A majority of Maltese disagree that high levels of immigration are threatening their way of life, a report commissioned by the UNHCR Malta office suggests. John Cordina writes. UNHCR Malta representative Jon Hoisaeter explained that the organisation commissioned a study to determine whether the opinions aired by journalists and politicians, as well as by bloggers and online commentators, were truly representative of Maltese perceptions. The report focuses on public perceptions about refugees and migrants in Malta, and was carried out by Informa Consultants on the UNHCR’s behalf. Some of the study’s findings turned out to be roughly what had been expected, but others were less predictable, Mr Hoisaeter added. The report showed that just over 50% of respondents believed that too many refugees and migrants were coming to their locality. Residents of localities in Malta’s south were more likely to agree with this statement, while Gozitans were the most likely to disagree. However, less than 42% agreed that the way of life in their locality was being threatened by high levels of immigration, while 54.3% specifically disagreed. However, there were sharp regional differences: Over 70% of those living closest to the Hal Far open and detention centres perceived a threat. Nevertheless, around 58% disagreed that a mixture of lifestyles and cultures make Malta a more attractive place to live, with a similar proportion also agreeing that refugees and migrants should change their ways to become more like Maltese citizens.(independent.com.mt) Migration does not change very little Maltese lifestyle.
Malian died as a result of beating and kicks to the genitals
Accused granted bail. Malian immigrant Abdalla Mohammed, 36, who had been sought since escaping from the detention centre in Safi in March, 2009, died as a result of five blows by Gunner Clive Cuschieri, 29, of Paola, in which the immigrant was also kicked in the private parts, a court heard yesterday. The assault on him was made after Sergeant Mark Anthony Dimech, 44, of Gzira, was in a tussle with the victim, with the latter appearing to be gaining the upper hand, when Gunner Cuschieri intervened. Magistrate Saviour Demicoli’s court room was packed with relatives of the accused as it heard most of the evidence in the case, with the court deciding there was enough evidence to charge the two soldiers. The accused were allowed bail on a deposit of €9,000 and a personal guarantee of €30,000. They also have to sign in at the police station between 8am and 8pm every day. The charges are of murder, causing grievous injury, and giving false statement. A case against Lance Bombardier Gordon Pickard, 35 of Zabbar, started on Monday in which he is charged with altering the version of events that took place on the day of the alleged murder. The court heard on Monday that many illegal immigrants did not want Mr Mohammed with them because they did not trust him and he was not acting normally. Some had protested about him with detention officials. Defence lawyer Joe Giglio argued with Inspector Keith Arnaud about the fact that Sergeant Dimech was being accused with involuntary homicide just because he did not order Gunner Cuschieri to stop kicking the victim. Inspector Arnaud said the fact that at first Sergeant Dimech did not tell the police that the gunner had kicked out, means that the sergeant was trying to hide something but Dr Giglio rejoined that in his two statements the sergeant had mentioned everything.(independent.com.mt) It is a death more than cruel and painful, criminals must be punished.
PM's communications chief denies JPO's claims
Gordon Pisani, the prime minister's head of communications, said this evening that he has no information which shows that Richard Cachia Caruana colluded in an way, directly or indirectly, with the Labour Party. Mr Pisani issued a statement after he was included in a list of witnesses presented by Jeffrey Pollucino Orlando to the PN Executive. (see separate story) Dr Pullicino Orlando is claiming that Mr Cachia Caruana 'colluded' with PL officials between 1996 and 1998, a claim which Mr Cachia Caruana denies. In his statement, Mr Pisani said he wanted to immediately declare that he viewed Dr Pullicino Orlando's claims against Mr Cachia Caruana as being totally unfounded.(timesofmalta.com) I do not think the Mediterranean have a character to be bored, this explains the political crisis ...