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USA UK and Malta News
26/04/2012 - 23:02

Malta news: Mepa turns down

Malta news: Mepa turns down - Eritrean child reunited with biological parents - Budget implementation: Debono again the centre of attention - Mepa turns down Portomaso extension with chairman's casting vote.



Malta news: Mepa turns down
Eritrean child reunited with biological parents
Mrs Justice Abigail Lofaro decided yesterday that a five-year-old child, the daughter of Eritrean migrants, who was being brought up by a Maltese couple, should be allowed to join her biological parents who were being taken to start a new life in Switzerland. A bomb scare delayed the handing down of the decision. The child was the subject of a court case by the Maltese couple who had requested the court to not allow the child to be taken abroad because of the stress that might be involved in her not understanding the sharp change in her environment. The Maltese woman who raised the child for five years did not mean to keep her forever, but sought a process which would be beneficial to the girl. The Maltese couple used to help at the Ħal Far open centre where one day they saw a line of toddlers in buggies. The Maltese mother spoke to the girl’s mother who told her the daughter was only four months old and she needed someone to look after her so that she could go out to work. She also had a son at a creche. The Maltese woman started taking the girl with her at weekends and when she had days off her work. She noticed that whenever she returned the child the latter showed signs of stress so, with the consent of the biological parents, the Maltese woman started taking care of her. Mrs Justice Lofaro said there was no doubt that the Maltese mother had loved the child as if she were her own. She had in fact educated her at a private school and paid for everything that was needed. She had also taken her with her abroad and paid for a trip for her biological mother to take the child with her to Switzerland to see relatives there.(independent.com.mt) It is always very difficult choices.

Budget implementation: Debono again the centre of attention
As Parliament yesterday continued to debate the Budget Measures Implementation Bill, all eyes were on Government MP Franco Debono as he chatted to the Opposition leader on the bench and dismissed an approach by PN whip David Agius. Dr Debono and Opposition Leader Joseph Muscat, who sat next to him, chatted for about 15 minutes. Earlier, Dr Debono had dismissed government whip David Agius over a television appearance in the morning. Speaking on TVAM, Mr Agius said the government intended to invite Mr Cachia Caruana to answer questions in the Foreign Affairs Committee, a move which seems to have irked Dr Debono. Mr Cachia Caruana is being accused by the PL of rushing Malta into a Partnership for Peace project. The government says the PL had misunderstood a Wikileaks cable, which became public last year. After abstaining in the no confidence vote in the government earlier this year, Dr Debono is saying he would not accept the Budget Measures Implementation Bill before two pending motions on justice and home affairs, which he and the Opposition had separately tabled months ago, are discussed. Defeat for the Budget Measures Implementation Bill would mean the end of this legislature. On Tuesday, the PN parliamentary group met to discuss the situation and in comments following the meeting, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said the Bill in discussion is the most urgent issue to be addressed in the interest of the country, right now.(independenent.com.mt) The budget of a country is never easy.

Mepa turns down Portomaso extension with chairman's casting vote
A controversial extension to Portomaso was turned down by the Mepa board this afternoon after chairman Austin Walker used his casting vote. The board members were tied with six votes in favour and six against after a four-hour debate held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre before a crowd of some 100 people.  The discussion revolved mainly around a clause in the previous Portomaso permit which stated that no further extension or development could be carried out in the area. However, the legal representatives and the architects of the Fenech family, who want to develop the land, argued that the local plan approved 10 years later included this particular site as suitable for development. A number of NGOs and neighbouring residents insisted that the permit condition was very clear and could not be superseded. Various environmental concerns were also raised. Mr Walker criticised the decision to include the condition in the first permit precluding further development saying that the hands of future board members should not be tied down in this way. He also expressed concerns about over-development and about enforcement orders not having been acted upon yet. During the vote, PL representative Roderick Galdes voted in favour of the project while PN representative Joe Falzon was away.(timesofmalta.com) The development is not an easy thing to administer.


Emmanuel Nouioua












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