Dr Muscat is undoubtedly deserving of praise for the manner in which he has handled his elevation to Prime Minister in recent days and the Labour Party victory; which, contrary to some predictions, has been remarkably peaceful and serene. Much of the credit for that is down to his approach.
Editorjal, The Times 14.3.2013
With the changing of the guard this last week, much of the country, the majority in fact, has been engulfed in a wave of optimism, of a new and brighter future under the ‘movement’ spearheaded by the new Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent on Sunday 17.3.2013
There is no question that splitting the finance and economic affairs ministry into two is a good move. There is more than one reason for this, however, the principal one is that, given the way the economic situation is developing in Europe, it is crucial that Malta keeps the economy under strict scrutiny all the time.
Editorjal, The Times 21.3.2013
It is therefore a welcome move that the new Minister for Transport announced a new phase of consultation with the public in an attempt to put the public transport reforms back on track
Editorjal, The Times 7.3.2013
The appointment (hatra ta’ Dr. Franco Debono bhala Kummissarju tal-Ligi) makes sense. He had, for instance, tabled a far-reaching Private Members Bill on sweeping reforms to the justice system and had drafted a new law on party and election campaign financing. In the past legislature, Dr Debono had also headed the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Re-Codification and Consolidation of Laws, which had dealt with subject matter very similar to that he would be tasked with as Commissioner for Law. As for his role in the Constitutional Convention, the uproar from the Nationalist Party seems to be no more than a storm in a teacup. In coordinating the Constitutional Convention, it will not be Dr Debono who dictates the changes to the country’s Constitution, far from it.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 31.3.2013
The news that the government is to embark on a review of the judicial system is welcome. There are also no qualms about the decision to set up a Commission for the Reform of the judicial system, and there are certainly no qualms about its composition, and the person who will be presiding over it. It is no secret that a fair amount of Malta’s laws are antiquated and not at all relevant to the needs of today. It is also true that laws which were only brought in five to ten years ago, are also not up to speed with what is going on in today’s world. Some need changing. A thorough review is also needed to address the way our courts work, and even, the way the Commission for the Administration of Justice works. There was also a pressing need to have an autonomous figure to act as an independent ‘watchdog’ – and that has been addressed by the appointment of a Commissioner for Law.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 25.3.2013
True to its word, the new government has not wasted much time in setting about its agenda to introduce civil rights to the country where they are so desperately lacking, as evidenced once again this week by the announcement that the previous administration’s fight against one transgender person’s right to marry has been dropped. The announcement by new Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli that the government has bowed out of the European Court of Human Rights court case that transgender person Joanne Cassar, who is seeking to marry, had brought against the state was most welcome news. The case and the government’s failure to allow her to marry has been a long-standing travesty.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent on Sunday 7.4.2013
The measures towards the tourism industry on Gozo which were announced during yesterday’s budget speech are all positive, said the Gozo Tourism Association. The Association welcomes the Government plans for Gozo, namely starting the process to develop a yacht marina, a cruise liner terminal and a new casino licence. GTA said that these developments will open up new markets as well as enhance and strengthen other sectors of the tourism industry in Gozo. The budget also proposed the revision of licences related to the Gozitan selfcatering units, and a review of Incentive guidelines for hoteliers which includes incentives for 3 star hotels as well as innovative and technological means for Gozo as a touristic product to benefit from. Another plan is to allocate a total of €200,000 for a scheme intended to reduce the rates by Gozo Channel during the winter months.
di-ve.com news Last Updated 09 | 04 | 2013 at 18:18
The Malta Developers Association (MDA) this evening welcomed the reduction in Mepa fees announced yesterday. "This was one of the MDA’s main requests since it always maintained that the tariff structure should reflect the direct costs of Mepa’s service to applicants for permits and not as a means to raise money for other Mepa work that has nothing to do with the development application," the association said. It said it appreciated the fact that the government had acted quickly, and it said it would work to restore confidence in the construciton sector without creating an artificial bubble through abuse or lack of sustainable planning.
timesofmalta.com Thursday, April 11, 2013, 20:41
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat – no matter what thinks of him – is brimming over with enthusiasm. He wants to work, and he is trying to do all he can to reach out to society. Some may dismiss his photo ops and courtesy calls as a waste of time. But they are not. By meeting sports teams, NGOs and people in general, he is conveying a message of at least wanting to show that he is ready to be the leader of the country. The same holds true for Dr Muscat’s speeches – which so far have been few and far between. This is understandable – both in terms of his trying to get down to running the country, rather than addressing political activities – and in terms of the PM’s style of doing politics. He always said that he would delegate and let his cabinet take care of the work which falls in their remit.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 13.4.2013
The fact that Government is to put the issue of wild animals in circuses on the agenda for discussion is positive and will be regarded as a victory for local and foreign animal rights campaigners.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 18.4.2013
A couple of weeks after the Labour Party won the general elections, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Joe Mizzi announced that the government would be setting up a rapid response unit to deal with potholes. At first, some scoffed. But earlier this week, this newspaper and its portal published a story about a recurring problem in St Julian’s – that of culvert gratings that come unstuck and create a hazard for motorists. Forgetting the shenanigans of cars swerving to avoid the gaping hole with metal bits jutting out, within 12 hours of the story being posted and published, a team was onsite and finished the repair job by the end of the night. Whether or not the repair job holds, will be established over time. But in the past, when this recurring problem surfaced, it would take days before a repair team would be sent to deal with it. And for this, the ministry deserves kudos. A problem was identified, picked up on, and tackled within a reasonable (by Maltese standards) time limit. One hopes that this momentum is kept up and that future problems – even those that do not make the media and are pointed out by the general public – are tackled in a similar manner.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 19.4.2013
One of the first initiatives taken by the new Government was the announcement in Parliament that the Permanent Resident Scheme would be revived. Many of those involved in the property industry welcomed this move as they believe this will be one way of instilling some life in a sluggish market.
