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23/05/2012 - 22:48

Malta news: democratic credentials

Malta news: democratic credentials - New ITS campus set to be built - Parliament did not need to ratify agreement – Attorney General - Government has buried its democratic credentials - PL.

Malta news: democratic credentials
New ITS campus set to be built
A new campus will be built for the Institute of Tourism Studies in the coming years, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi announced yesterday. The project will be handled by the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools, which had been set up to build new schools and upgrade existing ones. Plans are still in their infancy, although an artist’s impression of the final project was shown to the media. A site is yet to be picked, although a number of sites are being considered. FTS general manager Charles Farrugia explained that the new campus would ideally be not too far away from the present campus, which overlooks St George’s Bay in St Julian’s. The present campus – which uses part of what had been the St George’s Barracks – might be on a prime site, Dr Gonzi noted, but the old building was hindering the institute’s development. As is the case at the present campus, the new one is set to include a restaurant which provides students the opportunity to practise their skills in a work environment. According to present plans, the new campus’ restaurant would be significantly larger – seating up to 600 people at one go indoors and outdoors – and could possibly be utilised for other purposes as well. The new campus would also include sleeping quarters, which would house foreign students and help to train students in hospitality.(independent.com.mt) Tourism is an important sector in Malta, he deserves campus.

Parliament did not need to ratify agreement – Attorney General
The Attorney General, Peter Grech, declared that the Security of Documents agreement between Nato and Malta concluded in Brussels in 1996 did not constitute an international treaty and thus did not require ratification by parliamentary resolution or by law. Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi announced during yesterday’s sitting of the European and Foreign Affairs Committee that he had requested the Attorney General to clarify a claim made by the Opposition on Monday evening. In his response, the Attorney General quoted the Ratification of Treaties Act and stated that this particular agreement cannot be regarded as “as an international agreement concluded between states” and that this particular agreement regulated the protection and safeguard of the exchange of sensitive and privileged information between the two parties. He concluded that ratification of such an agreement falls within the general powers of government. The cordial atmosphere before the sitting changed completely once the Prime Minister accused the Opposition of failing to understand the Wikileaks cable and thus tabling a motion based on the wrong conclusions. The motion accuses Mr Cachia Caruana of bypassing parliamentary scrutiny in 2004 when he argued that Malta had never formally withdrawn from the Partnership for Peace (PfP). The cable notes that this proposal would allow Malta to participate in EU-Nato strategic discussions without the need for a divisive parliamentary vote. The Prime Minister backed his argument by quoting media reports of Labour’s press conference held on 20 April when Labour MPs George Vella and Luciano Busuttil had announced their intention to table this motion.(independent.com.mt) The solution was obvious infact.

Government has buried its democratic credentials - PL
The Labour Party said this evening that through its objection to an Opposition amendment to a motion of censure against Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici the government this morning buried its European democratic credentials. The objection was made when the Opposition proposed to amend its own motion so that it would call for the resignation of Dr Mifsud Bonnici. In a statement the PL said that approval of a censure motion should be enough for a minister to resign. However, in order to avoid legal games of the sort played by the prime minister when he ignored the will of the people after the divorce referendum, it had proposed to amend the motion in order to call for the minister's resignation.(timesofmalta.com) It is true that the approval of a motion of censure is enough to make a minister resign.

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