MaltaToday previous editions

MALTATODAY 6 March 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 51

2 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 6 MARCH 2022 ELECTION 2022 Nicole Meilak's election week Election overshadowed by war AS candidates try and power through with their campaigning, there's no doubt that people are more concerned by the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and whether Malta could be impacted by the war in any way. The Malta Chamber stopped issu- ing certificates of origin for fuel from Russia and Belarus, and many have rushed to show support to Ukrainian victims. In his Ash Wednesday homily, Archbishop Charles Scicluna ex- pressed solidarity with Ukraine and called on the Catholic world to make Ash Wednesday a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine. Hotel- iers even offered to cover quarantine hotel fees for Ukrainians fleeing war. But some felt that more action needed to be taken on by government. Team Malta goes for golden passports MALTA'S golden pass- ports agency took the surprising decision to suspend the processing of Russian and Belarusian applicants. Communi- ty Malta and Residency Malta Agency stated that existent due diligence checks cannot be carried out effectively because of the war. Many ques- tioned this rationale, es- pecially after Abela and citizenship parliamenta- ry secretary Alex Muscat strongly maintained that Malta has strong enough due diligence process- es to carry on with the scheme. The Nationalist Party criticised the move, saying that Abela took the step not with conviction but out of convenience. Who's afraid of the big bad press? ABELA has had a number of events, beyond press visits, in open spaces like Junior College and the Birgu market, that news- rooms simply weren't in- vited to cover. Abela even held meetings with the Malta Developers' Asso- ciation and Malta Union Teachers, where the press is normally invited to cover the opening com- ments without question time. This issue came to a head when Abela ap- peared to have quickly run away from journalists after an inauguration cer- emony. Indeed, the last time journalists had an opportunity to put ques- tions to the Prime Min- ister was on Monday, a full week ago. This issue is merely a sprout in the grander scheme of things, but Abela ought to nip it in the bud to avoid having media coverage dominat- ed by the PN. Manifest(o) destiny WEEK two was a week for the manifesto roll- out, as well as some typo hiccups. Volt unveiled its manifesto on Tuesday fo- cusing on sex work, drug use, education, euthana- sia and culture. ADPD rolled theirs out the day after, calling for a ban on pink tax, a fixed-term parliament, and a clear- er law on abortion. The Nationalist Party's man- ifesto was published last week, but many noticed a problem with one of the proposals, which suggest- ed that the PN would ta- per the subsidies on pre- 1995 rent contracts over three years, and then stop subsidising the rent alto- gether. When confronted on this, PN MPs said that tenants will continue to benefit from the subsi- dies, while refusing to ad- mit any error in the man- ifesto. The day after, the Nationalist Party leader admitted to the mistake. Leaders head to Sixth Form ABELA and Grech head- ed to Junior College this week, where students flocked around Abe- la while Grech had his gamer moment. Both of them know that there's a newfound value to visit- ing Junior College. Sixth formers are now a voting cohort that must be ap- pealed to, unlike in 2017. MaltaToday was able to document the moment Grech passed through the Junior College gates, but media weren't invited to cover Robert Abela's visit. Happening today The Nationalist Party has a mass rally in Naxx- ar near Higher Second- ary. The Labour Party will hold a rally at the Kordin Pavillion in Raħal Ġdid. Send us your alerts on or WhatsApp 79006845 MATTHEW VELLA THE former Labour minister Kon- rad Mizzi, revealed to have owned a secret Panama offshore company connected to Tumas magnate Yor- gen Fenech, has claimed to have found God. In a Facebook post on the end of his parlia- mentary career, the independent MP – sacked from Labour over allegations on the Mozura wind farm scan- dal – said that he had "learnt how to place God at the centre of my life" in the last two years since his forced resig- nation as minis- ter. Mizzi was until recently facing a grilling inside the Public Accounts Committee on his role in the con- tract award to Electrogas for the construction of a €200 million gas plant to power the entire island. Mizzi was one of the ministers who resigned in December 2019 follow- ing the arrest of Electrogas share- holder Yorgen Fenech on charges of having masterminded the assassina- tion of Daphne Caruana Galizia. "In these last two years I have had the opportunity to learn how to place God at the centre of my life," Mizzi said. "This is a beautiful thing that gives me peace. I hope many more people move closer to the faith." Mizzi thanked former staff mem- bers and supporters for what he had had been "nine years of work, re- sults, difficulties and lessons." He took credit for reductions in energy bills and carbon emissions, his role in reducing out-of-stock medication as health minister, and other events created by the tourism ministry when he stewarded that portfolio. Evidently, Mizzi shows no regrets for having attempted to hide his se- cret ownership of the Panama com- pany Hearnville. "Surely enough I enduered many attacks during these years. But the support of the people helped me soldier on. I'm sure the truth will yet emerge. I harbour no resentment to- wards anybody and I wish every- body the best." Both Mizzi and Keith Schem- bri, the former right-hand man to Joseph Mus- cat, have been slapped with an unprecedented travel sanction by the United States government. The US Department of State ac- cuse Mizzi and Schembri of having been involved in "corrupt acts that included using their political in- fluence and official power for their personal benefit." Specifically, the US government said there was "credible informa- tion that Mizzi and Schembri were involved in a corrupt scheme that entailed the award of a government contract for the construction of a power plant and related services in exchange for kickbacks and bribes. Their actions undermined rule of law and the Maltese public's faith in their government's democratic in- stitutions and public processes." The Department of State also des- ignated Mizzi and Schembri's im- mediate family members – Mizzi's wife, Sai Mizzi Liang, and his two minor children; Schembri's wife, Josette Schembri Vella, his daughter Juliana Schembri Vella, and his mi- nor child. Mizzi finds God and bows out Forgive me God, for I have opened an offshore Panama company

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of MaltaToday previous editions - MALTATODAY 6 March 2022