No space for race track in Malta says ADPD leader

No space for race track in Malta says ADPD leader
Mar 10 2022 Share

Addressing the University of Malta debate, ADPD leader Carmel Cacopardo said that there is no space for a race track in Malta. 

Replying to a question about environmental impact, the third party leader said that there is no place for a race track on the island due to the environmental impact.

Cacopardo also spoke about how people do not have space to take out their trash due to bars and restaurants taking out their tables and chairs and placing them onto pavements. 

Cacopardo said this is damaging the environment in ways that people are not realising, pledging more systematised ways to approach the issues. 


Prime Minister slams vaccine comments made by ABBA leader

Prime Minister slams vaccine comments made by ABBA leader
Mar 10 2022 Share

Prime Minister Robert Abela took a jab at ABBA leader Ivan Grech Mintoff’s comments about the vaccine certificate. 

The ABBA leader stated that during the debate, people who did not have the vaccine certificate could not enter the hall to watch the first interaction between the leaders.

In response, the Prime Minister bit back by asking Grech Mintoff not to make a populist argument by using the vaccination argument. 

The ABBA leader also stated that the main political parties will be getting more time to speak and that the smaller parties are thus being censored. 


[LIVE] ‘Viva l-Labour’ & ‘Nazzjonalisti’ chants at UOM party leaders debate

[LIVE UPDATES] Robert Abela & Bernard Grech at University of Malta for first political debate
Mar 10 2022 Share

Refresh stream for live updates. Watch live below:

[12:02] Students and media have started entering Sir Temi Zammit Hall at the University of Malta. Party leaders are not yet visible.


[12:12] The debate moderator has addressed the audience and appealed students to maintain order – the debate is about to begin.


[12:12] Party leaders start being called out. Ivan Grech Mintoff hits the stage to mixed reactions.


[12:12] Robert Abela hits the stage to standing ovation and roaring applause.



[12:13] ADPD Chair Carmel Cacopardo and Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech enter hall to chants of ‘Viva l-Labour.’ Nationalist Party supporters erupt into simultaneous shouts of support for Grech.


[12:14] Partit Popolari leader Paul Salomone takes the stage.


[12:17] Questions submitted by students will be asked by the students themselves at random. Questions may be directed towards certain party leaders. As agreed by leaders, Robert Abela and Bernard Grech will have 23 minutes, Paul Salomone, Ivan Grech Mintoff & Carmel Cacopardo will have 13 minutes.


[12:20] Robert to begin with opening statement of enthusiasm to roaring crowd once again. The PL leader states that he is courageous about the future.


[12:22] Robert Abela calls for better quality of life, more opportunities for everyone and a ‘better Malta.’ Attendant interrupts with call of ‘corruption’ to massive boos in Sir Temi Zammit Hall.


[12:23] Carmel Cacopardo gives introductory statement. As did Abela, Cacopardo mentions crises in Ukraine and Russia, going on to highlight the ongoing uncertainty in Europe and in Malta. “Not even the guarantees of supplies apply in times of war.”


[12:25] Bernard Grech addresses crowd to shouts of “Bernard Bernard”, passionately recalling his own days at University of Malta.



[12:27] Grech states that political maturity is important, “not letting the European Union decide for you to halt passport schemes.”


[12:28] The PN leader states that if the Labour Party submits its electoral to university plagiarism system TurnItIn, it would not pass. Crowd erupts into mixed chants of ‘Nazzjonalisti, Nazzjonalisti’, ‘Viva l-Labour’ and a single ‘Viva Malta’ chant.


[12:30] Partit Popolari leader Paul Salomone addresses crowd, states that he is not here to garner votes but to appeal to ‘tomorrow’s leaders’. 


[12:32] Ivan Grech Mintoff asks whether interruptions will allow leaders to have added time to a faint wave of boos. The moderator highlights that during interruptions, time will be paused.


[12:32] Grech Mintoff addresses students, telling them that “your unvaccinated friends weren’t even allowed in here”, calling on social injustice and imbalance towards PN and PL.


[12:35] Grech Mintoff ends address to faint applause and some boos.


[12:36] Following opening statements, moderator states that debate will begin by discussing Ukraine crises, Salomone begins by stating that Malta should remain neutral and refuse to participate in any military alliance.


