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MT 19 October 2014

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maltatoday, Sunday, 19 OctOber 2014 News 15 Maltese yacht traders could be sinking after berth fee triples Former FMS chief to head PN's commercial operations Xaghra council served with enforcement notice TiM Diacono The 35th edition of the annual Rolex Middle Sea Race kicked off yesterday with a record-breaking 123 yachts setting sail from Grand harbour. And yet, Maltese yacht traders may be facing a slightly less welcoming record in their maritime affairs. Speaking to MaltaToday, Anthony Camilleri from Bavaria Yachts said that he had only sold one yacht over the past two years whereas he used to sell an annual average of eight, pinning his misfortune on the 2011 tripling of berthing fees that yachters have to pay Transport Malta. Permanent berthing contracts were also switched to annual ones. "Berthing fees have tripled and yacht traders are starting to lose heart," Camilleri said. "Foreigners used to berth their yachts in Malta in the past but the fee rise means that it is now much cheaper for them to berth in Sicily. A month's berth rate in Malta can get you six months in Sicily." however, Transport Malta statis- tics paint a different picture. 400 su- peryachts were registered under the Malta flag in 2013, 100 more than were registered in 2011. No statistics are available for the registration of yachts smaller than 24 metres in length as Transport Malta groups them along with other 'small ships'. The registration for small ships has remained stable over the past four years – 541 vessels in 2013 and 534 in 2010. "Never have there been more su- peryachts registered under the Mal- ta flag," Melita Marine owner Pierre Balzan said. "Foreign yachts are berthing in their numbers too, even in the winter months." 1,868 foreign yachts visited Mal- tese marinas in 2013, down by around 100 from the previous year. 373 of these visited between Janu- ary-March and October-December. MeDiA.liNk Communications has confirmed the appointment of Brian St John to the position of Chief executive Officer. This senior appointment comple- ments a series of changes that are being implemented within the politi- cal and commercial structures of the Nationalist Party. Communications is the commercial arm of the Nation- alist Party insofar as all commercial and communications activities of the Nationalist Party are carried out through this company. in a statement, Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil said that the Nationalist Party was undergoing a number of changes within its struc- tures and the appointment of Brian St John was another step in this process of renewal. "During the past year, the media's party underwent significant changes making it now financially sustain- able. The next step is that the media improves its content and outlook to offer the best product in the coun- try," Busuttil said. employed at the Malta information Technology Agency (MiTA) in 1992, St John has worked across multi- disciplinary technical and manage- ment environments applying strong expertise in data-driven long-term strategic planning. During his tenure at MiTA, Brian St John has held sev- eral positions; and a diverse project portfolio - being directly involved in mission-critical iCT infrastructure design; implementation and delivery; quality-management; and business development. During 2003, St John was appointed as government's representative to the european Commission's high-level steering group for the implementa- tion of the european Strategy for the Mobility of Researchers across the european Research Area. St John was a member of the eu- ropean Strategy Forum for Research infrastructures and a member of the Advisory european infrastructure Reflection Group dealing with the creation of e-infrastructure in eu- rope. he also served on the Board of the Malta Council for Science and Technology. From 2004 through 2008, Brian St John served as Policy Co-ordinator within the private secretariat of former Prime Minister lawrence Gonzi. During 2005 he was appointed iCT Co-ordinator for ChOGM 2005. in 2006 he was assigned the task of overseeing preparations leading to the completion of Mater Dei hospi- tal and subsequent migration from St luke's hospital in November 2007. From September 2008 through May 2014, St John was Chief execu- tive Officer at the Foundation for Medical Services, managing a public healthcare infrastructure-develop- ment project portfolio with budgets in excess of €130 million. JaMes Debono The Xaghra council was served with an enforcement order for ille- gally widening an existing passage in an area off Triq il-kartoll which lies outside the development zone. The works included the building of boundary walls with franka stone and the surfacing of the passage with concrete. Contacted by MaltaToday, Xaghra mayor Joe Cordina explained that the council was asked by farmers to repair an existing countryside lane. Cordina claims that a concrete passage already existed but parts of it had fallen in disrepair. The mayor announced that a planning applica- tion will be presented to conduct the necessary works legally. The newly approved policy on ru- ral development effectively legalises concrete access paths from roads to arable land holdings built prior to May 2004. But the same policy stip- ulates that new access paths must be built in a "suitable material respect- ing the rural character". Appointment of Brian St John is another step in the process of renewal – PN Brian St John

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