Editorjal, The Times 22.4.2013
It was most welcome news on Monday when Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli confirmed that the government is wasting no time in making good on its pre-electoral pledge to introduce civil unions for same-sex couples.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 25.4.2013
It is a positive development that the new administration has sent a clear political signal that it has the will and determination to snip off the red tape that shackles business.
Editorjal, The Times 4.5.2013
To its word and to its credit the Labour Government is delivering on its promises.
independent.com.mt Tuesday, 14 May 2013, 08:24
Some time ago, Minister Joe Mizzi announced that a centre strip will be laid down on the Coast Road from St Andrew’s to Bugibba. We applaud the decision.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 19.6.2013
Dr Muscat proves he is really listening to what the country is saying and acting accordingly.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 22.6.2013
The “government that listens” exercise embarked upon by the Labour government has also been a success story.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 24.6.2013
It is welcome news that the Prime Minister is acting quickly on his pledge to revise the Church-State agreement on marriage annulments. This week, in fact, he travelled to the Vatican for discussions with the Pope and senior officials from the Holy See to set out the ways and means of reversing this long-standing bone of contention. ... The Prime Minister had announced the bold step that would essentially scrap, or at least substantially revise, the agreement back in March during a meeting with the Archbishop just after being elected. That was a huge step in the right direction – in the direction of the full accordance of civil liberties that he has promised to implement if and when in power. And now that he is in power, he is living up to his word. ... The Prime Minister’s relatively quick action in bringing words into action by entering into discussions with the Holy See in this respect is fundamentally positive and is most welcome.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 27.6.2013
Dr Muscat revealed that he had already abstained from voting on the asylum package at last week’s European Council, which his party had criticised because it included no compulsory burden-sharing mechanism for asylum seekers. He seems determined, saying that to assert the government’s position, “we’ll go as far as we need to.” Dr Muscat is right. He is also right where he points out that the EU showed solidarity when it came to ailing banks, and so it should with Malta.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 5.7.2013
Labour MP Chris Fearne’s initiative to present a Private Members Bill to ban Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to Parliament is laudible and shows a great appreciation of what is going on in our society as African people become part of our culture.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 29.7.2013
The Nationalist Party said it was satisfied with the outcome of the three-day saga which saw the government refuse entry to a tanker which rescued 102 migrants at sea. The Opposition has backed the government's stance from the very beginning, claiming that the government's action was in accordance with international law.
maltatoday.com.mt Wednesday 7 August 2013 - 17:43
The Malta Employers’ Association stated that the Memorandum of Understanding which has been signed between Malta and China is a positive development which could open many opportunities for Malta in the energy sector and this strategic alliance could pave the way economic collaboration in other areas between the two countries, the association said in a statement. The Association augured that the negotiations that will take place in the coming months with China Power Investment Corporation - one of the largest state owned energy companies in China - will result in the best deal possible for Malta, one which should result in a capital inflow in the economy; an easing of Enemalta’s financial woes and a transfer of technology which could generate green jobs. The Chinese company’s stated mission, that of ‘providing green energy, serving the general public’ can easily be adopted to bring about a culture change in Enemalta, the association said.
independent.com.mt Wednesday, 11 September 2013, 11:01
MHRA welcomes the agreement signed by Enemalta and China Power Investments Corporation. “The agreement is viewed by MHRA as a new chapter for Enemalta which is the most crucial public sector owned companies that impacts every single business in Malta especially more so those like the hotel industry where energy is a substantial percentage in costs incurred to run the business,” the MHRA said in a statement. Tony Zahra president of MHRA said the news of this agreement is excellent news particularly for Malta's Tourism industry. The association has been for more than 5 years talking about Enemalta and the need for a new directions and new blood to come in.
independent.com.mt Wednesday, 11 September 2013, 11:01
The Chamber of SMEs (GRTU) said the Chinese deal was important for Malta. “China offers many important opportunities for the growth of Maltese business. This investment should reduce the burden of debt that Enemalta has. It will also create new jobs which is why the GRTU appeals to the government to invest more in human resources in the energy sector.”
maltatoday.com.mt Wednesday 11 September 2013 - 16:36
The Nationalist Party has welcomed the agreement which will see Libya sell energy products to Malta at preferential rates. The party augured that the memorandum of understanding signed this morning, would lead to a final agreement which would benefit consumers.
timesofmalta.com Monday, September 2, 2013, 18:30
A great step forward was taken this week in parliament as government MP Chris Fearn, a paediatric surgeon filed a private members bill, calling for the horrific and barbarous practice of Female Genital Mutilation to be outlawed, whether conducted here in Malta, or abroad. With the bill as proposed, offenders could be subjected to a jail term of between four and 10 years, if found guilty.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 27.9.2013
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s recent visit to Israel and the West Bank can only be described as positive and successful.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 21.10.2013
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat got what he wanted out of the EU Council meeting in Brussels. It started off with a coalition of three – MIGs (Malta, Italy and Greece). On the first evening of the council, that triumvirate had grown to nine. By the end of the Council meeting, the number had swelled to 15 EU member states that wanted immigration put firmly on the agenda. ... Dr Muscat’s negotiating abilities have also proven to have matured. He knew that he would not get the outcome he wanted in this Council gathering that has just closed. He also knew that June would be too late, so December it had to be – and that was what he was really pushing for.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 26.10.2013
These are certainly interesting times in which we are living here in Malta. In terms of civil rights, the country is being propelled into the 21st century and it is quickly making up for lost time. From the introduction of divorce to a revision of the Church-State concordat on marriage annulments, and from the legislation of transgender rights to the new possibility of the decriminalisation of simple drug possession, the government of the day is in many respects living up to its ‘progressive label’ in an outstanding fashion. ... This government ... is performing admirably in the area of civil rights and in so doing it is leading by example. ... These developments have all been huge strides in the right direction – in the direction of the full accordance of civil liberties that Joseph Muscat had promised to implement if and when in power. And now that he is Prime Minister, he is living up to his word. He had promised that under his stewardship of the country, civil liberties will be viewed as fundamental rights rather than as mere concessions, and he is keeping his word.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent on Sunday 27.10.2013
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat must be credited with elevating Malta’s irregular immigration problem to the attention of the international media. His time as a journalist has certainly helped him acquire a collection of sound bites.