[12:37] Robert Abela asks Grech Mintoff not to use vaccine argument as populist argument.


[12:38] Abela begins discussing Ukraine Crisis, revealing that together with Puttinu Cares, the government will be contributing my helping children and adults with oncological care and providing medical supplies, “whilst welcoming refugees with open arms.” Abela highlights that in the past 2 years, the government worked to lead the country positively amid multiple crises.


[12:42] Starting by agreeing with Abela’s sentiments, Cacopardo reminds audience audience of Russian relationship with Azerbaijan, and how Malta depends on Azerbaijan for energy provisions.


[12:43] Bernard Grech addresses crowd, arguing Robert Abela’s alleged ‘change of heart’.


[12:45] While praising subsidies, Grech states that the audience should know that while subsidies are being provided “the government will continue stealing from [their] water and electricity bills.” Grech mentions €4 million fund to address cost of life increase “while Robert Abela remains timid.”


[12:47] Abela intervenes states that the government gave €70 million to the population through various cheques as incentive for economic movement, to standing ovation and chants.


[12:47] Grech states that Abela’s sentiments are a clear sign of ‘no plan’.


[12:49] “The children have no fault in this,” Salomone sheds a tear in wake of Russia-Ukraine crisis.


[12:51] Robert Abela addresses second question on public transport and mobility. Abela shuts down Grech’s claims of Nationalist Party handling Libya crisis before going on to highlight Labour’s implemented proposal of free public transport for all, shutting down PN’s proposal for ‘trackless tram’ calling it a bendy bus system.


[12:54] Abela asks Grech for costings of electoral manifesto.


[12:55] Carmel Cacopardo states that electoral proposals “should not be about price but about efficiency.”


[12:57] The Green Party chairperson states that the solution for transport should be localised public transport, amongst others.


[12:58] “No electric bikes, no bicycles and no mention of the €900 million spend on Malta’s roads.” Grech ensures that Nationalist Party does ‘serious’ research on transport solutions, highlighting PN proposal of free licence on electrical cars and focus. Grech states that Labour government reports ‘are not feasible’.


[13:00] Salomone states that the problem is evident and public transport lacks in quantity with regards to demand, with trucks catching fire and getting caught in traffic. He states that he will not go into whether they should operate on diesel, electrically or others but a public transport service which reaches all citizens as there are in various European cities.


[13:02] Grech Mintoff addresses crowd and Robert Abela, stating that if his government failed at something, it was the Libya crisis, mentioning the Neville Gafa legal case.


[13:04] The third question will regard environment and sustainability. Carmel Cacopardo to begin.


[13:05] Cacopardo states that during his Hamrun address, he couldn’t help but notice the ‘concrete umbrella’. He goes on to highlight that citizens deserve a right to open green spaces, pointing his finger at people who closes public green spaces for their own. He states that the motorsport racing track has no place in Malta. The Green Party leader states that we cannot have MPs form part of planning boards and instead parliamentary committees which are concerned with land, planning and environment.


[13:07] Addressing Abela’s claim of track record, Bernard Grech states that the Labour government’s only track record with the environment is ‘ruining it.’ Grech states that the citizens should not be suffocated in their own country.


[13:09] Grech asks Abela ‘what the rush is with costings’, asking whether ‘he wants to copy it as well’ to explosive applause.


[13:10] Paul Salomone states that if the ‘Partit Popolari’ is ever in government, the Marsascala marina will never happen.


[13:12] Grech Mintoff states that if there is a subject that PN and PL cannot address, it is the environment. The ABBA leader highlights that the party leaders are intertwined with contractors.


[13:14] Abela asks Grech to decide whether they want to develop open spaces or turn them into ODZ, ensuring that environmental projects proposed by Labour will be implemented. Abela states that the Labour Party’s studies have been published and appeals to Grech to publish their own.


[13:18] Fourth question will concern rising property prices, which are currently ‘almost impossible’ for first-time buyers, graduates in particular. Grech to start.


[13:19] “He went back as far as 2006 to criticise us, which is also baseless.” Grech begins by addressing Abela’s previous costings comment. Grech argues that no one will be able to buy property at €120,000, highlight the PN’s proposals related to property.


[13:24] With regards to property, the ABBA leader appeals to audience to visit party’s website – he wishes to save time for later arguments.


