Malta-24 – News Briefing – Thursday 16th July 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Updated 0859 – Newspaper Review

The Malta Business Weekly says that the EU Commission intends to put pressure on low-tax members, including Malta. The Commission says that advantageous corporate tax regimes create distortions in the Single Market.

L-Orizzont announces that the General Workers Union registered an industrial dispute with the Water Services Corporation over delays in the finalisation of a new collective agreement for employees.

The Times reports that Yorgen Fenech, a suspect in the Caruana Galizia murder case, had his challenge to a pardon request decision turned down by court. The Judge upheld a plea by the state advocate defending the Cabinet’s decision against the pardon.

In-Nazzjon says that the financial services watchdog raised concerns over three private entities declaring that they operate from a Malta address. The Authority is warning the public about dubious claims by foreign entities.

The Independent speaks to Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci who said that the antibodies in people who recovered from Covid-19 do not last long. She said, however, that the rate of re-infection remains low.

Business Today reports that Air Malta is currently operating three of its 10 aircraft to serve 22 destinations. The airline predicts that it will take two years to reach the same passenger levels recorded in 2019.

The Malta Business Weekly reports that flights between Malta and the UK have restarted with new safety measures. The British market accounted to about two-fifths of incoming tourists in Malta.

The Times speaks to the president of the PN Executive Council, Alex Perici Calascione, who said that the party statute does not impede a vote of confidence in Adrian Delia in the General Council. Delia had suggested that that route would not be possible.

L-Orizzont quotes PN Leader Adrian Delia who said that the vote of confidence in the party’s executive council on Tuesday was ‘a declaration’ but does not have any consequence according to the statute.

The Independent quotes Louis Galea, who was tasked by the PN Leader Adrian Delia to head an internal reform process. Galea said that the party needs a new leader after Delia lost a vote of confidence in the executive council.

Business Today says that the PN statute is open to interpretation about the next steps for leader Adrian Delia, while he insists that it does not provide for his removal following failure to win a vote of confidence in the Executive Council on Tuesday.

In-Nazzjon reports that the tax authorities have recovered over €14 million from investigations into 163 cases linked to the Panama Papers.  Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said that there are another 74 cases pending.

Updated 0711: One week with no new cases of Coronavirus – Chris Fearne

Health Minister Chris Fearne celebrated a full week without any new coronavirus cases with a post on social media this morning. He called for caution to ensure further success.

Morning Briefing

Reactions continued to flow after the second vote of confidence lost by PN Leader Adrian Delia during Tuesday’s late night Executive Committee session.  The strongest reaction came from former PN stalwart Louis Galea, who had been appointed by Delia himself to steer reforms in the Party, who called on the Opposition Leader to resign and stop abusing the loyalty of paid-up members.

While the PN leader set to minimise the meaning of this second vote, saying that it had no consequences, Alex Perici Calascione, President of the PN Executive Committee told The Times of Malta that another confidence vote could be sought before the party’s highest organ, the general council, thereby openly contracting Delia’s claim.

The paper reports that Perici Calascione explained that “if anyone wishes to take this further, Delia himself may opt to seek a confidence vote from General Council or else others. They need to present a motion, signed by at least 150 councillors, to the executive with a question to be put to the general council.”

Yorgen Fenech denied again

Alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech has seen his bid to challenge a Cabinet decision to refuse him a presidential pardon confirmed by the Civil Court. In a judgement delivered yesterday, Justice Francesco Depasquale, upheld the plea which had been raised by the State Advocate, assisting the Cabinet of Ministers and the Police Commissioner in the proceedings.

Fenech had sought a presidential pardon in exchange for information about former PM Joseph Muscat’s Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri.

On the road to Covid-free Malta?

Yesterday was an important day in the return to normality following the crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, with Malta re-opening its airport to further destinations, including the UK, the largest market for the country’s tourism market. Flights to and from China, the country where the virus is thought to have originated, have also resumed.

For the sixth day running, there were no new cases of Covid-19, and with one person recovering, only four patients currently carry the virus on our shores.

CDE News

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