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MT 8 January 2017

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Newspaper post maltatoday maltatoday YOUR FIRST READ AND FIRST CLICK OF THE DAY WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT PAGE 4 today Meet the future at the Boot Düsseldorf Boatshow Limited offer on free direct flights* Call 99442122 *TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY t 20-29 January 2017 43 & 50 Atlantis 50 & 72 Flybridge, 77-S- 53 & 66 Magellano on display €1.40 LOVIN' THE COLD CLIMATE? GRTU vice-president Philip Fenech says Air Malta's future was predetermined 10 years ago Why Air Malta will fail Cold spell leaves more than 500 treated in hospital FREE WITH MALTATODAY Raphael Vassallo COMMENT PAGES 18-25 today today SUNDAY • 8 JANUARY 2017 • ISSUE 896 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY today 52 "Jason Azzopardi realised that by shooting his mouth off with such a ridiculous conspiracy theory, he had set a trap both for himself and for the PN" Bonnici claims Azzopardi helped Zaren Vassallo acquire Lowenbrau land ALITALIA DEAL DEAD Plan to sell off 49% stake in Air Malta to Italian airline Alitalia is off the cards after massive rollback on plans for European expansion by Etihad, the carrier that owns half of Alitalia MIRIAM DALLI THE plug has been pulled on talks between Air Malta and Alitalia for the sale to the Italian air- line of a 49% stake in the Maltese airline, with informed sources confirming to MaltaToday that the deal has fallen through. Speculation that the government was very close to terminating the Memorandum of Un- derstanding signed last April had been going on for months, with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Tourism Minister Edward Zam- mit Lewis repeatedly insisting that nothing was cast in stone and alternatives would be considered if the Alitalia deal was not advanta- geous. Doubts on the deal always focused on wheth- er the agreement would ultimately benefit Air Malta's employees and the country's connec- tivity with major destinations. "The government has repeatedly stated that no deal would be signed unless it was benefi- cial to the airline, the tourism industry and the Maltese economy at large," Zammit Lewis told Mal- taToday yesterday. MATTHEW AGIUS NATIONALIST MP Jason Azzopardi (pic- tured below) approved the 2009 sale of the Lowenbrau brewery to the Vassallo Group "at 1990 prices", after assuring developer Zaren Vassallo that a compromise would be reached, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici claimed yesterday. Minister Bonnici said he had "sworn in- formation" that confirmed that Azzopardi had indeed met the developer ahead of a 2012 land transfer deal which saw the site of the former Lowenbrau brewery sold at 1990 prices – a mere €706,400 – instead of the €8 million it was valued at when the transfer was made. On his part, Azzopardi said he would be suing Bonnici for libel, insisting that this was "all a lie", to which Bonnici replied in a statement: "Be my guest." PAGE 3 14 15

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