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Sunday Program 19 March, 2017

Presented by Peter Paul Portelli, Pauline Zahra, Josephine Dimech, Mary Abela and George Sammut.





Knights of St. Peter & St. Paul: http://www.knightsofstpeterandstpaul.com/

Maltese Cultural Centre Albion. Melbourne. Click to open link: https://www.facebook.com/Maltese-Cultural-Centre-Albion-568850423317001/



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Confraternity of the Knights of St. Peter & St. Paul 20th Anniversary June 2017

Thursday, 23 March, 2017


Il-Gvern se jistudja l-possibilità ta' ferrovija f'Malta

Sistemi urbani ta’ ferroviji aktarx huma ’l pass li jmiss għas-sistema tat-trasport.

Waqt konferenza tal-Unjoni Ewropea, il-Ministru għat-Trasport Joe Mizzi qal li l-Gvern se jkun qed jistudja din is-sistema fid-dettal aktar ’il quddiem.

Spjega li b’differenza minn pajjiżi kbar, Malta m’għandhiex il-lussu jew l-ispazju biex tibni diversi bypasses biex tqassam it-traffiku.

Qal li fl-ewwel erba’ snin ta’ leġiżlattura, il-Gvern addotta sistema ġdida għat-trasport pubbliku, fosthom tibdil fis-sistema tal-karozzi tal-linja.

Fl-2015 il-Gvern kien qal li diġà beda jesplora li jdaħħal mill-ġdid is-servizz tal-ferrovija, bil-għan li jindirizza l-konġestjoni tat-traffiku. Madanakollu għadha ma ttieħdet l-ebda deċiżjoni.

Wednesday, 22 March, 2017



House to debate electoral boundaries

Parliament will tomorrow debate a motion tabled by the Prime Minister seeking to approve the Electoral Commission’s revised electoral boundaries as presented last November.

The revision was necessary as the 12 electoral districts in Malta have five per cent more or five per cent less voters than Gozo, the thirteenth district, which has 28,360 voters.

Although Malta has strict proportionality between votes cast in general elections and representation in parliament when two political parties are successful at a general election, the boundaries come into play in determining the result should a third party successfully elect a candidate. In that case, adjustments for proportionality (by adding more MPs) are not made, and MPs are elected only according to each district. Five MPs are elected from each district.

In its report, the Commission amended all districts in Malta apart from the ninth (Għargħur, Msida, Swatar, San Ġwann, Kappara, Swieqi, Madliena and ta’ Xbiex).

The commission noted that on March 31, 2016, the number of voters in the Maltese Islands was 339,616, of which 28,360 were in Gozo.

Three members of the commission – PN representatives Mario Callus, Ray Zammit and Joseph Zammit Maempel – did not sign the report and presented their own.

Minimum jail term clause in accidental traffic fatalities removed

Teacher's jail sentence led to change in law

The minimum of a five-year prison sentence in accidental traffic fatalities with more than one victim involved has been removed.

The House Committee for the Reconsideration of Bills approved of an amendment to the Traffic Regulation Ordinance (Amendment) Bill following public uproar sparked with the imprisonment of 34-year-old teacher Dorianne Camilleri.

Ms Camilleri was sentenced to five years in jail for killing an elderly man and seriously injuring his sister in a traffic accident on the Rabat Road in May 2011.

A petition signed by over 27,000 persons calling for the amendment was presented to Speaker Anġlu Farrugia by Labour MP Luciano Busuttil and Opposition MP Antoine Borg.

Presenting the amendment, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici said magistrates deciding such cases would be given elbow room to impose lower sentences and not a mandatory five-year term.

The maximum 10-year jail term remains the same.

Bronze bust of Grand Master de Vilhena returns to Fort Manoel gate

Open weekend to be held shortly

A replica bronze bust of Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena was inaugurated on the main gate of Fort Manoel earlier this week in honour of a grandmaster who left a significant heritage to Malta and its people.

The original bronze bust of Grandmaster de Vilhena was moved to the Manoel Theatre in the early 1960s.

MIDI CEO Luke Coppini said that returning the grandmaster to his rightful place came at an opportune time as the company was embarking on further restoration works.

The bronze bust was cast by Christopher Chetcuti, together with his father Joseph, of Chetcuti Foundry in Luqa.

