Malta News Roundup
Parliament voted in favour of Constitutional amendments to widen the participation of women in the Chamber. The reform introduces a requirement of 40 per cent minimum representation of either gender in parliament in the next legislatures.
Investigations revealed that a secretive company called Macbridge is owned by Chen Cheng, a Chinese negotiator involved in multimillion projects by Enemalta. Macbridge was listed as a target client by offshore companies owned by Minister Konrad Mizzi and chief of staff Keith Schembri.
Malta presented a five-year state aid financing plan for Air Malta to the European Commission. Meanwhile the government has transferred the national carrier’s brand name to IP Holding, a public company, for €21 million.
The Nationalist Party suffered an attack on its IT systems, with hackers threatening to publish stolen data unless their demands for payment are met. Party sources said that stolen information posted on the dark web seems genuine.
The government is planning to allow restaurants to re-open by midmay, but not dates have been set for bars and band clubs. Health authorities prefer to open restaurants first and see whether this will have any impact on coronavirus cases before reopening bars.
The Cabinet rejected a pardon request by the alleged hitmen in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder, who requested immunity in exchange for information on major crimes. In a statement, the
government said it took the advice of the attorney general and the police commissioner.
The number of final deeds of sale relating to residential property amounted to 1,229 in March, with a total value of €259.3 million. The figures represent a 32.9 per cent increase compared with the same period in 2020.
Almost 100 NGOS called on the government to retract new Legal Notices that regulate public fundraising activities with immediate effect. In a joint statement, they criticised the introduction of ‘impractical’ regulations that do not reflect the realities of the voluntary sector.
Deputy Attorney General Philip Galea Farrugia told the court that murder suspect Yorgen Fenech requested an urgent flight by private jet and tried to transfer money from his Dubai company on the eve of his arrest in 2019.
Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci confirmed two instances of blood-clotting in vaccinated patients but said that the cases are not related to the inoculation. Nearly 70 percent of administered vaccines were from Pfizer-biontech and 28 percent were Astrazeneca doses.