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USA UK and Malta News
25/04/2012 - 00:11

Malta news: City Gate project

Malta news: City Gate project - Further ‘praise’ for North Korea - Malta seeing low fertility rate, steep increase in working women - European Investment Bank to help finance City Gate project.

Malta news: City Gate project
Further ‘praise’ for North Korea
Recent claims, later denied, by a North Korean news agency that President George Abela and Opposition Leader Joseph Muscat had praised their regime were not a first, as a look at the agency’s archives uncovered other instances when Maltese politicians were quoted uncharacteristically paying tribute to North Korea. A search through the Korean Central News Agency’s archives – articles dating back to 1997 are available online – reveals reports of similar praise from former presidents Ugo Mifsud Bonnici and Guido de Marco. Their “statements” sound particularly atypical of both men – as was the case with Dr Muscat and Dr Abela, further reducing the credibility of the latest reports. Earlier this month, the KCNA reported that Dr Muscat and Dr Abela both praised the country’s leadership and policies. Both denied the reports, but the Nationalist Party has repeatedly condemned Dr Muscat for what he allegedly said over the past few days, linking it to an agreement a Labour government had reached with North Korea in the 1980s.(independent.com.mt) It is a way to attract investment.

Malta seeing low fertility rate, steep increase in working women
Maltese society is seeing a low fertility rate and a sharp rise in the number of women who are working, a parliamentary committee has been told. The subject was discussed at a meeting of the Family Affairs Committee in the context of a discussion on priorities in the work-life balance. The Director of the University Centre for Family Studies, Prof. Angela Abela, said that a silent revolution is taking place in Malta.  Although only 40 per cent of   women in Malta are in employment, the pattern is changing radically according to different age groups. The female work participation rate for the 25 to 29 years group had increased by 14 per cent from 56 per cent of the female working population in 2001 to 70 per cent in 2010.  This increase was the steepest in all EU member states over the same period, meaning that the country was shifting from a traditional society to one of working couples. The increase in female work participation was also much in evidence in the 30 to 34 year groups from 49 to 60 per cent and among the 35 to 39 year group from 27 to 50 per cent. The statistics, she said, were the result of research made by 39 members of diverse professions. The research also showed that 31 per cent of young mothers were prepared to return to work after six months of birth to be able to cope with the family’s financial burdens.(timesofmalta.mt) Educate and work together is not easy.

European Investment Bank to help finance City Gate project
Finance Minister Tonio Fenech said today that the European Investment Bank has agreed to finance half of the City Gate/new Parliament project through a low-interest loan of €40m. Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Mr Fenech said the loan will be given to Malita, the investment company which the government has created as a special purpose vehicle to finance the project. He said that other funding for the project will include €25m of government capital  investment in Malita and €15m through public subscription of shares in the company. Malita will lease the parliament building to the government. He did not say what the company's revenue from this source would be. The minister was reacting to comments made this morning by Opposition leader Joseph Muscat. Dr Muscat said the creation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to finance the City Gate project did not make sense. Addressing a news conference in front of the new Parliament building, Dr Muscat said that the government was committing future revenue to service this project, putting future generations in debt. Finance Minister Tonio Fenech yesterday said that an investment company, Malita, had been set up as an SPV to finance the €80m City Gate project. The government will retain 70% shareholding in the company and open the remaining shareholding to public subscription.(timesofmalta.com) It's good thing for Malta.

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