Editorjal, The Sunday Times 27.10.2013
What does hosting the Commonwealth Heads of State meeting mean? The answer is simple. It means that a country is deemed stable, trusted and respected. What does it mean for a country to host the CHOGM at two years notice instead of four, and to step in where another nation has pulled out? More trust. Let us ask one more question, what does it mean to return to ask a country that hosted the meeting less than 10 years ago to step into the breach and do it again? It means full trust, peace of mind in the fact that a job has been done well once and can be done again. … The Prime Minister is shrewd – he said that Malta would be willing to pick up the gauntlet, but only if there was unanimity within the Commonwealth. … It has to be said, bravo, Prime Minister.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 19.11.2013
The amount of cars over the weekend spoke for themselves. There were queues from Mellieha to Cirkewwa, and in Gozo, there were queues all the way from Victoria to Mgarr. … Gozo experienced a mini-boom over the weekend, and truth be told, this should be done again, but perhaps with a bit more thought. … To those who have derided the scheme – we say, don’t cut your nose to spite your face. All in all (aside from the traffic nightmare) it was a good idea. Everyone seems happy with it, and let’s be honest, apart from the Santa Marija week and the Carnival weekend, Gozo has to make do with a small trickle of the tourism Malta gets. … Credit to this government, and whoever came up with this idea, while it was a ‘one-off’ it certainly gave results and it certainly gave Gozitan businesses a much needed boost. … After all the talk, all the consultation and planning, someone has hit on a master-stroke.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 20.11.2013
With its nine-seat majority, Muscat could have pressed ahead – but he did not. He showed that while his government enjoys a huge majority, he is willing to listen. Late perhaps, but we all know the saying better late than never.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 16.12.2013
According to MHRA President Paul Bugeja, “Our association was never against the scheme in principle and indeed commended Government for thinking out of the box in terms of new financial initiatives that would benefit our economy. … MHRA will support Government to realise the IIP scheme without further deferment.
independent.com.mt Monday, 13 January 2014, 20:12
There is probably no other member of Cabinet which takes his role so conscientiously and scrupulously as the Minister of Health. ... One thing is crystal clear: the minister is trying hard, very hard, perhaps too hard to turn a dysfunctional hospital and health service into something that respects better the people it aims to serve.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 11.1.2014
The Gozo Tourism Association and the Gozo Business Chamber have welcomed the start of preparatory works in connection with the airstrip on Gozo. Both the GTA and the GBC reiterated that since their inception was always in favour of an airstrip in Gozo.
di-ve.com news Last Updated 21 | 01 | 2014 at 17:38
This week, another enormously positive step was made when the government began unveiling its reform of the public school system, including the giant leap to co-education and the option to swap religion classes for ethics classes. Both initiatives bring Malta closer in line with today’s realities and the scholastic situation of Maltese youngsters’ European peers, peers they will compete with in the future not only in the job markets but in the overall stakes of life.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent on Sunday 26.1.2014
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has also managed another victory, he has pulled the carpet from under the feet of the Nationalist Party and its leader Simon Busuttil. The Prime Minister has also shot down the PN’s arguments about withdrawal of citizenship, by saying that it is illegal and doing so would be tantamount to creating stateless people – refugees. The party will be scratching its head to try and figure out how Joseph Muscat managed to turn a bad situation around in his favour and take away the very argument that the PN would have used to campaign on in the upcoming MEP election campaign.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 31.1.2014
The government’s White Paper on the financing of political parties is a step in the right direction and offers a good basis for the enactment of a law to regulate this area. Malta is one of the very few Western industrialised democracies not to have a party financing law and the launch of the government’s proposals last week to address this anomaly is therefore a welcome move.
Editorjal, The Sunday Times 9.2.2014
The Malta Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the 'decisive action' taken by the government to uncover theft of electricity. It said that news that Enemalta had been losing some €30m a year in loss of revenue from theft of electricity was perturbing. It said it was certain that this contributed to Malta having industrial electricity rates which are the third highest across all EU Member States.
timesofmalta.com Thursday, February 20, 2014, 14:35
Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson, Prof. Arnold Cassola, said: “The recent incentives offered by the Maltese government for the Maltese to visit Gozo have proved to be an excellent stimulant for the Gozitan economy. Alternattiva Demokratika is thus proposing to government to create more of such occasions by ensuring that public holidays which fall on a weekday should be enjoyed by workers on a Friday or a Monday. These new long weekends would not only give the Maltese more chances of visiting Gozo but would also serve as a short shut-down period for factories in Malta, when machinery could be serviced, etc.”
independent.com.mt Friday, 21 February 2014, 11:04
The action taken by the government to put an end to the theft of electricity from Enemalta is to be welcomed. ... Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi deserves credit for trying to end this scandalous abuse.
Editorjal, The Sunday Times 23.2.2014
Coleiro Preca dejjem kienet vicin in-nies u minghajr tlaqlieq nghid li din il-persuna hi ezempju haj ta’ kif ghandha tkun il-hidma politika tal-politici fis-socjeta taghna.
PN Communication Coordinator, In-Nazzjon 4.3.2014
Joseph Muscat has adopted a pro-business economic policy, the economy has remained in relatively good shape and government finances seem to be improving. The recent economic forecast by the European Commission has predicted two per cent GDP growth for both 2013 and 2014 as well as a deficit of 2.7 per cent for 2014. These are encouraging signs.
Editorjal, The Sunday Times 9.3.2014
The Parliamentary Secretary for Justice, Owen Bonnici, has established a firm grip over his portfolio and is moving forward the long overdue need for improvements in the administration of justice.
Editorjal, The Times 13.03.2014
It is true that the new government has contributed to inject fresh confidence in the island’s economic environment.
