Our Morning Briefing follows.
We start off highlighting comments given by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat that”Malta will stick to its position on migration” Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this yesterday on the eve of a meeting in Brussels aimed at reforming the EU’s asylum rules. The declaration came as Italy and Malta continued to quarrel over who should take responsibility for 239 rescued migrants on the Lifeline vessel.
At the same time, in an opinion piece/interview on a number of papers. Dr Muscat said that “There will be Member States which will scramble to change their position. Malta will not be one of them. “Our position has always been consistent, advocating a Euro- pean solution with both humanitarian and security facets. Removing one element from the other might be ideologically enticing but practically equates to inertia.” Multiple Newspapers
Albania and Montenegro could be asked to host processing centres for migrants rescued at sea, as part of an EU plan to bridge deep divisions in the bloc. The proposal is one of several that are doing the rounds in EU capitals as diplomats intensify efforts to find solutions ahead of the European Council summit at the end of the month. (MaltaToday)
The law firm Mossack Fonseca refused a request by Nexia BT to state outright that no declarations of trust for the Panama company Egrant had been issued in the name of the Prime Minister’s wife Michelle Muscat, new leaked e-mails show. (The Sunday Times)
A new political poll shows that the gap between Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and PN Leader Adrian Delia is 26.2%. The survey statistics showed that 62.8% have more confidence in the Labour Party Leader while 36.6% have more confidence in the Leader of the Opposition. The gap between the two parties is 17.8%. (It-Torċa)
In its first acknowledgement that there may be a state aid issue with the government support given to Crane Currency, the European Commission has confirmed it has asked the Maltese government to prove that aid given to the company to set up shop in Malta was lawfully granted. (The Malta Independent on Sunday).
A controversial business deal by the Augustinian Order of monks to rent out their St Julian’s grounds for the construction of a 12-storey hotel extension, could have been deliberately devised to evade over- sight from the Maltese archdiocese. A report by MaltaToday states that Eden Leisure threatens legal action after accusing Augustinian monks of breaching ‘right of first refusal’ .
Today, a Migration mini summit will be held in Brussels. The meeting is being attended by 16 EU Member States including Malta, Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Bulgaria, Germany and Austria, a few days before an EU summit which is expected to be dominated by migration. French President Emmanuel Macron came out Saturday in support of financial sanctions against EU countries which refuse to accept migrants. To read more click on image.
Emmerson Mnangagwa , the Zimbabwean president, has been evacuated from a campaign rally following an explosion.Mr Mnangagwa was uninjured in the blast and has been evacuated. To read more click on image.
Matteo Salvini’s responsibilities are technically limited to oversight of immigration, elections and domestic security. But the head of the League – or Lega Nord as it was known in Italy – has deftly used his political skills, including stoking fear of immigrants, to overshadow the country’s weak new prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, and outshine his 31-year-old coalition partner, Luigi Di Maio of the Five Star Movement, who has seemed to fumble through his first weeks in government. To read more click on image.
On Sunday Turkish citizens are called to the polls for general elections, initially scheduled for 3 November 2019 and then anticipated as announced on 18 April by a presidential note. Analysts and experts describe the election as the “most important” vote in the modern history of the country. To read more click on image.
At least 100,000 people took to the streets yesterday as part of the largest ever demonstration of support for a new referendum over Britain’s final Brexit deal. With more businesses poised to issue dire Brexit warnings this week and senior Tories already drawing up plans to soften Theresa May’s exit proposals, organisers of the march on Sunday said it showed Britain’s departure from the European Union was not a “done deal”. To read more click on image.
Deadlock over the Irish border means it is more likely that the UK will crash out of the European Union without a deal, the Taoiseach has warned. Leaders from across the bloc are stepping up preparations for a no-deal scenario as the deadline looms for find a solution, Leo Varadkar said. To read more click on image.
Donald Trump has declared that North Korea still poses an “extraordinary threat” to the United States, just days after saying that the country’s nuclear program no longer constituted a danger. In an executive order on Friday, the president extended for one year the so-called “national emergency” with respect to the nuclear-armed nation, re-authorising economic restrictions against it. To read more click on image.
Two hundred family members separated by the decades-long Korean War will take part in emotional reunions next month, South Korea said Friday — the latest breakthrough in North Korea’s diplomatic thaw. To read more click on image.
Swiss footballers Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri have risked inflaming political tensions in the Balkans after they used an Albanian nationalist symbol to celebrate their goals against Serbia in a 2-1 Group E victory in Kaliningrad. To read more click on image.
A mass rally was held in Madrid on Friday after a gang of men labeled the “Wolf Pack” by media were granted bail after being accused of gang rape. Women’s rights groups and equality campaigners were outraged when the five were acquitted of gang rape and convicted instead of sexual abuse, a lesser charge. To read more click on image.
Italian scholars claim they have unearthed the first known piece by Renaissance genius Leonardo Da Vinci. “The Archangel Gabriel,” a painted glazed tile, was signed and dated by an artist believed to be the 18-year-old Da Vinci. To read more click on image.
First drinks producers were warning about beer – now chicken could also be at risk due to dwindling carbon dioxide (CO2) stocks. The British Poultry Council (BPC) has called on the government and gas producers for help after beer, fizzy drinks and meat producers all warned of possible shortages caused by a lack of the gas. To read more click on image.
The man who founded McAfee technology in the late 1980s claimed the rivals had “spiked something” that he consumed and he has now made a threat that they “better be gone”. He spoke of the alleged death plot on Twitter along with two photos of him connected up to tubes and lying on a hospital bed. To read more click on image.
Germany saved its World Cup with one swing of Toni Kroos’s right foot on Saturday night, snatching a 2-1 victory over Sweden from the jaws of a draw that would have felt very much like a defeat. The goal, five minutes into added time, and only moments before the final whistle, righted Germany’s ship on a night that began with the team facing elimination. Belgium cruised through the stage, after winning against Tunisia 5 – 2. In the other match of the day Mexico won against South Korea 2 – 1. To read more click on image.