Today’s newspapers in Malta, focus on the construction industry and the impact is leaving on various localities and the quality of life of people, the defence of Malta’s Financial Services Industry, the declaration of assets of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and IVF legislation proposed changes, where the President hopes that the ethical and moral issues are dealt with before she has to sign the law and where Arnold Cassola suggests a referendum.
Jesmond Saliba’s review for today follows.
The Malta Business Weekly leading story is entitled <<Minister Scicluna admits existence of ‘small rogue element’>>. The story refers to a letter sent by the Finance Minister Edward Scicluna to the Financial Times on April 23rd in which he defended Malta’s financial services sector from attacks and slurs. In his letter, Scicluna states he does not feel he has depicted the financial services industry accurately or fairly. The report quotes Minister Scicluna “There are lawbeakers and fraudsters everywhere and it would be wrong to single out any one jurisdiction. The issue is how one deals with them.” He is also quoted saying “I ask you and your readers to judge the Maltese financial sector by the dedication of thousands of professionals, and by the work we are doing to build it for the future, rather than the activities of a small rogue element”.
The second story <<Malta is the best place to relocate if you’re LGBTQ+>> quotes a report by Expert Market, which released an original a new study indicating the best European countries to move to if you’re young, LGBTQ+ and want to work abroad. The study confirms that Malta is best placed to relocate.
The editorial is entitled <<All because of an intrusive app>> refers to the latest dispute between the Air Malta pilots and the management of the naitonal airline. The editorial argues that perhaps “the real problem of the airline is the extraordinary power of the airlines workforce in its various sections”.
The Malta Independent’s main story is a review of the decleration of assets presented in parliament by the MPs. The story’s main news is reflected in its headline <<Muscat declares the identical bank deposits for fourth year running; Delia loans total up to €713,356>>. The second story is about the current issue surrounding the utility bills. Entitiled <<Energy Minister expecting ‘feedback over complaints, stresses no change in system’>> reports that Energy Minister Joe Mizzi took umbrage at implications that the government has not actually reduced electricty tariffs after the Labour Party was elected into power. He said that the various reports are being investigated by the relevant entities. The main story is that in view of the fact that there are more frequent bills, customers are ending paying more. The backpage carries an article by Arnold Cassola. In his article entitled <<IVF: let the people decide>> Cassola argues that the IVF issue should be decided by a referndum.
The editorial is entitled <<Rest easy, the police are on the case>> and refers to the “general feeling that they (the police) did not investigate the pair (Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri) was deemed to be untouchable and one wonders how either of them could possible be touched now when they were given absolution by the government and the Prime Minsiter after they were exposed on the Panama Papers the first time around”.
The Times main story is about the IVF legislation where Matthew Xuereb’ report <<President hopes for changes before signing new IVF law>> refers to President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca expressing her “hope(s) that the ethical and moral issues being raised on the new IVF law are addressed before it lands on her desk for her signature. Replying to questions from the Times of Malta on whether she was prepared to sign the law, the President said she was “hopeful” that the outstanding issues were seen to before it was presented to her. “Following her appeal for a non-polarised debate, the President held a very constructive meeting with Health Minister Chris Fearne and is hopeful that the new law, which will be presented for Her Excellency to sign, will take into account the ethical and moral considerations”. The second story is about << Developers propose points system to curb abuse>> refers to a proposal by the developers’ association to introduce a points system to curb abuse in the construction sector. The system would work in a similar manner to the points system used on the roads, The idea was applauded as a “breakthrough” by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at a meeting in Castille on Wednesday.
The backpage of The Times carries an opinion piece by Minister Carmelo Abela entitled <<Doing business with Ethopia>>.
The editorial of The Times is about V18 entitled <<V18 leadership under attack>> argues “whether V18 has enhanced Valletta’s reputation as the European Capital of Culture is in serious doubt because of the unacceptable behaviour of the Foundation’s chairman Jason Micallef. The crisis that has plagued the V18 celebrations for some months reached its climax when on St Patrick’s Day Mr Micallef posted a picture on social media of the big crowd celebrating in St Julian’s. He twisted the last words written by murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia by writing: “St Patrick’s Day in Malta. The situation is desperate. There are happy people everywhere you look.”
L-Orizzont’s main story is about latest Eurostat statistics about unemployment. The fact that Malta has the second lowest rate of unemployment inspires the headline <<Malta fit-Tieni Post bl-Inqas Qgħad fl-Ewopa>>. The news paper carries a second main story, which is based on a photo depicting heavy construction. The story, entitled <<Sindku jilmentaw mill-inkonvenjent tal-bini>> refers to the complaints from mayors of various localities about the heavy construction going on and the challenges that this is creating. The story also refers to MDA admitting that there are still ‘cowboys’ in the industry. Two secondary stories on Orizzont’s front page refer to the request for protection by a number of band clubs and the different opinions on the childcares and Skolasajf. The first of these stories, entitled <<Il-Każini tal-baned jitolbu protezzjoni>> focuses on the threat faced by a number of bandclubs in view of pending court decisions related to the rental and usage of the premises. The second story entitled << Opinjonijiet Differenti dwar ic-Childcares u Skola Sajf>> quotes Pauline Miceli, Child Commissioner, arguing that summer should be a break for children. The back page main story <<Il-Kardinall Pell x’aktarx jgħaddi żewġ ġurijiet seperati>> is about the trials that Cardinal Pell is expected to face in Australia following the accusations related to sexual abuse. A photo story showing workers in Mexico affixing labels on the bottles of Tequila.
The editorial of L-Orizzont is called <<Il-kliem trid tqisu sew>> is related to the controversy risen by the despregative and offensive language used towards MP Julia Farrugia Portelli by members of the Partit Demokratiku. The editorial argues about the constant despregative words used by PD’s Marlene Farrugia in the direction of anyone who happens to be in her line of fire or has opposing views.
In-Nazzjon’s main front page story <<Twissija serja tal-OECD lil Malta>> is about a letter sent by a director of the OECD to Finance Minsiter Edward Scicluna, where he draws the attention of the Minister in connection to the Maltese residence by investment scheme.
The back page carries two stories. One story <<Minn estrem għall-ieħor!>> refers to the way trees have been pruned in Luqa Road St. Lucia. The other story << Il-Gvern irid li d-diskussjoni dwar il-protezzjoni tal-embrijun tintemm it-Tlieta li ġej>> focuses about the fact that the Government wants that the IVF proposed legislation amendments are passed next Tuesday. The editorial of In-Nazzjon <<Fil-Jum Dinji tal-Liberta’ tal-Istampa, lenti fuq il-Gvern Malti>> writes about the attention that the International Media is putting on Malta and how it is affecting the country’s reputation.