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MALTATODAY 17 October 2021

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"Metro? No thanks!" SUNDAY • 17 OCTOBER 2021 • ISSUE 1146 • PUBLISHED SUNDAY AND WEDNESDAY maltatoday CLYDE CARUANA TRUTH IS OF NO COLOUR WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT Malta's straight- talking minister of finance on his first ever Budget INTERVIEW MT2 8-9 Start with this. Earn 1.25%*p.a. On a 6-month fixed term rate in Euro Open a fixed-term savings account with MeDirect and start saving with a minimum of €100 for 6 months and get 0.75% p.a. interest plus 0.5% p.a. bonus for new customers. Now, that's banking in your best interest! Best interest rate on the island for a 6-month term deposit. 2557 4400 MeDirect Bank (Malta) plc, is licensed to undertake the business of banking in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371). The Bank is a participant in the Depositor Compensation Scheme established under the Maltese laws. Rates are quoted gross of tax on a per annum basis. Accounts can be opened with a minimum of €100 and interest is paid into an easy-access account. Terms and Conditions apply and are available upon request. The bonus shall be paid on the first €50,000 balance in the account and is only available to new customers who apply until 30th November 2021. Bonus will be paid to eligible customers in December 2021 SCAN ME Download our mobile app Church took €200,000 'short-cut' without verifying heirs' claims HOW BIG IS THE SILENT MAJORITY? PAGE 4 Whistleblowing rules to be extended right before EU deadline €1.95 GOZO LAND GRAB Curia property director says Church took money to avoid court battles MATTHEW VELLA LAND in Qala is being developed by a private company and the mega-developer Joseph Portel- li, because the Maltese church failed to verify the claims by the Stagno Navarra family that they are rightful heirs to a 17th-centu- ry foundation created by a noble- woman. The Stagno Navarra family, together with former magis- trate Dennis Montebello and Gozitan lawyer Carmel Galea, paid €200,000 to the Maltese archdiocese to relinquish control of a foundation – the Abbazia di Sant Antonio delli Navarra, cre- ated in 1675 by Cosmana Cumbo Navarra – and replace the Abba- zia's rector, a priest, with a lay- man of their choice, the lawyer Peter Valentino. The Abbazia gathers within it a vast amount of land in Gozo that was for years controlled by a priest, appointed by the Arch- bishop as the foundation's rector when the Navarra line ran out of first-born male descendants. The Curia's former property director Ray Bonnici said the Maltese archbishop decided that instead of being locked in a court battle with the claimants to a 17th century foundation, the Church would take a 'short-cut' for a payment of €200,000 PGS 2-3 Archbishop refuses to answer questions over €200,000 deal to transfer control of 17th century foundation to private company's lawyer Kurt Sansone crunches the numbers of that last MaltaToday survey and maps out the next election gap PAGES 14-15 Saudi spymaster hunt comes to Malta Mohammed Bin Salman's bid to come down hard on 'golden passport' exile PAGE ż8 Josanne Cassar MT2 PAGE 6 MATTHEW VELLA JUSTICE minister Edward Zammit Lewis will move new amendments to the Whistle- blowers Act next week, in a bid to end Malta's status as a laggard on transposing the EU Directive on whistleblowing. The Labour government in- troduced Malta's first Whis- tleblowers Act in 2013, but it now has until 17 December 2021 to fully transpose a wider European directive to protect those who report wrongdo- ing inside private and public workplaces and offices. The amendments will extend legal protection to those who report occupational fraud, bribery and corruption in pri- vate workplaces, as well as for self-employed, freelance oc- cupations, or even during re- cruitment situations. Malta to transpose EU Whistleblowing directive

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