla ta’ l-Ekonomija>> refers to the importance of workers in our economy.

In-Nazzjon’s main story is about Worker’s Day. <<Ħaddiema jgħixu fil-faqar, fl-inċertezzi u fl-inġustizzja>> argues that while Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his peers will be celebrating Worker’s Day in Valletta, thousands of Maltese families are struggling to make ends meet. The back page of In-Nazzjon carries an opinion piece by MEP Roberta Metsola entitled <<Għalina, għal uliedna, għal pajjiżna>>, the slogan used by the Nationalist Party and the Yes for Your Europe movement in 2003. Today marks the 14th anniversary since Malta joined the European Union.

The editorial of In-Nazzjon entitled <<Li tiżra taħsad?>> focuses on the failure by Government to deliver the promised meritocracy which is manifesting itself in the failure of V18 chairman Jason Micallef to raise up to the occasion and the criticism he’s attracting from various local and international quarters, including calls for his resignation.

The Times front page carries three stories. The first story entitled <<”Sergeant alerted Daphne suspects of Marsa raid’>> focuses on the revelations done by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi that the three suspects charged with the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had been alerted of the December 4 raid on a Marsa warehouse, during which they had been arrested. Dr Azzopardi said PS 88 Aldo Cassar, formerly stationed within the police corps’ Criminal Investigation Unit, had a few weeks ago been found to have alerted those presently accused of the murder of the journalist. Furthermore, he alleged that the Police Commissioner had failed to take action after becoming aware of the “scandalous breach”, and instead, offered Mr Cassar the choice of a transfer to a district police station or to the Rapid Intervention Unit. Calling upon the Police Commissioner to resign, Dr Azzopardi accused the government of colluding with criminals and of using the intelligence services to protect them. In the second story on The Times, journalist Ivan Camilleri, reports that the GWU is set to make tens of thousands of euros in extra profits from a government-funded scheme, as more than 200 long-term unemployed have joined the 625 already on the Community Workers Scheme (CWS), which the union adminsiters. The third story is a photo story, about the suicide bombing in Kabul . The striking and significant caption is entitled <<Killing the news>>, referring to the fact that the target of this bombing where journalists.

<<Disconcerting concerns>> is the title of the editorial of The Times. It focuses on the letter that Europol’s outgoing executive director wrote to Portuguese Socialist MEP Ana Gomes on the Daphne Caruana Galizia investigation. The editorial refers to the fact that Europol is bound by prevailing regulations “to rely on the information provided by the designated national competent authorities and to report developments in the case, including any matters arising of concern, solely to those authorities”. It adds that this means Europol cannot act independently. It concludes that “when doubts and suspicious abound, as in the case of the Bidnija murder, it is a very disconcerting concern.”