With an investment of over €20 million the restoration works at Fort Manoel are considered as the largest restoration initiative ever carried out by a private company in Malta.

Grandmaster de Vilhena left a lasting and impressive legacy after the 1720s when he unleashed an ambitious building plan across Malta including the renovation of Mdina and its fortifications and plans to build beautiful baroque buildings in Valletta including the Manoel Theatre.

Charles Francois de Mondion (1681–1733), the French architect who, at the time, was retained by the Order of St John as its military engineer, supervised the construction of the fort.  Pietro Paolo Troisi (1686 – 1750), the noted Maltese artist who, during his lifetime, distinguished himself as an architect, designer, silversmith and bronze sculptor, sculpted the original bronze bust of Grandmaster Vilhena.

Plans are in the pipeline to display the original at MUZA, the new National Museum of Art and Heritage, due to open next year.

MIDI said the public will soon have the opportunity to visit the fort and see the extensive restoration undertaken during an open weekend.


Tuesday, 21 March, 2017


Nadur in pictures

By Mario Muscat

Two dead, one seriously injured in Nadur crash

Two elderly Britons died and a young man was seriously injured in a head-on crash between a car and a van in Nadur late last night.

The crash, at about 11pm, happened on Triq ir-Rabat, better known as Tax-Xħajma.

The foreigners, aged 73 and 68, who live in Xagħra, died in the wreckage of their Suzuki car.

The young man, a 20-year-old Gozitan from Qala, who was driving a Peugeot Partner, is in hospital. He suffered serious injuries.

A magisterial inquiry is under way.

Police arrest foreign man who attacked traffic warden in Naxxar

A traffic warden was attacked this morning while on duty in Triq il-Balal in Naxxar. It appears the warden was handing tickets in this street when he was suddenly approached by an individual.

 The person, who according to the police, is of foreign nationality, argued with the warden and assaulted him. 

The foreigner was arrested and taken in for questioning. The warden suffered slight injuries and was taken to the nearest health station for medical treatment.

Monday, 20 March, 2017



Zebbuġ ridge ODZ application: local council, residents and NGOs up in arms

A planning application for a block of apartments in an Outside Development Zone against the cliffs of Zebbuġ, Gozo, has raised the ire of environmental NGOs, the local council and residents, who say that the development will ruin a virgin area of natural beauty that at present is comprised of picturesque agricultural fields.

The application – to develop six apartments over three storeys, a pool and an additional floor for parking – is objected to unanimously by Zebbuġ Local Council. Environmental NGOs Din l-Art Helwa and Flimkien ghal Ambient Ahjar have also filed their objections to the proposed development.

Although part of the development lies within the Urban Conservation Area, the vast majority of the site lies in a hands-off ODZ area.

The application has drawn considerable objections from nearby residents, who fear that not only will Zebbuġ’s distinctive and unique cliffs and ridge be ruined forever, but they will be replaced by a glaring eyesore. The proposed apartments, they point out, are not terraced and as such will simply constitute a chunk of a building on what is today a highly scenic view. The picturesque ridge and cliffs in question can be seen from several areas of Gozo including Ta Pinu, Għasri, Għarb and San Lawrenz.

They also fear that the development, which is in the middle of nowhere and only accessed by a narrow footpath on the cliff edge, will also lead to the additional construction of an access road. 

The site is full of indigenous flora and fauna, including protected trees, very old rubble walls and a unique marble that was used to build Zebbuġ church.

In their representations to the Planning Authority, residents point out that there are few areas that have so far remained untouched, and that there could be no way of compensating for the destruction of the area in question.

They also point out that there is no application notification fixed on site at present, as required by law. One resident says that the notice had been attached to the site on 25 February and that after less than an hour it was removed, “most probably to keep the residents unaware of the application and to avoid possible objections”.

Another resident pointed out that policy dictates that any development, when located near a cliff, must be at least 15 feet from the edge and that the development being proposed lies just seven feet away.

The proposed developer is Jimmy Stellini and the project’s architect is Edwin Mintoff.

In its objection, Din l-art Ħelwa notes that the proposal is a ridge development and lies on the edge of the scheme, that the proposed development “would result in a loss of interesting geographic formations” and that the “proposed design offers no solution to mitigate the impact of the four-storey development.”