Editorjal, The Times 20.3.2014
BirdLife Malta said it welcomed the announcement of tougher mandatory penalties for the most serious offences against wildlife - the shooting and trapping of “highly protected species” of birds. “In light of the years that BirdLife Malta and other conservation organisations have been campaigning for better legal protection for wild birds from the threat of direct persecution in Malta, we hope that this will act as an improved deterrent to would-be poachers,” said the organisation’s Conservation Manager, Nicholas Barbara.
timesofmalta.com Monday, March 24, 2014, 09:47
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has welcomed an announcement by the prime minister yesterday which indicated an end to detention of child asylum seekers in Malta. "We consider this to be a positive signal that the Government is prepared to make important adjustments to the current reception system. It is our firm belief that legitimate concerns and interests of States can be effectively addressed while maintaining a reception system which is in line with international standards," the high commission said.
timesofmalta.com Monday, March 31, 2014, 11:53
The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses has welcomed the Cabinet reshuffle carried out yesterday by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. The nurses’ union, whose repeated disagreements with outgoing health minister Godfrey Farrugia were made amply clear, said the changes would lead to “substantial improvement” of the health sector.
maltatoday.com.mt 30 March 2014, 9:02am
Owen Bonnici – who has proved to be a shining example of hard work, measured tone and thoughtful action.
Editorjal, The Times 1.4.2014
This government has undoubtedly taken some laudable steps in the area of education since it took power a little over a year ago. In fact, a recent editorial in this newspaper heaped praise on the education ministry on the steps taken so far in its reform of the public school system, including the giant leap to co-education and the option to swap religion classes for ethics classes. Both initiatives will undoubtedly bring Malta closer in line with today’s realities and the scholastic situation of Maltese youngsters’ European peers, peers they will compete with in the future not only in the job markets but in the overall stakes of life.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent on Sunday 6.4.2014
The Malta Union of Teachers said today that it agreed with the introduction of Banding in state primary schools, but said that there should be an ongoing evaluation of the system. Banding will replace mixed-ability classes. “The MUT Council welcomes the decision of the Ministry for Education and Employment to introduce Banding in State Schools. The Union has been highlighting the difficulties of mixed ability grouping since its introduction. The Union has requested clarifications from the Ministry about the way Banding will be implemented and is satisfied about the procedure which will be adopted,” the union said in a statement.
timesofmalta.com Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 11:54
The civil unions bill is a massive step forward – which it must be said – has been spearheaded by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. For this, he deserve praise and acknowledgement. It is still plain to see that there is opposition within the general public to the move. But the Prime Minister took responsibility and pushed it through parliament, rather than putting it to a referendum. This will be another massive victory for minority groups in Malta. The first huge victory that was scored was the divorce referendum. In that vote, the people of Malta and Gozo put aside their own personal opinions and decided to vote in favour of its introduction – largely not for themselves, but for other people who were being denied the right to a loving and stable committed relationship.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 14.4.2014
The Malta Employers’ Association described The National Employment Policy document as providing a professional analysis of labour market issues in Malta, with concrete actions to address labour market deficiencies. The main strengths of the document are that it contains a comprehensive list of tangible measures that are all aimed at increasing the supply side of the labour market through a set of active labour market policies that target specific segments of the population. Enhancing the activity rate of the Maltese - together with the increase in foreign employees - is essential for economic growth, which ultimately depends on an increase in productive hours and the value added of such effort. Most of the measures listed in the document are the result of consultations undertaken at the Jobs Plus committee and the MCESD with the involvement of the social partners.
di-ve.com news 02 | 05 | 2014 at 16:51
Joseph Muscat’s persona seems to be growing in stature at every test and he has proved to be a master tactician who can read the political landscape like a book.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 26.5.2014
The Malta Chamber is encouraged by the announcement made this morning by the Prime Minister that “government is currently compiling a new and updated package of market surveillance rules in order to ensure a level playing-field for all”.
independent.com.mt Thursday, 03 July 2014, 14:33
The country’s economy as a whole is doing well and prospects remain good. Editorjal, The Times 8.7.2014
Within the space of a year, the government has leveraged Malta’s status as a member of the European Union to its advantage on at least two memorable occasions that will undoubtedly go down in the annals of history: when it devised its oft-maligned citizenship by investment programme and, this week, when it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent on Sunday 13.7.2014
The government and all the entities that were involved (Martin Galea abduction) deserve praise for their handling of the situation. A job well done, and the happiest of endings to a harrowing ordeal.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 30.7.2014
Credit where credit is due. The Labour government took this (dock 1) project to heart and really pushed it through under Joe Mizzi – known to be a doer in his inimitable style.
Editorjal The Malta Independent 30.8.2014
PN spokesperson for health Claudio Grech … said the government is working on ensuring that the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) and other workers on the front line are provided with the necessary training and equipment. “We will continue to support the government’s efforts and offer our own suggestions,” he said. He agreed with the government’s assessment that the possibility of Ebola reaching Malta is remote due to the short incubation period.
independent.com.mt Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 12:46
Dwar il-każ tal-vapur merkantili Western Copenhagen, Newsbook.com.mt tkellem mal-Kap tal-Oppożizzjoni Simon Busuttil dwar l-opinjoni tal-Oppożizzjoni. Dr Busuttil ikkonferma li l-Prim Ministru Joseph Muscat tkellem miegħu dwar dan il-każ. Ma’ Newsbook.com.mt qal li l-Oppożizzjoni qablet mad-deċiżjoni tal-Gvern, li ma jingħatax il-permess lill-Kaptan tal-bastiment li jidħol f’Malta biex tiġi żgurata s-sistema tas-saħħa.
newsbook.com.mt 18/09/14 04:27 PM
Din l-Art Helwa in a statement commended the government’s decision to close the hunting season following repeated instances of illegal hunting of protected birds.
independent.com.mt Saturday, 20 September 2014, 18:26
He (Dr. Joseph Muscat) has good reason to be pleased about Malta’s economic performance and thinks that the country can do even better, a view that is shared by many others.
