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USA UK and Malta News
21/03/2012 - 22:40

Malta news: aid for Syrian

Malta news: aid for Syrian - Health minister ‘is in denial’ - Maltese aid for Syrian refugees - Police called in as new claims of VAT Department fraud surface.

Malta news: aid for Syrian
Health minister ‘is in denial’
The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses said yesterday that the health minister is in denial about the hospital’s beds shortage and that the government is abdicating its responsibility with respect to long-term solutions. At a news conference, MUMN president Paul Pace spoke about the task force that was set up to address the challenges presented as a result of the ever-increasing demand for health services provided at Mater Dei Hospital, saying that the union would have chosen to form part of the task force if the government decided to finally start coming up with long-term solutions. “Personal attacks against us started when we asked for the terms of reference of the task force. Individuals, not the union’s arguments, are being discredited,” he said, referring in particular to comments made by Health Minister Joe Cassar during the television programme Dissett. MUMN lawyer Chris Cilia explained that Dr Cassar made direct reference to the union’s president, claiming Mr Pace had issued directives so that nurses would not be able to cooperate with the government on a temporary solution to the hospital beds shortage problem. The nurses in question were a number of those working in health centres; they were contacted on 3 March and were offered to be transferred to ‘new’ temporary wards at Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital on a voluntary basis.(independent.com.mt) The health sector is important not to neglect.

Maltese aid for Syrian refugees
Five containers filled with clothes, food and water donated by the Maltese through a General Workers’ Union initiative are set to be shipped to aid Syrian refugees in Jordan this week. The shipment will be coordinated by NGO Spring, which was set up last month by young Syrian activists who had fled to Jordan during the year-long uprising against the regime led by Bashar Assad. At a press conference organised by the GWU yesterday, Spring member Imad Abdallah described first-hand the horrors he had witnessed. The 28-year-old hails from arguably the worst-hit city in the conflict: Homs. “My city has been destroyed,” he said, explaining how it had been heavily shelled by the Syrian regime’s artillery. He also notes that the regime has isolated Homs from the world, preventing humanitarian aid from arriving and leading to a situation where people could only watch helplessly as people die. Aircraft had also been dispatched to detect communications signals which ensured that what was happening in Homs became known, Mr Abdallah said, adding that this had led to the death of a number of foreign journalists recently.(independent.com.mt) It's quite honorable to help refugees in Syria.

Police called in as new claims of VAT Department fraud surface
The Finance Ministry has referred a new case of alleged major fraud at the VAT Department to the police. The case allegedly involves a number of employees. The Finance Ministry confirmed that it had received a report about the case and had called in the police. The VAT Department was rocked by a scandal in 2009 when several businessmen and department employees were taken to court and convicted. Following this case, legal amendments were made as part of a series of measures taken at the department to address serious shortcomings highlighted in an internal report that identified "a grave risk" of insider fraud.(timesofmalta.com) In all states the VAT fraud is rampant.

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