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MALTATODAY 26 September 2021

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SUNDAY • 26 SEPTEMBER 2021 • ISSUE 1143 • PUBLISHED SUNDAY AND WEDNESDAY maltatoday Auf wiedersehen Angela... TRUTH IS OF NO COLOUR WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT The German elections have none of the Maltese predictability after a surprise SPD rebound PGS 14-15 SERIOUSLY? Maltese think humans lived with dinos PAGE 10 KURT SANSONE EMPLOYERS lament labour shortages caused by an exodus of foreigners because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but of- ficial figures released now ap- pear to contradict these claims. According to the National Statistics Office Malta's pop- ulation at the end of 2020 stood at 516,100, of which 103,718 were foreign resi- dents. The share of foreign resi- dents stood at 20%, the same as 2019. Between 2018 and 2019, the share of foreign res- idents had increased by three points and had been increas- ingly yearly until then. Population figures contradict claims of foreign exodus MATTHEW VELLA BLUFF and fantasy: a series of text messages between Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech and the Labour MP Ian Castaldi Paris, the latter boasting about own- ing three London properties and closing on a £16 million Kens- ington mansion, are just a load of hot air. The MP yesterday admitted to having dreamed up a lofty claim he made to Fenech of being a high-flying proper- ty investor in London, after MaltaToday approached him over chats he had with Fenech in September 2019, just two months before the latter's ar- rest in connection with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. "It was pure bluff from my end. I have no property, nei- ther in London, nor in any part of the world," Castal- di Paris told this newspaper when asked to explain his claims to Fenech and whether his property acquisitions were now declared in his MP's asset register. "It was stupid from my end." But the seriousness of the matter was such that Castal- di Paris also admitted that he had to inform the authorities about the chats, to assure in- vestigators he was not truly the owner of some swanky London pied-à-terre. "I spoke to the authorities, and told them that these were bluff SMSes," he told MaltaToday, without specifying the authority in question but denying this was either the FIAU or the Econom- ic Crimes Unit. The chats indeed reveal that Castaldi Paris (at the time not an MP) had known about the €3.1 million Mdina villa sold to Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech in September 2019, because he chatted to the businessman just days after signing on the prom- ise-of-sale agreement. "I knew of the property deal because I know Joe Camilleri," Castaldi Paris said of the deal- er who tried to sell the villa to Fenech. 'It was all bluff': Labour MP bragged about £16 million London mansion to Yorgen Labour MP Ian Castaldi Paris self- reported his claims to Yorgen Fenech about owning three London properties having been untrue Community Chest Fund crisis Doctor-MP says State must fund more cancer treatments PG 8 €1.95 PAGE 6 PAGE 3 Working in the shadows All bluff: Ian Castaldi Paris

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