Editorjal, The Times 14.10.2014
L-Assoċjazzjoni ta' Min Iħaddem (MEA) qalet li hi taqbel mal-ispjegazzjoni li ta l-Prim Ministru dwar il-mekkaniżmu tal-COLA. L-Assoċjazzjoni qalet li l-pubbliku għandu jkun jaf li l-COLA la jiddetermina l-gvern u lanqas bi qbil mal-unjins u min iħaddem. “Il-Prim Ministru huwa korrett meta jgħid li l-COLA mhiex żieda għall-għoli tal-ħajja iżda aġustament awtomatiku, ibbażat fuq l-indiċi tal-Prezzijiet (RPI), ibbażat fuq kif dan l-indiċi jvarja biex ikun ta' kumpens għaż-żieda fil-prezzijiet tas-sena ta' qabel,” qalet l-MEA.
inewsmalta.com 13:22 | 28.10.2014
Obviously, the country ought to be pleased by the progress being made, as reflected in the rate of economic growth.
Editorjal, The Times 8.11.2014
Victim Support Malta has lauded the government’s efforts to establish minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.
timesofmalta.com Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 13:10
Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil this afternoon praised the government initiative to give tax rebates for donations to the Malta Community Chest Fund.
timesofmalta.com Thursday, December 4, 2014, 16:08
Parliamentary Secretary Chris Fearne announced in parliament that Good Samaritans who seek help for overdose victims will not be prosecuted. This is a laudable, and commendable piece of common sense and empathy that should have been in practice for the past 30 years.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 18.12.2014
Many were the critics when Malta first expressed interest back in November 2013 to host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Those voices, for the most part, were silenced this week for Malta, all things told, rose to the occasion and pulled the whole thing off in marvellous fashion.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 29.11.2015
The government promised that it would deliver with Mater Dei Hospital. Despite all the scandals that this administration is facing, it is becoming evident that the Health Sector is finally getting the attention which it deserves.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 19.2.2016
It is most admirable for Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Chris Fearne, to come out with a consultation document on a patient’s charter, the absence of which has been felt for long now. It is fine to have first-class hospitals and clinics, but what ultimately counts most is the standard of service given by healthcare providers. It is towards improving such standard that the government is now planning to introduce a patient’s charter.
Editorjal, Times of Malta 19.4.2016
The government has good reason to be euphoric over the progress the economy keeps making from quarter to quarter, a result of a combination of factors that include a sound starting point inherited from the previous administration and measures introduced over the past two and a half years. The good performance is having a multiplier effect in that it is generating greater confidence in the country’s ability to move further ahead.
Editorjal, The Times, 20.1.2016
The White Paper containing proposals to regulate those who sell properties is a step in the right direction.
Editorjal, The Times 2.2.2016
The introduction of a maternity leave fund in July 2015 was a good policy aimed at ending gender discrimination in the workforce. Employers pay 0.3 per cent of the basic pay for every employee to build up a fund from which the 14-week maternity leave will be paid. Making it easier for female workers to find the right balance between family and work commitments is a good strategy. Spreading the cost of family-friendly measures is the right tactic.
Editorjal, The Times 6.6.2016
Malta’s economy is booming and that is partly thanks to government.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 19.7.2016
Prof. Scicluna has managed since 2013 to cut the deficit in a sustained way, down from 3.5 per cent in 2012 to 1.5 per cent last year. Admittedly, his feat to control expenditure was helped in no little way by a booming economy. The tax-take increased despite a reduction in the top income tax rate for those earning less than €60,000. The economy’s growth was not coincidental. While the foundations were robust, the government took targeted policy decisions that unshackled its potential. Free universal childcare, tapering of social benefits, a more generous part-time tax regime and advantageous tax systems to draw individuals out of the shadow economy were some of the decisions that helped stimulate growth. The utility rate reductions and the sustained drop in fuel prices – even if these could be cut further given the drop in the cost of oil – also provided a stimulus that left families and businesses with more cash and profits in hand. Prof. Scicluna is steering the most successful economy in the EU that also boasts the lowest unemployment.
Editorjal, The Times 25.8.2016
This administration’s successes in the economic sector and in the tourism sector are undoubted. Measures such as the free childcare service have helped the economy to continue to steam ahead.
Editorjal, The Times 15.4.2016
Malta’s finances are constantly improving, with the deficit down to 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product.
Editorjal, The Times 4.10.2016
With Enemalta’s debt running at over €800 million, which is a veritable millstone around the country’s neck, the government’s decision to work out a salvage plan involving foreign and local capital in a revamped energy set-up was a right move.
Editorjal, The Times 2.1.2015
Il-unjin tal-infermiera u l-qwiebel (MUMN) faħħret il-mod ġdid ta’ kif bdiet issir verifika ta’ liema unjin għandha tkun rikonoxxuta b’rabta ma’ diskussjonijiet dwar il-ħaddiema. Il-unjin qalet li l-mod ġdid hu iktar trasparenti u ġust minn dak użat sa ftit ilu mid-Dipartiment tar-Relazzjonijiet Industrijali għaliex issa bdiet issir laqgħa ta’ verifika mhux biss ma’ min iħaddem imma anke mal-istess unjin li tirrappreżenta lill-ħaddiema. Għalhekk l-MUMN faħħret l-intervent tal-Ministru Helena Dalli biex il-proċedura ta’ verifikazzjoni ta’ unjin ma tibqax imwaħħla kif kienet għall-aħħar sitt xhur.
Newsbook.com.mt 13/01/15 09:53 AM
The Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations (MCWO) has welcomed the launch of the Maternity Leave Fund out of which employers will be refunded for payment of paid maternity leave. The MCWO said that this measure was long overdue and would eliminate the main disincentive for employers to employ women of child bearing age due to the cost of maternity leave. Employers pay for 14 weeks of maternity leave at 100 per cent of the employee’s salary. By means of the Fund all employers in the private sector will now contribute to the Fund, independently of whether their employees are men or women, and get reimbursed for payment of maternity leave. "This initiative is a milestone for Malta and contributes to further enhance women’s employability and gender equality at the workplace and in society," Lorraine Spiteri, chairperson of the confederation said.
