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Nationalist Party registered €607,279 deficit in 2019 reveals MaltaToday

Nationalist Party registered €607,279 deficit in 2019
May 18 2022 Share

MaltaToday has revealed that the Nationalist Party’s accounts statement for the year 2019 shows that the party declared a deficit of €607,279. The Labour Party has yet to present its accounts, despite legal obligations to present them on a yearly basis. 

They show how the Opposition’s total contribution to its media company reached €14.3 million by the end of 2019, up from €13.4 million in 2018. 

Party leader Bernard Grech recently announced how the party was €32 million in debt, saying it lost thousands of euros because of its media company Media.link Communications. Grech admitted that the party does not have the liquidity to lead a campaign for the European Parliament and local council elections in two years’ time. 

Still, some optimism was expressed by the party’s 2019 statement as it declared that its resources at the end of December 31 positioned the party to sustain its operations in 2020. The administrative council forecasts ‘positive results for the foreseeable future.’ 

Despite pandemic impact concern, the PN’s administrative council said that steps and initiatives taken to date are sufficient to safeguard the party’s financial position and the wellbeing of its employees. 

Party accounts show a surplus of €326,132 which turned into a deficit after the deduction of an ‘impairment expense’ consisting of €928,258 on advanced amounts to ‘it’s controlled entities’. These are namely Media.link and Eurotours. By the end of 2019 the party’s contribution to Media.Link increased from €13.4 million in €2018 to €14.3 million in 2019.

The party also paid €444,196 in repayment of bank loans while registering €485,300 in proceeds from borrowing. Two loans amounting to €2.5 million were also referred to in the accounts. 

The first loan was obtained to restructure facilities previously owned by a controlled entity, and has to be repaid by 2034 in monthly repayments of €16,500. A second loan, also obtained to restructure operations and controlled entities is repayable in €10,000 monthly instalments and is to be repaid by 2025. 

Accounts also revealed that income from membership and subscriptions declined to €106,435 in 2019 from €112,658 in 2018. The party received €103,494 in funds from parliament to cover parliament research. €98,979 was acquired from rents on clubs and €175,000 in income from termination of club leasing. €428 was gained from the sale of merchandise. 

The party’s salary bill increased from €425,179 in 2018 to €465,469 in 2019. The party spent a total of €316,612 in its 2019 MEP elections campaign.

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Hedgehogs rescued from Luqa construction site after alarms by residents

Hedgehogs rescued from Luqa construction site after alarms by residents
May 18 2022 Share

After residents and Nature Trust raised alarms, a community of adorable hedgehogs was rescued from a Luqa construction site to ensure their safe relocation. 

Nature Trust, an environmental organisation, said that their volunteers convened on site and installed traps to capture the little animals and relocated them to a safer place. 

However, the plan met some obstacles after the traps were stolen by unknown individuals. New traps were set up, with added surveillance, leading to a good number of hedgehogs being rescued. 

With construction workers also helping in the initiative, Nature Trust thanked all those involved for the ‘marvellous support in making the rescue and relocation of hedgehogs operation a success.’ 

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Extinct Barn Owls return to Maltese islands through FKNK initiative

Extinct Barn Owls return to Maltese islands through FKNK initiative
May 18 2022 Share

‘Silently, through the darkness of the night, amidst the woodland of Buskettt, the Barn owl hunts its prey. A species that has been extinct for the past 30 years from the islands, the Barbaġann is now once again silently roaming the notorious woodlands.’

In a newly released statement, the Federation for Hunting and Conservation – Malta (FKNK) announced that the reintroduction of the bird species was made possible through a project entrusted to them. 

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The first of its kind, the FKNK tried to materialise the project since 2009. With several challenges along the way, they were given responsibility over the Razzett tal-Bagħal in Buskett in 2015. 

Minister Roderick Galdes, at the time Parliamentary Secretary, handed over the 17th century farmhouse with the primary obligation to commence the Barn Owl Reintroduction Project (BORP). 

With funding from the Conservation of Wild Birds fund, two breeding pairs were reintroduced in 2020. Unfortunately, two of the subjects were stolen and never recovered. Two more were secured during the pandemic. on the 9th of May, the first fledging hatched successfully, introducing 5 offspring. 

To date, 11 Barn Owl chicks have been bred in captivity and are being prepared to be released. Barn Owls are fundamental to biodiversity, with a project exploring the possibility of expanding it into semi-urban areas. 

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Malta has the lowest divorce rate in Europe reveal figures

Malta has the lowest divorce rate in Europe reveal figures
May 18 2022 Share

According to new figures issued by Eurostat, Malta had the lowest divorce rate in Europe during the year 2020. 

According to the agency, there were 0.5 divorces registered for every 1,000 people, making it the lowest rate since divorce was legalised in 2011.

Malta’s rate is far lower than EU average, which stood at 1.6 divorces per 1,000 people. Denmark, Latvia and Lithuania had the highest rate at 2.7 divorces per 1,000 people. Before 2020, the Maltese rate stood at 0.7 per 1,000 since 2017. 

The only year the rate was lower than in 2020 was when divorce became legal in 2011. The rate only covered divorces registered over a period of three months and not a full year. 

Times of Malta was informed by divorce lawyer Stephen Thake that while Malta’ rate has continued to be the lowest in Europe, there could bee other factors at play not reflected in official statistics. 

Apart from separation cases potentially undergoing conversion into divorce and thus not being picked up by the EU agency, Thake said that in Malta divorce is not the primary ‘remedy’ and many opt for simple separation. 

There is also an increasing trend whereby people move in with other people without ever getting divorced if they no longer want to live with their spouses. This came with the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, which saw the closure of court for three months. This impacted the possibility of people getting divorces and thus people opted for simpler means instead of legal procedures. 

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