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USA UK and Malta News
03/07/2012 - 20:51

Malta news: JPO claim denied

Malta news: JPO claim denied - PN executive to meet on 12 July : JPO claim denied - Irregular immigration detention policy: PM launches inquiry, to meet NGOs - Maltese objections to proposals at EU summit.

Malta news: JPO claim denied
PN executive to meet on 12 July : JPO claim denied
PN Executive President Marthese Portelli yesterday denied claims made by rebel PN backbencher Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando to MaltaToday last Sunday that his letter demanding the expulsion of PN strategist Richard Cachia Caruana from the party will not be discussed in the next executive meeting scheduled for 12 July. Contacted by The Malta Independent, Dr Portelli stated that the executive committee will be following its usual procedure which places any received correspondence as a standard item on the agenda. She added that it will be then up to the executive to determine the way forward. This means that JPO’s letter to the executive will be discussed in the next meeting, contrary to the claims he made to MaltaToday. Besides the letter from Dr Pullicino Orlando, the executive will also be discussing correspondence from PN MP Franco Debono. The two outspoken MPs were publicly condemned by the party’s executive on 20 June, following their decision to back the Opposition on two separate occasions which led to the ousting of the Home Affairs Minister, Carm Mifsud Bonnici, and Malta’s Ambassador to the EU Richard Cachia Caruana respectively. Former Transport Minister Jesmond Mugliett was also condemned for abstaining in the motion against Mr Cachia Caruana. On 22 June, Dr Debono made a formal request in writing to the PN executive demanding the revocation of the condemnation in his regard, stating that he could not have been present to defend himself. He justified his request saying that while the executive was in session, he was in parliament delivering the introductory speech about his private member’s motion regarding justice and home affairs. Another point raised by Dr Debono was that this condemnation was not listed on the agenda. He had also remarked that it was highly ironic that such a condemnation was issued while he has harping on the need to improve the justice and home affairs sectors.(independent.com.mt) The art of parley is well in measured futility.

Irregular immigration detention policy: PM launches inquiry, to meet NGOs
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday appointed Judge Jeffrey Valenzia to head an inquiry into the detention services following the tragic death of a migrant while in detention over the weekend. Dr Gonzi empowered Mr Justice Valenzia to examine the operations of the detention services in relation to the case of the migrant, Abdalla Mohammed, and to establish, amongst other things, whether there was any negligence involved, non-observance of procedures or abuse of power by Detention Services officials or other officials who were involved in the case. While the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and a number of NGOs that work with migrants have continued to express shock at the death of the migrant, and called for the detention policy to be reviewed, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) will today be meeting NGOs. Discussions on the situation are expected. In reply to questions sent by The Malta Independent, the OPM said it is considering strengthening the mandate and capacity of the Detention Visitors Board. The OPM said: “Without prejudice to the outcome of the independent inquiry being set up shortly, government will favourably consider strengthening the mandate and capacity of the Detention Visitors Board. The Prime Minister will also be meeting the NGOs which made the statement tomorrow (today) to discuss the issues raised.” After three soldiers were arraigned in court on Sunday evening, two of whom were charged with the murder of Mr Mohammed, the UNHCR said in a statement it was shocked and saddened to hear that a Malian migrant, who arrived in Malta as an asylum seeker, had died while in the custody of detention staff. The NGOs have called upon the OPM to demonstrate its true commitment to ensure that all people are treated with equal respect and dignity.(independent.com.mt) That's a good deal for NGOs.

Maltese objections to proposals at EU summit
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said this evening that sovereign aspects such as taxation should not be transferred to the institutions of the European Union because they were democratic institutions. Speaking in Parliament on the outcome of the latest summit of EU leaders, Dr Gonzi said that Malta would continue to discuss the various proposals made in the summit for greater economic and financial integration, but sovereign aspects such as taxation could not be transferred to Brussels. He said that in the summit, Malta also renewed its disagreement with current proposals for a financial transactions tax because it felt this would lead to an exodus of financial business from Europe and because the burden of the tax would not be borne by the speculators but the economic operators, who actually needed help. Dr Gonzi said Malta had also renewed its opposition to European Commission proposals for Malta to raise its retirement age and to review the cost of living adjustment mechanism. Malta did not see a need to raise the retirement age because spending on pensions as a percentage of GDP was not expected to rise in the near future. The 2006 pension reform was seen as adequate to ensure that pensions were sustainable in the years to come. He said there had been pressure within the meeting for Malta to accept the Commission proposal but Malta did not budge an inch, although he favoured further talks with the social partners on this issue.(timesofmalta.com) Maltese taxation must remain, even in a federation.

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