Timesofmalta.com Saturday, July 25, 2015, 16:26
A government request to local councils to change waste collection times to ease traffic congestion should not be rubbished out of hand. Indeed, this should have been done long ago.
Editorjal, The Times 12.9.2015
The further opening up of public space and the additional pedestrianisation of Valletta as provided for in the plans for the revamp of Castille Square as announced on Monday are entirely welcome.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 5.3.2015
The Prime Minister yesterday hinted that the European Commission may lift the Excessive Deficit Procedure imposed on Malta for failing to stick to the Maastricht criteria’s three per cent benchmark. The Labour government inherited a 3.7% deficit from the previous administration in 2013. Since then, the wheels of bureaucracy began to turn and the EDP was imposed, and Malta was told to bring the rate down to below the three per cent threshold in a sustainable manner within two years. Since then, the government managed to reduce the deficit to 2.1% in 2014, which was a victory in itself, when compared to other European Union members in the current economic climate.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 16.3.2015
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was yesterday true to his word and closed the spring hunting season after repeated incidents where the law was broken. This publishing house unreservedly backs the Prime Minister’s decision after having campaigned for a No vote in the referendum last month. Following the close result, the PM had warned hunters that the game had changed and that abuse would not be tolerated. He had also said that hunters were given what was probably their “last chance”.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 28.4.2015
Basking in continued economic growth, with the most recent positive forecasts coming from Standard and Poor’s, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has heralded a new era for Maltese industry. He said that while the 1990s saw the rise of financial services and the early 2000s the iGaming industry, the government was now focused on attracting educational and healthcare companies and Asian investment.
Editorjal, The Times 2.8.2015
There is no doubt that, at face value, the government can boast with the country’s employment figures. The unemployment rate in Malta is the second best, behind Germany, in the European Union, and that is something that any government would be proud of. That the rate is also the lowest we have had in years is also an achievement. Figures show that the 5.1% unemployment rate is the lowest since Eurostat started publishing figures concerning Malta.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 8.9.2015
The fact that the government has taken the bull by the horns and has taken the local warden system out of the hands of the private sector, which had been making extremely lucrative profits for years on end, and placed the system in the public domain where it belongs is entirely commendable.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 11.6.2015
One thing remained constant - and that is sitting in kilometres-long tailbacks and the disastrous state of our roads. This government cannot, at all, be blamed for the current state of affairs. It is a build up that has taken place over years.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 17.6.2015
The plan to have a State corporation coordinating the massive development projects in the pipeline at St George’s Bay was yesterday described as a “pleasant surprise” by key players in the tourism industry. However, they cautioned that government needed to tread carefully so as not to create additional layers of bureaucracy that would make the move self-defeating. “This is fantastic news for us but the devil may be in the detail,” the President of the Malta Hotels and Restaurant Association, Tony Zahra, told this newspaper.
Timesofmalta.com Monday, October 12, 2015, 10:08
The Malta Developers Association has welcomed the skill cards scheme, which the Building Industry Consultative Council is introducing in the near future. The MDA said the scheme would give due recognition to those who work in the construction industry and, at the same time, help raise quality, health and safety standards at the place of work. It will also improve the employment conditions of those who are qualified.
Timesofmalta.com Monday, October 12, 2015, 09:06
In a statement, the Malta chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry welcomed news that the (anti tax abuse) unit was being set up, saying it had been "extremely vociferous" in the past on the need to tackle the black economy. "The Chamber is pleased that the authorities have understood the importance of the Chamber's arguments." It offered the government "all the help at its disposal" to ensure the project was successful.
Timesofmalta.com Friday, October 14, 2016
Over the last two weeks the government has taken two big and decisive steps in the right direction as far as environmental protection is concerned. … The two cases in point are the handing over of the Salini salt pans to BirdLife Malta, which will become responsible for the management of what will be known as the Salina Reserve – the organisation’s largest land management project – and the publication on Friday of a legal notice reserving a massive stretch of land near Zonqor and beyond as a national park.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent on Sunday 23.10.2016
It is a credit to Minister Scicluna that he has come up with a sober (2017) budget, with a long term view, and did not fall for short term political gain.
Michael Falzon ex Ministru taht Gvernijiet Nazzjonalisti
Malta's opening up to Chinese tourism was a step in the right direction and in line with the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association strategy, the association said today. In a statement, the association welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister that 10,000 Chinese visitors will come to Malta by 2018 and 50,000 by 2020, following the signing of agreements with the Bank of China and China International Travel Services. MHRA president Tony Zahra said this was in line with the strategy recommended by the association that Malta should focus on developing new source markets and enhancing source markets' quality.
Timesofmalta.com Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 10:12
The announcement made by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna that a new unit was being set up to target tax dodgers through a joint effort between the inland revenue, VAT and Customs departments is, therefore, welcome news.
Editorjal, The Times 26.10.2016
EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker heaped praise on Malta today for its preparations to assume the EU presidency on January 1. “Malta is prepared in the best way possible to take over the presidency. Malta is a serious country, down to earth, a small country with great ambitions,” he said during a Brussels press conference. The press conference was held after the Maltese Cabinet met the EU College of Commissioners to map out the presidency agenda. “I am quite convinced we will have six good months because Malta is not putting domestic concerns but European concerns on the agenda, and so I view the Maltese presidency with the expectation that will make European progress. This is one of the best presidencies,” he said.
Timesofmalta.com Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 10:40
Listening to Minister Helena Dalli speaking in Parliament on Monday made one realize how much ground has been covered in the past few years to bring Malta into the contemporary world. It must be admitted that up till the last election no one in Malta had any idea about the long journey still to be undertaken.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 16.11.2016
A patient’s charter, just launched by Health Minister Chris Fearne, takes the island’s health service yet another step forward if it is rigorously followed. … there is much to be commended in the charter, which will be brought into force over a year because, as the minister said, there is still an element of catching up to do.