The NGO also notes that there is no indication as to how the proposed development can be accessed as it is not located on a public road and that “this case seems to highlight that the edge of scheme was erroneously indicated and should be shifted so as not to allow for such ridge developments to occur”.

Police silent on Edward Caruana investigation; Minister Bartolo not yet questioned

The police are refusing to divulge any details on their investigations into former Education Ministry official Edward Caruana and questions sent by this newspaper to the corps appear to have remained ignored.

A spokesperson for Education Minister Evarist Bartolo has, meanwhile, confirmed with this newspaper that “until now”, the minister has not been questioned by the police over the alleged bribes requested by Mr Caruana, who was an official within the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools.

The spokesperson says that, instead, the minister “has provided in writing all the information relative to the case to the authorities concerned and as he has publicly stated, he remains open to any assistance if requested”.

Meanwhile, sources with knowledge of the case speaking with this newspaper were not surprised that the police have remained mum on the investigations because, they say, the strategy is to simply do nothing and that Mr Caruana will not be arraigned at the end of the day.

The government, on its part, is said to be employing the strategy of simply letting the issue go, hoping that interest will die out and that the whole issue will just go away, as has been the strategy in so many other accusations of corruption.

The police are investigating claims of bribes, fraud and corruption in connection with FTS tenders and the inquiry has been extended to a development in Rabat that belongs to Mr Caruana.

The minister and the government have been under fire by the Opposition PN since corruption claims involving Mr Caruana, a former canvasser and person of trust of the minister, first came out.

The allegations first came to light when a Gozitan contractor claimed that Mr Caruana, then an official at the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools, had asked for a bribe. The allegations resurfaced again when FTS Chairman Philip Rizzo resigned, and claimed inaction by the minister on the allegations.

Mr Bartolo says he wanted to wait until he had more solid evidence against Mr Caruana to have a stronger case. But the Opposition has accused him of having procrastinated and that he attempted to cover up corruption that took place under his watch.

In his resignation letter, former FTS CEO Philip Rizzo accused Mr Bartolo of trying for months to dissuade him from reporting abuses of fraud and corruption involving his canvasser.

On his part, Mr Bartolo has insisted he acted immediately when he learned of the allegations. Later, he admitted that he knew of the allegations some few months earlier but that he had waited for “a smoking gun” before taking action.

When Mr Rizzo accused Mr Caruana of fraud and corruption, Mr Bartolo ordered Mr Caruana to leave the FTS, and he was reportedly posted at the Rural Affairs Department last September.

Minister Chris Cardona ‘sees nothing wrong’ with Mario de Marco advising db Group

Economy Minister Chris Cardona sees nothing wrong with “a seasoned lawyer like [PN Deputy Leader] Mario de Marco” to offer his legal services to businesses, so long as any interests are declared.

He was replying to questions by The Malta Independent on the ongoing db Group/PN saga.

Dr de Marco has been under fire by the PL, and also by certain elements within the PN, after it emerged that his legal firm was involved with the db Group – the business group belonging to Silvio Debono which has been awarded a concession over public land din Paceville on which intends to build a hotel, luxury apartments and shopping mall. Dr de Marco ended up in an uncomfortable situation after the PN attacked the land transfer deal, which it has asked the Auditor General to investigate. Dr de Marco has been asked by PN Leader Simon Busuttil not to work for the db Group on any project.

This complicated story is underpinned by two main issues: that while MPs remain part-time, issues of conflicts of interest, impartiality and acting in the interest of the country is called into question; the second exposes the way Malta’s system whereby political parties can only survive on donations means that the de facto rulers of Malta are big businessmen with deep pockets.

Full-time MPs?

This government had commissioned a study on full time MPs. In light of the professionals who sit on both sides of the House, architects, lawyers etc, this newsroom asked that while it is able to criticise the PN for its situation, the PL is in a precarious position because it could be next when the next conflict of interest story emerges.

Asked whether the next logical step is for the government to push for fulltime MPs, Dr Cardona said:

I think it’s very convenient for the PN to start and stir this argument. I believe that the present situation in which of course if you are a member of the executive your professional career has to be put on the backburner does make sense, because you cannot have a conflict of interest by a minister who has to take policy decisions or political direction.

