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USA UK and Malta News
14/02/2012 - 22:23

Malta news: Moody's and Malta

Malta news: Moody's and Malta - First-ever national sexual health survey to be carried out - Moody's Malta downgrade is unfair - Fenech - Tourism master plan focuses on authenticity.

Malta news: Moody's and Malta
First-ever national sexual health survey to be carried out
The Department of Health Information and Research will be conducting the first-ever national sexual health survey that will focus on behaviour, knowledge and other social indicators on the subject. The survey forms part of the roadmap set out in the Sexual Health Strategy, which was published in November last year. Addressing a media conference yesterday, chief medical officer Natasha Azzopardi Muscat explained that the strategy established that more information is necessary on aspects of sexual health such as levels of awareness, attitudes and behaviour. She said sexual behaviour among school children is tackled in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey, which is conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organisation. The national sexual health survey, which is the first exercise in the research plan devised by the strategy, will be carried out among 1,200 people aged between 16 and 40. Due to its sensitive nature, the survey will deviate from the traditional model of a random population sample from an existing population register.(independent.com.mt)To care for its population according to its needs, the best tool is the government survey.

Moody's Malta downgrade is unfair - Fenech
Finance Minister Tonio Fenech this afternoon said he was “disappointed” by Moody’s decision to downgrade Malta, which he described as unjustified.He invited the credit rating agency to come and see for itself that the country should not be lumped with others through such an “unfortunate, blanket approach”. “We are faring better than other countries so we should not be treated in the same way... We shouldn’t be thrown in the same basket when we acted differently,” he said, pointing out that Moody’s gave no specific reasons for Malta’s downgrade. He said the agencies were being “overcautious” but Malta’s economic fabric was different to those of other countries in the region. Moody’s, which operates from the US and took its decision after a tele-conference, could have lumped Malta with other countries purely because of its geographical position, Mr Fenech said. But the problems in Italy and Greece have little direct impacts on Malta because the economy is much more dependent on countries like Germany. “In reality, [the downgrade] doesn’t have any impact,” Mr Fenech reassured, since Malta’s debt is predominantly local.(timesofmalta.com) Rating agencies have very little angle views of the country they should note, their notes are often approximate.

Tourism master plan focuses on authenticity
A draft tourism policy for the next five years, focusing heavily on giving tourists 'an authentic Maltese product', was launched today by Tourism Minister Mario de Marco.He told a press conference that the plan consolidates the achievements of the tourism industry and aims for growth. But he stressed that growth could not come at any price. The growth of the tourist industry, he stressed, should not come at an environmental cost. The industry, he said , needed to be developed in a way which yielded more value added. The focus, therefore, was on authenticity in anything from Maltese food to hotels, with the government keen to encourage the transformation of old, disused palaces into boutique hotels. He said the government and the MTA were also keen on better promoting Malta's rich all-year cultural calendar and they wanted to extend Malta's attractions to include the charms hidden away in village cores. The tourism industry was changing, Dr de Marco said, and and this change was being kept in mind in the new plan. For example, there was now a greater focus on internet promotion and on attracting tourists who wished to travel independently. Malta was also seeking to forge new source markets, eyeing, in particular, Poland, Brazil and China.(timesofmalta.com) Malta is mainly a tourist island, so it's mainly on the tourist industry that economic policy of the country must focus.

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