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MaltaToday 4 June 2023

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4 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 4 JUNE 2023 NEWS Labour, once programme, MATTHEW VELLA BEPPE Fenech Adami, a veteran from the last Gonzi administra- tion, has the last parliamentary incursion on the hotly debated Partnership for Peace fresh in his mind: in 2012, it cost Malta's per- manent representative to the EU, Richard Cachia Caruana, his job after a vote of no-confidence was supported by the Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, who voted in favour of the Opposition motion. Now in the parliamentary for- eign affairs committee, the La- bour government is proposing reaffirming the PfP agreement it had staunchly opposed in 1995 – Alfred Sant pulled Malta out of the NATO programme imme- diately upon his election in 1996. In 2012, under Joseph Muscat, Labour deftly managed to draw Cachia Caruana into its parlia- mentary crosshairs, by accusing him of manoeuvring Malta's 2008 reactivation in such a manner as to bypass House ratification. Fenech Adami, then a member of Cabinet, is now telling foreign minister Ian Borg he is glad to see Labour come around on the subject. "The government is po- litically vindicating what the Na- tionalist Party has been saying all these years... that participation in the PfP does not, in any way, breach our constitutional neu- trality." "This is a U-turn for the gov- ernment," he told Borg in the foreign affairs committee earlier this week. "The Opposition is in favour of Malta's participation in the PfP and as we said so many years ago, this is no breach of our neutrality... as stated by the State Advocate and NATO's legal of- fice." The young Ian Borg argues that a new dimension exists for Malta to have its PfP membership re- tained and is unable to recall the circumstances in which the Mus- cat-led opposition weaponised the PN's unorthodox, if not il- legal procedure, to decapitate Cachia Caruana. "We are rec- ommending the renewal of this agreement, which fully conforms to Malta's limitations in terms of its constitutional neutrality – as explained in the memorandum," he told MPs. Little to no discussion took place on the proposal to retain Malta's participation in the PfP, save for Fenech Adami's inter- vention. The 2012 PfP saga With no public pronouncement ever made on Malta's intention to re-join the PfP in 2008, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi had back then already informed the United States ambassador Molly Bordonaro of Malta's intentions to reactivate participation, two months before clinching re-elec- tion in 2008. The US embassy cables leaked by Wikileaks in 2011 had revealed VACANCY Job description Applicant will be expected to carry out du- ties in; - Maintaining house tidiness - Laundry & ironing - Cooking (is a bonus but not necessary), maintaining food stock levels are adequate and writing shopping lists - Walking the dog occasionally - Caring for baby and helping with feeding and their needs Applicant must have prior experience in housekeeping and caring for children and be fluent in English, polite, trustworthy and professional please. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 However, the sources said there was a second incident later on that day when the carer's male partner returned from an outing with other residents of the home. The male carer rushed towards the resident, who had earlier pulled his partner's hair, hitting him on the chest, shouting at him and aggressively pointing his fin- ger in his face. It is understood that the victim sustained a black eye in the second incident. Once again, other carers who witnessed the second incident of abuse, including the man's partner, did not in- tervene. Both incidents were caught on CCTV but no incident report was filed and the vulnerable person's guardians were not informed. When asked about the investigation, police told Malta- Today that charges have been issued and presented in court against the two car- ers. They will be ar- raigned by summons not under arrest. Both carers were suspended from Dar Arka after the case was referred to the police by the SC- SA that had been investigating the case following an anonymous tip off. According to its website, the Arka Foundation is a voluntary, non-governmental organization that promotes the welfare of peo- ple with special needs and their families. It runs three residential homes in Gozo. Sources said officials from the authority made at least three unannounced visits to the home after receiving information about the incident involving the female carer. The CCTV footage of the first incident was only made available to the authority by the home's director Fr Michael Galea in the second visit after initially saying the cameras were not working. Sources said the female carer was initially given a verbal warn- ing by the home and then issued with a written and signed warn- ing over her aggressive behaviour. However, it was only on the third visit that the SCSA became aware of the second incident involving the male partner, who was also is- sued with a written warning by the home. The second incident was not flagged to the SCSA officials by the home's management in the previous visits. It was at this point that the au- thority referred the matter to the police for further investigation. Offenders register for those who abuse persons with a disability The incident prompted the gov- ernment to propose the introduction of an offenders regis- ter for people found guilty of abusing per- sons with a disability. Speaking in parlia- ment last week, Far- rugia Portelli said the law would require all homes to check whether prospective employees are listed in the register before engaging them. The minister is ex- pected to put forward legislation to set up the register in the coming months. She also said that all govern- ment homes would be intro- ducing CCTV cameras in all common areas and the SCSA was reviewing its policies in this regard. Farrugia Portelli had said per- sons with a disability can be non-verbal and unable to explain that someone has abused them. "Others may be unaware of the abuse they are being subjected to and this is why we have to send a strong message against these vile acts." The minister told parliament that the vast majority of carers were responsible persons, who worked with dedication. "Their job is not a walk in the park – they come in contact with cases and situations of challeng- ing behaviour, which requires carers to be trained for these cir- cumstances... I believe that the introduction of an offenders' reg- ister will close some of the gaps in the system and serve as a deter- rent for those who earn a living from this sector," she said. Police have issued charges against two carers Dar Arka in Gozo

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