Editorjal, The Times 25.11.2016
These are interesting times in which we are living here in Malta. In terms of civil rights, the country is being propelled into the 21st century and it is quickly making up for lost time. And just last Monday the country continued to make ground and became the first European country to outlaw the highly controversial practice of gay conversion therapy.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 8.12.2016
From the introduction of divorce to a revision of the Church-State concordat on marriage annulments, and from the legislation of transgender rights to the advent of civil unions to the decriminalisation of simple drug possession, the country and the government of the day is in many respects living up to its ‘progressive label’ in an outstanding fashion. Each of these were all once unthinkable propositions, and now they are realities.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 8.12.2016
In its annual report about the Maltese economy, the International Monetary Fund says that Malta’s economy grew more than anticipated – the predictions were for a 3.5% rise, but this was superseded to 4%, the government said in a statement. In their analysis, IMF economists said that “Malta’s economic growth has been exceptionally strong”, also noting the “robust employment growth and an improvement in public finances”. “Sound policies” were important for this growth, the report noted. The IMF also predicted that “strong job creation is expected to continue in the coming years, keeping unemployment low”. The report noted the decrease in the deficit and predicts a deficit of 0.6% in 2017, down from the 1% forecast earlier this year. “This adjustment, along with favourable economic conditions, will support a reduction of public debt to below 60 percent of GDP”, the report adds.
Independent.com.mt Saturday, 17 December 2016, 08:40
There is no doubt that the government has performed marvellously so far in the area of civil rights.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent on Sunday 1.1.2017
There are many things that I agree with Muscat on, and it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where I disagree with him. Muscat promised that he will strive for wealth to be distributed more fairly, and that he will not forget the people who are struggling to make ends meet. I’m glad that he promised that and I’m sure that he’ll carry it out, and I admire him as a man who sticks to his word.
Arcisqof Charles Scicluna
Maltatoday.com.mt 26 January 2017, 10:57pm
The recent liberalization of shopping days to include the option of opening up on Sundays is very welcome.
Editorjal, The Malta Business Weekly 2 February 2017
Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson, Prof. Arnold Cassola, today praised Finance Minister Edward Scicluna “for having managed to get the EU Finance Ministers to agree on taking measures to fight tax avoidance, despite giving the impression in Malta that he was not so enthusiastic about them.
Independent.com.mt Thursday, 23 February 2017, 11:59
We are now near the half-way mark of the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council, the first time ever that Malta held this post. So far, it would seem that Malta has done well. There have not been, to our knowledge, any claims of mishandling of our responsibilities. On the contrary, there have been instances of praise heaped on Malta, most notably by Jean-Claude Juncker in Malta.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 6.3.2017
This government has shown time and time again that has its finger firmly on the pulse of public sentiment.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 11.3.2017
The General Retailers and Traders Union (GRTU) yesterday welcomed the news that wardens will only issue warning for six traffic contraventions, in the case of a first time offence.It said this was one of a number of initiatives it had discussed with the government, with the aim of “addressing the main problem on our roads.” GRTU said it had always insisted on the need for responsible, yet reasonable enforcement which took the realities of our roads into consideration.
Independent.com.mt Saturday, 18 March 2017, 08:10
The news that in 2016 the government’s consolidated fund registered a small surplus, the first time since 1981, is good news. Economists could see this coming as GDP growth in the last few years has been significant, especially when compared to that of other EU countries. One can understand the hubris of the government team when the NSO’s statistics were announced.
Editorjal, The Sunday Times 2.4.2017
The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association today noted with satisfaction that after 36 years, NSO has reported a government budget surplus for the year 2016 which is no mean feat given that MHRA has been urging governments to budget for a surplus for a long number of years now.
Independent.com.mt Monday, 3 April 2017, 10:22
The Malta Developers Association said today that it welcomes the news that Malta’s Consolidated Fund is no longer in a permanent deficit situation, with Government revenue exceeding payments in 2016. "MDA recognises that this is an important milestone in Malta’s economic history and congratulates Government for reaching this objective without resorting to harsh austerity measures, while reducing taxation," the association said.
Timesofmalta.com Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 12:42
The financial surplus announced by the government is a positive development, if it can be sustained, the Malta Employers' Association said today. It said a fact that the debt/GDP ratio had been reduced due to economic growth - this was also positive news, but this trend needed to be sustained.
Timesofmalta.com Monday, April 3, 2017, 14:05
The new bus service run by the Spanish company Autobuses de Leon has offered some improvements on the previous arrangement.
Editorjal, The Sunday Times 9.4.2017
Personalities from the LGBTIQ lobby have, rightly so, lauded Joseph Muscat for his overhaul of civil liberties in just four years. They sang the PM’s praises telling us how progressive the Labour Party is and how it changed their lives through the civil liberties it introduced. There is no question about the latter. The PL ventured where PN governments had dared not step and brought about a revolution in the sector. The fact that conservative elements within Labour went along with gender equality goes to show how the PN misread the social barometer when it stood by and abstained on the introduction of civil unions and gay adoptions. The PN has learnt that lesson and is now proposing gay marriage in its manifesto. The gay community was justified in hailing Muscat as a hero three years ago, when civil unions were introduced.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 19.5.2017
The gay community in Malta will be forever grateful to Joseph Muscat for first introducing civil unions and now gay marriage. On the civil liberties front, his Labour movement cannot but be lauded; it has taken the country forward in this respect, ensuring that rights are equal to all, not exclusive to certain groups of people.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 14.7.2017
The government’s announcement that it has signed an agreement with Grant Thornton to supply an accrual-based accounting system is good news for all taxpayers who contribute substantially to the government’s multi-million budget expenditure every year.
Editorjal, The Times 20.7.2017
It is not very often that we praise Konrad Mizzi, … Mizzi yesterday announced the introduction of town managers, who will be responsible for the upkeep of certain tourist areas. … the concept behind these town managers is an innovative one that should have been thought of long ago in a country whose economy depends so greatly on tourism. … Minister Mizzi should also be commended on his efforts at Air Malta … we acknowledge that, under his watch, this important sector seems to be heading in the right direction.