“MPs however, I believe, have shown maturity in so far where their interests are concerned. And they have to declare it of course, as Dr de Marco did. I think there is nothing wrong with a seasoned lawyer like Dr Mario de Marco to give advice to one of the largest group of hospitality in Malta in order to represent them with the authorities.”

Big Business and Donations

On the issue of donations by big business, Dr Cardona said: “The PL has always maintained transparency and accountability. We were the first party to declare the donations given to the PL, we were the party in government to introduce the new law of party financing. After 25 years of doing nothing the PN has shown that as a party it does not really want to conform with the legislation in the coming weeks we will have the necessary statutory amendments, and as soon as we do that we will register, and the donations will be declared in accordance with the law on party financing, which creates some different bands of donations.”

The background

DB Group, whose chairman is Silvio Camilleri of the Seabank and San Antonio Hotel, asked the PN to return donations after the opposition chose to refer the contract between db Group and the Government over the transfer of former Institute of Tourism Studies land at St George’s Bay from the latter to the former to the Auditor General. The Opposition took umbrage with the valuation of the land, carried out by Delloitte, of €60 million. After the contract was signed (without parliamentary scrutiny) and made public, it was discovered that db Group would have to pay just €15 million (€5 million up front), while the remainder €45 million would be collected through the redemption of ground rent

Guido de Marco & Associates, a law firm where Deputy Leader de Marco forms part of, were paid to consult db Group on the deal. Criticism has been levelled against Dr de Marco for forming part of a party that opposed the project, but being paid to assist in the project. He maintains that once it became apparent that the deal was a political hot potato, he suspended himself from the brief.

No Portfolio Minister Konrad Mizzi, who was caught out with a secret company in Panama, said that Dr de Marco negotiated the contract “clause by clause” in comments to this newsroom, adding that he also was involved in negotiations of the price. Dr de Marco vehemently denies this.

In addition, Mr Camilleri of db Group is claiming to have given donations to the PN that far exceed the €25,000 limit allowed by the party financing law. The PN say that the €70,000 quoted by db Group as donations were in fact transactions of a commercial nature between the influential business man and the PN’s media entity MediaLink. He failed to divulge details of the commercial transactions.


Sunday, 19 March, 2017


Sunday Request Program

60 minutes of your favourite songs. Enjoy.


The best is yet to come, Muscat tells supporters

Families cannot have another five years of corruption - PN

Updated 7pm with PN reaction
The "success" of the last four years is nothing compared to what is to come, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told a packed crowd at a Labour Party political rally this afternoon.

In an exultant speech punctuated with applause from the crowd, Dr Muscat said the country had experienced a "silent revolution" under his administration, while branding the Opposition a precarious and disunited "house of cards".
"This country is unrecognisable from the one we inherited four years ago," Dr Muscat told supporters who gathered for the rally in Gżira.
"People have money in their pockets, businesses are investing again, workplaces that were drying up are chasing workers, and pensions that hadn't seen an increase in their pensions in years have now seen two increases in a row."
Highlighting the achievements the administration has showcased in its recent campaign marking four years in government, from economic growth and foreign investment to civil liberties, the Prime Minister said he was only halfway through the 15-year programme he had laid out when taking over as party leader in 2008, with the best yet to come.

" If they cannot keep a party together, they cannot be expected to run a country ".

“All of this was done in just four years. And when next year we go before the people, we will tell them what we've achieved. How we helped disabled people find work, how we helped the poor and the elderly. If you give us the chance, the next five years will build on this foundation and deliver the best times our country has ever seen.

Dr Muscat said that while many, before the last election, had harboured doubts about the PL's ability to deliver on its promises, success had now become so commonplace that people had all but forgotten.

"Our achievements seem like they've been around for a generation," he said, “but it’s only been four years. We've made a difference while people continued to live their lives. It's been a silent revolution that the silent majority is recognising.”

Turning his sights on the Opposition, Dr Muscat claimed that while his party remained strong and united in the face of adversity, the PN was rife with infighting, and like a house of cards, ready to collapse with the slightest gust of wind.

"If they cannot keep a party together, they cannot be expected to run a country," he said, appealing to PL supporters to welcome with open arms anyone who wished to align themselves with the Labour movement.

Dr Muscat called for supporters to help in reaching sectors of the population – particularly those in poverty – who had not benefited as much from the government’s efforts, and to ensure that the party did not lose heart at the “halfway stage”.

