Malta Newspapers Review – Sunday 13th May 2018

Reading Time: 6 minutes



The General Council of the Nationalist Party and other aspects related to the PN are predominant on today’s front pages. Email leaks referring to the Panama Papers and Daphne project are dealt with prominently in the Sunday Times. It-Torċa deals with a situation where people diagnosed with terminal illnesses are being forced to resign.  Investigations into the Mellieha ByPass service road, IVF legislation, the use of Maltese and education also find themselves on today’s front pages.

The Sunday Newspapers’ review by Jesmond Saliba follows.

The Sunday Times leading story focuses on an investigation by the Ombudsman on the controversial decision to narrow part of the Mellieha Bypass to make way for a new road servicing a massive private development. In a second story entitled <<Little information provided to Mizzi and Schembri auditors’ we read that a New Zeland firm tasked with auditing Konrad Mizzi’s and Keith Schembri’s offshore structures was provided with “little information” to work with”. The story refers to leaked emails, obtained by German newspaper Sudeutsche Zeitung, which show the auditors relied on financial statements sent to them by Mizzi and Schembri as well as assurances from the New Zealand trustees that, “to the best of their knowledge and belief”, no money was ever deposited into their Panama companies.

Another story on The Sunday Times, expresses <<Teachers fear photocopying ‘nightmare’ as ancient OPM rule is revived>>. The story by Jacob Borg, states that a move to centralise all State schools’ photocopying at the government printinc press has teachers fearing a bureacratic nightmare. The story links the order of enforcing a 1995 rule of the Office of the Prime Minister, the fact that the government printing press falls under the Prime Minister’s direct control and the revelation that OPM chief of Staff netted €287,000 through his company from the supply of paper and machinery to the government printing press. A lead-on story on the Front Page of the Sunday times refers to Valletta Mayor shunning V18. In the story we read that Valletta mayor has disassociated himself from the V18 Foundation has decided not to attend any of its meetings. In a hard-hitting letter addressed to V18 chairman, Jason Micallef, Prof. Dingli made his discomfort clear with the way Mr Micallef managed the Foundation. The story adds that in his letter, the Valletta Mayor has declared that Jason Micallef is showing no respect towards Valletta.

The main story on It-Torċa is entitled <<B’kanċer sfurzati jirriżenjaw>>. The story refers about the trauma a family went through after one of its members was diagnosed with cancer and this individual was pushed to resign.

It-Torċa dedicates two of its frontpage stories to issues related to motherhood. A photo captioned <<Għal omm li batied l-infertilita…kuljum hu Jum l-Omm>> speaks about the difficulties that mother who went through the issues of infertiliy go through, and how for them, every day is a celebration to motherhood. In the second story <<L-IVF hu morlament inaċċettabbli…min għamlu jrid jindem>> we read about the message in a video issued by the <<L-appostolat ta’ San Pawl f’Malta>> which says that IVF is morally unacceptable.

IVF  is also featured on the front page of ILLUM. In a report entitled <<IVF: Għadna 30 sena lura>> the report highlights a statement by gynaecologist Mark Sant, who argues that Malta is 30 years backwords where it comes to IVF legislation. He presents his arguments amongst which his position that if an egg has been fertilised, it doesn’t mean that it can become a baby.

MaltaToday’s frontpage reveals that Government intends giving owners of rent-controlled properties the right to revise rents upwards to a maximum of 2% of the freehold value of the dwelling as court actions mount against the unconstitutionality of the 1979 Housing Decontrol Orders. Another story highlights an interesting survey carried by Malta Today about Maltese and its use. The story <<Maltese IS the spoken language of choice>> argues about how Maltese is overwhelmingly the language of choice at home and between friends but when reading books and posting on Facebook, English prevails. The data stems out from a survey about bilangualism.

The Malta Independent leading story, entitled <<Building Regulation Office has no staff on weekends to tackle report of construction illegalities>> reports that the mentioned office, is in its fourth week without staff at weekends, on public holidays or even after office hours to respond to calls from the public regarding irregularities. Several sources close to the situation also revealed tha tthe shortfall in staff sems from a lack of funding.

The news paper’s other main story refers to the Nationalist Party. In its story, the Malta Independent reports <<Delia to spell out his vision for the country at today’s PN General Council>>, referring to the speech Dr Delia is expected to give today, which according to sources within the party, the vision should be based on five main pillars with a direct emphasis on what really matters to people. It also adds, that Delia is expected to seek to build bridges, internally, with his speech today.

The general council of the Nationalist Party and the situation within the party is also the theme of a story on the front page of ILLUM. The story entitled <<Arrigo jħeġġeġ lil partitarji, iwissi dwar telfa akbar>> refers to a speech done by the Deputy Leader of the Party Robert Arrigo where he invited the party supporters to unite as there’s a risk of a bigger defeat which would mean that the Labour Party can make amendments in the constitution if the party in government secures a two thirds majority. Arrigo is also the subject of a story on the front page of the Labour Party’s newspaper Kullħadd. In the story entitled <<Irridu lil Arrigo barra>> we read that there’s a movement within the party to remove Arrigo from Deputy leader of the party. From its end, the Nationalist Party’s newspaper Il-Mument focuses on an interview with the Secretary General of the Party, Clyde Puli. Entitled <<Ma aħniex naħgmlu tiġdid kożmetiku iżda bidliet radikali>> we read that the Party is carrying intensive work to have a vision and policy for a country built around the needs of society and the country. Arrigo’s speech also is reported with prominence on the front page of the paper in a report <<Se nibqgħu naħdmu biex inkunu viċin in-nies>>.  Il-Kulħadd carries another story on the PN. In this report we read that the Naitonalist Party Leader and the Secretary General have talked to the MPs within the Nationalist Party, so that they inform the adminsitration of the party, whenever they will be discussing something controversial. Reference is done to Jason Azzopardi’s stance, who recently revealed sensitive information in Parliament about the tipping off of one of the accused with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, without informing the Party’s adminsitration.

 In other stories we see  Il-Mument refering to the situation at Gozo Channel. The story entitled <<Tbatijiet żejda għall-ħaddiema u l-pażjenti>> focuses on the recent spate of issues related to the Gozo Channel services which are causing problems for workers and patients who need the ferry service to come to Malta. Il-Kulħadd refers to the utility bills and argues that Maltese are enjoying reductions of more than 25%. Another story on Il-Kulħadd is about education. The story states that the students of Kinder 1, Year 3 and Year 7 will have new curricula. It-Torċa refers to the fact the newspaper won an award in the IGM Journalism Awards. The back page carries three stories.

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