Editorjal The Malta Independent 4.8.2017
It has often been the government’s boast that this job (Kappara Flyover project) is being carried out according to the time schedules and within budget. We add another accolade: the work being carried out should be an example to one and all how work should be done.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 9.8.2017
The government is to be commended for the stance it took yesterday when it denied entry and cooperation with a ship belonging to an anti-immigrant organisation. … A number of Maltese non-governmental organisations yesterday heaped praise on the government for its stance. The stance adopted by the Government of Malta sends out a clear message against the politics of hate and extremism.” This newspaper concurs fully. Just as when Malta had refused entry to the Russian warship headed for war-ravaged Syria, the government in this case is undoubtedly on the right side of history.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent onSunday 20.8.2017
One of the moments that will be remembered the most this summer is the photo of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat enjoying a well-deserved holiday in Italy, sipping wine while exponents of the Nationalist Party were – and still are – embroiled in their bitter battle, inside the Dar Centrali as well as on the social media. That photo epitomises Labour’s tranquillity as against the Nationalist Party’s chaos. … There is no doubt that Labour’s policies are working, and are working well. The feel-good factor that characterised the months before the election was carried forward after the 3 June polls, and it looks set to continue.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 8.9.2017
The International Monetary Fund had words of praise for the government’s work in the economic sector, saying that “Malta’s economic growth remains one of the strongest in Europe, reflected by rapid income convergence towards the EU average”, a Department of Information statement said. IMF experts, according to the DOI, said that the good economic performance was a result of the government’s hard work. “Prudent policies advanced structural reforms and contributed to the strengthening of private and public-sector balance sheets, while steady job creation drove unemployment to historically low levels”, the IMF was quoted as saying.
Independent.com.mt Saturday, 18 November 2017, 08:37
Some people will always find a reason to complain, even when there is none. The criticism levelled at the Prime Minister this week after he announced that a huge police and army operation had bagged ten suspects linked with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia was a case in point. Instead of recognizing the work of the forces of order and the fact that they had made a breakthrough in the space of just six weeks, many online commentators focused instead on the fact that the police commissioner was nowhere to be seen, that the press conference was addressed by Joseph Muscat, and later on the fact that the government released footage of the operation. Some, including the #occupyjustice movement, which has done sterling work over the past few weeks, described the operation and the way it was communicated to the public as ‘theatrics.’ We do not agree. First of all this was a huge operation involving hundreds of officers, as well as vehicles, boats and helicopters. The authorities cannot mount an operation of that scale without giving an explanation. While it is true that the PM spoke to the media before the operation was concluded, the police, by that time, had cordoned off the entire area, and the suspects were cornered. Some said the PM should not have addressed a press conference. The government had been under fire for weeks for failing to provide any information about the case. Now that it has given certain information it is being accused of doing what last week it was accused of not doing. This is illogical. During the press conference the PM made it very clear that, because this was an ongoing operation and the suspects had not yet been arraigned, he had to be very careful with his words since one slip up could jeopardise the court cases. But the PN media very unfairly criticized the PM for ‘refusing’ to answer questions. These included questions on whether there were any links between the suspects and the oil smuggling racket. Anyone who has been in this job long enough knows that some questions can simply not be answered at this point in time and it would be premature for one to make such conclusions before the case is even taken to court. Later in the day, the government came under fire again when footage of the operation was released. The brave soldiers and police officers who apprehended these notorious criminals, who could well have been armed, were not going round with some TV camera crew. The footage came from cameras mounted to their helmets, which are used for a variety of reasons. These include for debriefing/performance reviews, for there to be a record of how things went down, for use as evidence in court and to protect all involved. There was nothing wrong in distributing some of that footage to the public. It is done all around the world. Instead of accusing the government of employing marketing tactics we should take the time to be grateful to those soldiers and police who risk life and limb to keep the rest of us safe. That footage gave us a small peek into the perils of their job.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 6.12.2017
It is relatively easy to agree on the developmental progress the country has made, such as in wealth and job creation: GDP is growing apace, all types of businesses are doing well, there is full employment, foreign workers and new passport holders are filling the pockets of landlords and swelling the government’s coffers. Advances too have been made in civil rights, with the introduction of gay marriage a milestone this year. There are encouraging signs of the alleviation of poverty, with statistics showing a significant drop in material and social deprivation. Solidarity is alive and well, with yet another record take for charity adding to the feel-good factor.
Editorjal, The Sunday Times 31.12.2017
Il-Kap tal-Partit Nazzjonalista Adrian Delia kellu kliem ta’ tifħir lill-investituri privati li qed jagħtu qawmien mill-ġdid lill-Belt Valletta. … “Anke l-postijiet, il-binjiet antiki, qed jiġu żviluppati u qed jerġgħu jgħixu mill-ġdid. Għandna ħafna żviluppi fil-Belt li tbiddlu f’boutique hotels, ħwienet, mużewijiet, il-Kunsill Lokali tal-Belt u issa wkoll is-Suq tal-Belt.”
NETNEWS Il-Ġimgħa, 19 ta' Jannar 2018
Valletta was crowned European Capital of Culture in great style, with magnificent shows the likes of which we had never seen. The show at Pjazza Tritoni was breathtaking and the projections on St John's, the Auberge de Castille and the Grandmaster's Palace were like something out of a new Disney movie. The Maltese talent displayed on the night was amazing. espite the huge crowds that thronged the capital city, the cultural programme went off without a hitch and the overall feeling was that the events were organised in a professional manner. It is a pity, on the other hand, that many encountered problems with public transport. We must acknowledge, however, that this was a massive show in terms of events and attendance and all those involved deserve our highest praise.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 22.1.2018
The government was ecstatic when the latest IMF country report on Malta was published earlier this week, and there was good reason to celebrate. In short, the report said Malta’s economic growth remains one of the strongest in Europe, and this was the result of favourable economic conditions and sound government policies. The report speaks of stronger public balance sheets, robust growth, dynamic job creation and record-low unemployment.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 31.1.2018