“This is a period of transformation for our party. We are changing the PL into the natural party of government for years to come, whoever the leader is,” he said.

Malta needs radical change - PN

The only guarantee Dr Muscat can give is that he will provide a more corrupt government if he were to be re-elected, the Nationalist Party said in reaction.

If Dr Muscat allowed his friends at Castille to open secret companies in Panama just days after the last election, another victory would give him a licence to start filling the companies with millions from commissions, the PN said.

The Opposition took exception to the fact that the Prime Minister managed to spend €11,000 while on vacation in six days in Dubai when half the population does not earn it in a year. 

Malta needs a radical change in the way it does politics to ensure everybody enjoys the same opportunities. It is only PN leader Simon Busuttil who can carry out this change, he said. 

Saturday, 16 March, 2017


Knights of St. Peter and St. Paul convention in Gozo

The Confraternity of the Knights of St. Peter & St. Paul is having it's own convention in Gozo starting on the 23 June.

The Chancellor of the Grand Chapter in Malta Chevalier Eddie Vella and the Grand Prior Sub Deacon Chevalier Dennis Mifsud will welcome knights from Melbourne, Germany, Portugal and other countries.

During the week long meeting, the knights will be shown places of interest in Malta and Gozo, icluding Valletta and Mdina.

While in Gozo, the knights will enjoy some celebrations, mainly the feast of St. John the Baptist in Xewkija and St. Peter & St. Paul in Nadur.

The Archpriest of the Collegiate church of St. Paul Shipwreck in Valletta the Rev. Can. Pen. Vincent  Borg, offered to say Mass to the knights while visiting Valletta. He also invited the knights to take part in the celebrations on the 29 June.

H.E. Bishop Emanuel Barbara OFM Cap. from the diocese of Malindi in Kenya is visiting Malta to meet with the Knights of St. Peter & St. Paul

and celebrate Mass in the Basilica of Nadur on Saturday 24 June.

Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli

Grand Master

Effort needed to save other vulnerable landmarks in Gozo – Wirt Ghawdex

Wirt Ghawdex said today that a lot has been said, and will be said in the near future, about Gozo’s loss of one of its main landmarks, the Azure Window. “Nature gave us this beautiful site and nature took it away. Talk of rebuilding it or of somehow replacing it is just non-productive discussion,” the NGO said.

It added that, “what this event should promote is a concerted effort to start looking after many other vulnerable landmarks on the island. Ones that need immediate attention include the ta’ Gordan Lighthouse, the Aqueducts, Calypso Cave and Ghar Gerduf (the only Christian catacombs in Gozo).”

Wirt Ghawdex continued by saying that it constantly lobbies for the protection and rehabilitation of these and other sites with local Government. “While the authorities are very receptive, many times it simply comes down to the lack of necessary funding provided by Central Government.”

The NGO concluded by saying that it appealed again to the authorities to be “pro-active about these efforts and not wait for the next `collapse’ and to give a priority to funding these important projects.”

Agreement signed for Night Shelter and Active Ageing Centre in Xaghra

The Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Active Ageing Justyne Caruana, has announced a new agreement for a Night Shelter and Active Ageing Centre in Xaghra, Gozo.

This Centre will accommodates older people from the same community and is seen as a project that will continue to strengthen services in the active ageing sector in Gozo.

The project was made possible through the collaboration with the Church, represented by the Rector of the Jesus of Nazareth Church, Rev. Fr Antony Refalo.

Parliamentary Secretary Justyne Caruana said that this type of service was needed in Gozitan communities. During her visit to the proposed site in Xaghra, the Parliamentary Secretary said that through this project and collaboration with the Church, the Secretariat can now offer more services to seniors in their own community.

Dr Caruana stressed the importance of elderly people being as active as possible within the community where they have always lived, and through similar projects, this concept can be operated effectively.

The night shelter will be able to accommodate a number of elderly people, offering a secure and protective environment for those who live alone and whom, at night, for various reasons, they feel insecure.

The Parliamentary Secretary said that “here they can sleep and feel rested in a wonderful environment and in the company of other elderly people using this service complemented by professional services of qualified people in elderly care.”

The Active Ageing Centre will include activities related to active ageing and will also offer therapeutic services.

Dr Caruana concluded by thanking those who participated in this project and added that the collaboration with the Gozo ecclesiastical entity is having the desired fruits in our communities, serving the elderly and persons with disability.

