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USA UK and Malta News
01/02/2012 - 22:50

Malta news: Snowstorm slows down

Malta news: Snowstorm slows down - Snowstorm slows down EU summit as strike proves to be ineffectual - Franco Debono will not contest PN leadership - Updated: Aid recipients submit regular reports - ministry - Sant fined €1,000 in libel case.

Malta news: Snowstorm slows down
Snowstorm slows down EU summit as strike proves to be ineffectual
It was Belgium’s first general strike in 18 years and all the predictions were dire. But at the end, it was more the gentle snowstorm that hit the Belgian capital that slowed things down. Buses, trains and metro as well as airports were not working but many people stayed at home for weather reasons more than for strike reasons. Schools remained open as did shops, and television stations and telecoms were unaffected. Some hospitals may have been affected – in other words, the strike ordered by trade unions was predictably more effective where unions are at their strongest, which today, even in social Europe, is not much and relegated mainly to the public sector. The general strike was ordered as a reaction against austerity measures imposed by the new Belgian government, elected after a year-and-a-half without a government, and after the Commission, as it did with Malta and three other states, threatened it with disciplinary action because of excessive deficit problems.(independent.com.mt)

Franco Debono will not contest PN leadership
While no one has declared interest in contesting the leadership of the PN, after Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi told the party’s general council he was putting his leadership on the line and requested a party leadership contest to be held as soon as possible, the end result is a matter of waiting. Party insiders often thought of as possible successors to Dr Gonzi, including MEP Simon Busuttil, Tourism Minister Mario de Marco and MP Beppe Fenech Adami – the latter two being sons of a former deputy leader and of a party leader, who eventually both became head of state – would not be contesting the leadership, this time round. Contacted yesterday, the only comment which a calm Franco Debono gave The Malta Independent was that he would not be contesting for the party leadership. A bruised Dr Gonzi is not expected to be contested, although many argue that the problem is in Parliament, not his party. Referring to the PN statute, MP and party spokesman Karl Gouder explained that an electoral commission will be nominated during Thursday’s party executive meeting.(independent.com.mt)

Updated: Aid recipients submit regular reports - ministry
The Foreign Ministry has denied breaking any law when it presented Overseas Development Aid to a number of charities. The Ministry was reacting to a statement by the Commissioner of Voluntary Organisations, Kennath Wain, who said that seven organisations from the 28 recipients of development aid are not enrolled with his Office in breach of the Voluntary Organisations Act. He said the unregistered organisations are The Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus, the Daughters of the Sacred Heart – Phillipines, the Aldea Infantil Sagrads Familis – Peru, Segretarjat Missjonijiet Agostinjani, Mother Margherita De Brincat Catholic School, Small States Network for Economic Development (SSNED) – Lesotho and Joseph De Piro Middle School for Girls – Pakistan. Prof. Wain also noted that the recipients included four individuals in spite of complaints with the Foreign Affairs Ministry over the past years. The Foreign Ministry replied that it had accepted requests made by a number of Maltese missionaries working abroad and it also accepted all requests made by NGOs.(timesofmalta.com)

Sant fined €1,000 in libel case
Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant has been ordered to pay €1,000 in libel damages after a court ruled that parts of a speech he made in 2007, and reported in the media, were libellous to Michael Seychell. Mr Seychell, a member of the Board of PBS, had felt libelled by remarks by Dr Sant that he had participated in PBS Board meetings when decisions concerning a company run by his daughter were taken. Mr Seychell told the court that he had been a PBS Board member since 2003. His daughter, Diane was married to Pierre Portelli who was involved in a company called Water Melon Communications Ltd. This company produced television programmes including L-ispjun. He said that when the PBS Board was discussing this programme in the course of a meeting about the station's schedule of programmes, he hadhad declared his possible conflict of interest. He had offered not to take part in the meeting and had left the board room. But Dr Sant had publicly declared that Mr Seychell had remained in the room and had participated in the discussions.(timesofmalta.com)

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