Ghasri mayor resigns from PN just after a photo with Prime Minister

 - Election 2022 - Feb 28 2022 SHARE ON:
Ghasri mayor resigns from PN just after a photo with Prime Minister

Daniel Attard, who is the mayor of Ghasri, resigned from the Nationalist Party just a day after he posts a photo of himself shaking hands with Prime Minister Robert Abela. 

Posting to Facebook, Attard uploaded a photo of a letter he sent to the PN Secretary General Michael Piccinino. ‘I will remain accessible and loyal to all the people of Ghasri who elected me and who I love, as I have been for the past nine years as Mayor for the locality’ he said. 

The resignation raised several questions, with some even asking whether he will be switching sides to the Labour Party.


Photo Source: Daniel Attard FB

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€45,000 pocketed by Abela on promise-of-sale property deal

 - Local - Feb 28 2022 SHARE ON:
€45,000 pocketed by Abela on promise-of-sale property deal

Prime Minister Robert Abela pocketed €45,000 on a property deal with a car dealership owner which is currently being investigated by police. 

The timeline of the events raises suspicions over why he entered a contract to buy a green field, only to later transfer his stake in that contract to an auto-dealer and alleged kidnapper Christian Borg just months later. 

According to a news report by Times of Malta, Abela and his wife Lydia entered a deal in June of 2018 to buy a nondescript plot of land in Żabbar. On the same day, Borg received Planning Authority permission to build nine apartments and garages on that plot of land despite having no apparent connection to the property. 

Borg is at the heart of an organised crime investigation, with Abela selling their stake in the property deal to Borg and making €45,000 profit. Abela was providing legal advice to both the PA and Borg at the time.

Times of Malta revealed details of the Żabbar property deal earlier this month and have been flagged as suspicious by tax evasion experts who specialise in property market loopholes. Borg had applied for a development permit on the 210 square meter plot of land in 2017, just one year before he had any visible stake in the same property. 

The property was at the time the subject of a promise of sale agreement between its original owner and Malta as Distributors Ltd, which is co-owned by Bonnici Brothers and gas distributor Simon Buhagiar. 

The company has also in the past been represented by Abela’s legal practice but the Abela’s only entered the picture in June of 2018, with the promise of sale partially transferred to them the same day that Borg’s development application was formally approved by the Planning Authority. 

Abela went on to transfer the purchasing rights on the deal to Princess Construction Limited, which is Borg’s company. The green plot known as Ta’ Cianciorina, was ultimately sold to Borg for €315,000 on November 29th, 2018. It was revealed by the TOM report that notarial paperwork submitted along with the final contract of sale includes a signed declaration that the property was not derived from criminal activity or money laundering. The declaration stamped, it was signed by notary Mark Zaffarese along the parties involved. On his part, Abela argued that it was the notary’s job to ensure the funds used by Borg were clean, and not his. 



EU will finance weapons to Ukraine as Malta sends medicines

 - International - Feb 28 2022 SHARE ON:
EU will finance weapons to Ukraine as Malta sends medicines

The EU has announced on Sunday that it will be taking the unprecedented step of financing weapons to Ukraine. The provisions are set to amount to around €500 million in arms to the Ukrainians. This comes with new sanctions against Russia and Belarus for helping in the invasion of Ukraine. The European Union has also closed its airspace to Russian aircrafts and banned Russian state media outlets broadcasting in the bloc. On its part, Malta will not be providing lethal equipment.

However, foreign affairs minister Evarist Bartolo said that as a neutral country, Malta will be supporting the efforts with humanitarian aid which consists of providing medicines to the invaded country. 

Bartolo revealed that Malta agreed with the EU measures announced earlier which include cutting some Russian banks out of the SWIFT interbank messaging network, the banning of transactions with Russia’s central bank as well as adding restrictions on Russian oligarchs. With Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also sanctioned, the measures added up to the toughest position the EU has taken against any country. 

In a broadcast address, EU Chief Ursula von der Leyen said that as as the war in Ukraine rages on and Ukrainians fight for their country, ’the European Union steps up once more its support for Ukraine and the sanctions against the aggressor – Putin’s Russia.’ The sanctions also target Russian state media outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, with von der Leyen saying that they will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war and to sow division within the union. 

Sanctions will be targeting Belarus and its leader Alexander Lukashenko as well for aiding the Russians. Restrictive measures will affect the country’s mineral, fuels, tobacco and steel sectors. 


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Floriana PL green project to extend to Castille

 - Election 2022 - Feb 28 2022 SHARE ON:
Floriana PL green project to extend to Castille

The proposal for a green project in Castille are set to include the pedestrianisation of part of Glormu Cassar Avenue which runs up to Castille in Valletta. As a ground-penetrating radar investigation is being carried out along the whole stretch of St Anne Street, the Floriana garden city project are set to be announced in the coming weeks. 

Greenserv, the new governmental agency responsible for urban greening projects, has confirmed that the preparations for the project have been going on for months. The project was first conceived by DHI Periti in 2014 and was promised by the Labour Party. 

However, scepticism has arisen about how doable the project actually is. The project forms part of Labour’s pledge to convert five large urban spaces into parks and gardens. Underground tunnels will be diverting traffic, with some existing buildings even being knocked down to make way for cars.

Times of Malta was informed by Greenserv CEO Richard Bilocca that works to date on the Floriana project include on-site geotechnical investigations, a detailed survey, a feasibility study and preliminary designs and renderings. The works will be complemented by a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) investigation along the whole stretch which will allow the team or architects and engineers to proceed into the next steps he revealed. 

The government engaged Ian Camilleri Cassar, from DHI Periti, as the lead architect behind the project. He stated that it would take another two years just to conclude the studies on how to carry it out and is confident it will happen. 

Camilleri Cassar said that he ‘never felt so strongly this level of energy that it has to be done, even saying that it is coming along even better than originally proposed. The proposal is for Glormu Cassar Avenue, leading to Castille, to become one lane, with cars only driving up and the parking spaces on the side removed to create a wide promenade all the way to Valletta. 

The underpass will be starting at the Lion Fountain in Floriana for cars to emerge at the War memorial, chasing the traffic flow just minimally. 


Photo Source: Times of Malta

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