The Rector of Jesus of Nazareth Church, Fr Antony Refalo said that from the outset of this project they had found support from the Parliamentary Secretariat. Adding that the Xaghra community will now be strengthened through better accessibility in terms of the services offered.

He continued by thanking all those who showed interest and had supported this project from its inception, through both financial and voluntary assistance, he also praised the collaboration between the entities involved.

nfrastructural works commence at Gozo General Hospital

Infrastructural works have commenced on the Barts Medical School in Gozo following the issue of the Planning Authority’s permit.

The Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister, Konrad Mizzi, said today that this is a major investment for Gozo, with Barts establishing a University campus outside of the UK. The project forms an integral part of the new Gozo Hospital and St Luke’s medical campus.

Minister Mizzi noted that designs of this project were also reviewed by Partners Healthcare International and approved by the project’s construction committee. He emphasised that “the transition planning will ensure that construction works do not disrupt the ongoing provision of healthcare.”

He explained that currently, a process has been initiated with the Planning Authority with regards to the development of the Gozo General Hospital’s main buildings. Vitals Global Healthcare is now waiting for the authorities to publish the terms of reference for the additional environmental studies required.

He noted that through this Public Private Partnership between the Government and Vitals Global Healthcare citizens will benefit from a modern healthcare infrastructure.

Minister for Gozo, Anton Refalo, said that this is the “greatest investment in Gozo that occurred during this last century thanks to which, Gozo residents will benefit from the highest quality healthcare. This €220 million investment is expected to generate €10 million in the Maltese economy.”

Minister Refalo said that this will open a new dimension of medical tourism and thanks to this investment there will be an increase in bed capacity.

He reminded that Barts Medical School will attract 60 students per year up to a maximum of 300 on a five year period. Dr Refalo said that this investment will not only “upgrade the quality of medical services provided in Gozo but will also generate career opportunities.”

He stated that “healthcare in Gozo will remain free for all Maltese and Gozitan residents whilst emphasising that workers will retain their jobs.”

The Minister for Gozo concluded that “this administration worked on a holistic plan and believes in Gozo’s potential and reiterated that under this legislature, Gozo made great advancements.”

Photographs: MGOZ:/George Scerri

Mario de Marco insists his legal firm had no say on price of ITS land

Mario de Marco's legal firm provided legal services to companies owned by OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri until January 2014, the Nationalist Party deputy leader said this morning.

Dr de Marco was reacting to a story which was published in The Malta Independent print edition today, based on answers he gave in an interview for INDEPTH 40 hours earlier and which is being broadcast today.

Asked by The Malta Independent online editor Stephen Calleja whether his legal firm provides services to Keith Schembri and other officials, in the programme Dr de Marco said that he cannot speak about his firm's clients, adding however that he, in his personal capacity "never provided any such services to these people".

This morning, Dr de Marco sent the following statement to expand on what he said during the interview conducted on Wednesday afternoon.

"Further to  Wednesday's interview, wherein you asked me whether Guido de Marco & Associates Advocates has ever done or is currently doing any legal work for Mr Keith Schembri or any government officials, I have spoken to the lawyers at the firm and can confirm that:

1. Neither Keith Schembri nor any government officials are clients of Guido de Marco & Associates;

2. Prior to 2013, a lawyer within the firm was occasionally engaged by the CEO of some of the companies belonging to Mr Schembri to provide specific legal services to such companies, which legal services consisted essentially in the issue of legal letters for recovery of debts, registration of  trademarks and review of commercial agreements. No further work was carried out for such companies after 2013 other than the review by the same lawyer of two distributorship agreements, work on which had started in January 2013. The work was concluded by beginning 2014 and (they) are no longer clients of the lawyer.

3. As already confirmed during the interview I have never done any legal work for Keith Schembri or any of his companies. Moreover I have never provided any legal work for any government officials. I was moreover not in private practice between 2008 to 2013 and returned to private practice approximately in the second half of 2013."

During the interview, Dr de Marco said that the firm has a legal services contract with Malta Enterprise which has been running ever since the agency was known as the Malta External Trade Corporation (Metco). But he said that he has not stepped into the Malta Enterprise offices for at least 10 years.

Asked whether this was a conflict of interest, Dr de Marco said the work was with a government agency, not the government, and involved legal assistance to enterprises wanting to expand their operations abroad.

He said that de Marco and Associates was not involved in the negotiations between the government and db Group on the price to be paid for the transfer the former ITS site to be developed. The price was discussed between the seller and the buyer, he said.

Even so, once it became clear that the deal would have become a hot political potato, given the PN's intentions to take the issue before the Auditor General, Dr de Marco said he informed leader Simon Busuttil that the legal firm would be renouncing legal advice on the development.

"My first interest is the (Nationalist) Party," he said.

Thursday, 16 March, 2017



Gharb Local Council calls for protection of Wied il-Mielah arch

The Gharb Local Council, in a statement today said that it has called for all necessary legal measures to be taken to protect the Wied il-Mielah arch from damage, that could be caused by an abnormal influx of visitors.

It added that it should be done without hindering other important activities which are normally held in the area..The Council also said that it should be consulted about any action that may be carried out in the area.

The Council said that the matter had been discussed during a council meeting yesterday and it was decided that an extensive study should be carried out for information about the condition of the arch, as well as what measures are necessary for its future protection.

The Council added that analysis and manage traffic management also needs to be done, such action should be taken by the police and the authorities to prevent abuse, information notices need to be put up about it and measures taken for no activities to be held, and to stop people and vehicles gaining access to the arch’s rocks.

Gharb Council said that over the last years a large amount of money had been invested to restore the area of Wied il-Mielah.

The Council encouraged the public to visit this area of natural beauty, with scenery of added value, as well as it being of significant ecological, geological and historical importance, However, it said that visitors should safeguard the important assets in the locality and the investment carried out there.

3 Maltin għall-Qorti dwar allegat prostituzzjoni fil-Ħamrun u f'San Ġwann

Tliet Maltin, żewġt irġiel mill-Pietà u mara mill-Imsida, ġew arrestati u se jitressqu l-Qorti fil-jiem li ġejjin, wara li allegatament mexxew prostituzzjoni f’massage parlours  fil-Ħamrun u f’San Ġwann.

Huma ġew arrestati lbieraħ mill-Pulizija ta’ Kontra l-Vizzji, flimkien ma’ sitt nisa Ukreni li tressqu l-Qorti llum.

L-Ukreni, li l-età tagħhom tvarja bejn 36 u 40 sena, ġew arrestati wara li allegatament kienu qed jipprostitwixxu ruħhom f’dawn l-istabbilimenti.

Quddiem il-Qorti, erbgħa minnhom ammettew l-akkużi u ngħataw sentenza ta’ ħabs sospiża u se jiġu deportati lejn pajjiżhom fil-jiem li ġejjin.

Il-proċeduri kriminali kontra t-tnejn l-oħra għadhom għaddejjin u qed jinżammu fil-Faċilità Korrettiva ta’ Kordin.


Wednesday, 15 March, 2017


Il Kunvent tas Sorijiet fin-Nadur


The town of Nadur from air

Photo taken by Charlie Debono

In-nies issa qed jaqbżu mit-Tieqa ta' Wied il-Mielaħ

Wara li t-Tieqa tad-Dwejra spiċċat darba għal dejjem, in-nies issa qed iduru għall-istruttura simili li hemm f’Wied il-Mielaħ.

Filmat fuq Youtube juri lill-atleta Blake Aldridge jaqbeż minn fuq it-tieqa ta’ Wied il-Mielaħ li jidher li issa qed issir popolari anke għal qbiż.

L-għaddas Għawdxi Mike Bugeja li tkellem ma’ Newsbook.com.mt appella biex l-awtoritajiet jieħdu ħsieb jaraw li t-tieqa f’Wied il-Mielaħ tkun protetta u preservata kemm jista' jkun u li m'għandux jitħalla jsir aktar abseiling u qbiż minn fuqha.

Minn filmat li kien ippublikat fl-2013 jidher li t-tieqa f’Wied il-Mielaħ hi magġrufa wkoll biex minn fuqha n-nies jaqbżu waqt li jkunu marbuta b’ħabel, magħrufa bħala pendulum swing.

L-Isptar t’Għawdex b’nofs parkeġġ u bla canteen

Impjegati tal-Isptar Ġenerali ta’ Għawdex qed jaffaċċjaw problema ta’ nuqqas ta’ parkeġġ, wara li f’dawn il-jiem ingħalaq nofs il-parkeġġ tal-isptar.

Minn informazzjoni li għandu Newsbook.com.mt, jidher li l-parkeġġ ingħalaq nhar il-Ħadd filgħaxija “biex jibdew ix-xogħlijiet għall-Iskola Medika ta’ Barts.”

Qed ikun ta’ inkonvenjent ukoll għall-persuni li jmorru l-isptar għall-appuntamenti jew biex iżuru l-qraba u l-ħbieb tagħhom.

Barra minn hekk, intlaqtu wkoll l-għalliema, il-ħaddiema u anki l-ġenituri tal-istudenti li jattendu l-iskola sekondarja li d-dħul tagħha huwa mill-istess parkeġġ.  Ma’ Newsbook.com.mt, ġenituri tal-istudenti qalu li kien hemm “ftit ġenn” meta ġabru lil uliedhom mill-iskola.

Dwar l-għeluq ta’ nofs il-parkeġġ, il-kelliem tal-Partit Nazzjonalista għal Għawdex Chris Said qal li “issa jidher li parti sostanzjali mill-parkeġġ mhix se tibqa' parkeġġ, minghajr ma qed tinstab alternattiva.”

L-impjegati tal-isptar u dawk li jiffrekwentawh ta’ spiss, jinsabu urtati wkoll minħabba li f’dawn il-jiem ingħalqet ukoll il-canteen tal-isptar.

Fi Frar li għadda, l-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar approvat il-bini tal-iskola medika fis-sit tal-Isptar Ġenerali ta’ Għawdex fir-Rabat. Se tinbena fejn bħalissa hemm il-garaxx tal-ambulanzi, uffiċini, canteen, u ż-żona ta’ tlugħ u nżul tal-ħelikopter.

F’dan il-proġett, Vitals Global Healthcare se jibnu klassijiet, swali u teatri, kmamar tas-seminar, librerija, canteencomputer lab, kmamar tal-laqgħat, showers u faċilitajiet għall-istudenti u l-istaff.

Dr Chris Said: 'il-qorti l-ġdida ta' Għawdex mhux se titlesta f'din il-leġiżlatura'


Id-Deputat Nazzjonalista Chris Said qal li se jkun impossibbli li l-qorti l-ġdida ta’ Għawdex tkun lesta sa tmiem din il-leġiżlatura.

Huwa qal dan waqt it-tkomplija tad-dibattitu parlamentari dwar att li se jwassal biex numru ta’ kompetenzi tal-qrati f’Malta jkunu disponibbli anki f’Għawdex.

Dr Said innota li minkejja li qorti ġdida f’Għawdex kienet wegħda elettorali tal-Partit Laburista u minkejja li l-proġett issemma f’diversi diskorsi tal-baġit, sa llum għadu biss ħareġ tender għall-parkeġġ li se jkun parti minn dan il-proġett. Sostna li dan ifisser li se jkun impossibbli li l-proġett jitlesta sa tmiem il-leġiżlatura, u wera l-possibiltà li lanqas il-bini m’hu se jkun leħaq beda jittella’.

Id-Deputat Nazzjonalista qal li l-Oppożizzjoni taqbel li l-qrati f’Għawdex għandhom jiċċaqalqu mis-sit preżenti minħabba l-limitazzjonijiet ta’ spazju u ta’ aċċessibiltà li għandu dan is-sit. Fakkar li l-proġett kien inbeda mill-amministrazzjoni preċedenti. F’dan ir-rigward qal li s-sit mhux aċċessibbli għall-anzjani u persuni b’diżabiltà hekk kif rampa li kellha ssir bħala parti mill-proġett taċ-Ċittadella baqgħet ma saritx. Lanqas il-lift imwiegħed ma’ ġie installat. Barra minn hekk, kompla jgħid, il-problema ta’ parkeġġ fl-inħawi kompliet tikber u llum, l-uniku parkeġġ fil-viċin hu wieħed privat.

Tenna n-nuqqas ta’ qbil mal-post li ntgħażel, Misraħ l-Assedju ta’ Għawdex, li se jnaqqas spazju miftuħ mir-Rabat. Saħaq li kien hemm diversi postijiet oħra li setgħu jintużaw.



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