[13:25] Abela states highlights some Labour party proposals related to property, highlighting ‘total tax exemption’ in some cases. Goes over further Labour Party proposals, telling Grech that “if this is not true, you shouldn’t have written it in your manifest.”


[13:28] Grech states that one year of €6,000 income was due to him nurturing his children, alluding to Grech’s recently-unveiled contracts to thunderous applause.


[13:29] Grech Mintoff states that during Labour’s time in government, he has never seen so many people living in garages and without a roof over their heads.


[13:29] Fifth question will tackle education at tertiary level, Salomone to begin. The Partit Popolari leader states that ‘everyone deserves education’ and that it should start from the beginning.


[13:31] Addressing education-related proposals, Robert Abela discusses some of the Labour Party’s electoral pillars, highlighting the need for more extra-curricular activities also mentioning how various youths are halting their education after the obligatory age. He also mentions the 10 per cent increase in stipends, promising that if Labour is elected, they will increase stipends by 15 per cent. “We are doing this without any conditions, unlike the Opposition’s proposals.”


[13:33] Cacopardo shines a light on the fact that the tertiary sector is made from both the University of Malta and MCAST. He highlights their proposal that stipends should move close to 50 percent of Malta’s minimum wage.


[13:35] Grech addresses education proposals, highlighting that they will not mock those in the arts, reiterating the party’s belief that students are an indispensable resource. Highlights importance of students being prepared for the development of the PN’s 10 economic sectors. Grech highlights importance of voluntary working, saying that stipends are incentivised by such voluntary work. “You are an example of the country I wish to build”, Grech states.


[13:38] Before addressing next question, Grech Mintoff addresses PN & PL leaders. Immediately cutting to the chase, Grech Mintoff states that ABBA is against ‘murder’ and against abortion morning-after-pill, stating that abortion is not the solution when birth rate is dropping.

[13:40] Tackling sexual health, Abela states that more could have been done by the government in this regard, going on to discuss some Labour proposals. Abela mentions free contraceptive and morning-after-pills proposals. Abela states he would be a hypocrite if he doesn’t discuss abortion, stating that his opinion remains consistent and abortion is not in the Labour Party’s proposals.


[13:42] Cacopardo highlights that sexual health is mismanaged in our country. Tackling abortion, Cacopardo highlights the ADPD’s agreement on such an issue, stating that it is time that it is decriminalised and that “no woman who has an abortion, irrespective of the reason, should be treated as a criminal.” He states that these women need empathy and assistance, not persecution from the state. “The life of a mother in danger should be tackled without the doctors having to consider risking their warrant.” 


[13:45] Grech addresses abortion issue, stating that the PN is in favour of life and while it is not in the party’s manifesto, such issues and the treatment of the women in such cases should be prioritised. Tackling sexual health, Grech reiterated the PN’s proposals for free morning-after-pills and that ‘Robert Abela had the chance to do it last year.’ With regards to the GU clinic, Grech highlighted that there should be further investment and that “sex should not be a taboo”, making way for further sexual education at younger ages.


[13:48] Salomone states that he is in agreement with his colleagues that there is much work to be done, going on to state that while the Partit Popolari does not believe in abortion, he states that every case should be taken into consideration independently.


[13:49] Abela intervenes to address Grech’s claims, stating that the people join the Labour Party because of its credibility, going on to state that Grech ‘hurt of a lot of people’ with his ‘recent calls for women who cannot have children to join the Nationalist Party’


[13:52] “You have to halt in the face of lies”, Grech intervenes clarifying the Party’s IVF position and proposals, stating that the PN will strengthen such an issue locally, calling for collaboration and contribution.


[13:54] Grech Mintoff states that one has to halt in the faces of lies. “La tigdibx, la tisraqx u la toqtolx”, the ABBA leaders calls ‘double standards’ stating that “if you want abort, be men and admit that you want abort – you cannot be populist and state that you do not want abort but have people who not only militate in favour of abortion, but vote in favour.”


[13:56] Next question will address the local media scene, and how leaders will implement the board of inquiry’s recommendations. Robert Abela begins by stating “not what we will do, what we have done already,” going on to mention recent communication with the Caruana Galizia family and proposals for further strengthening of the media scene.


[13:58] Bernard Grech states that Malta would already have Anti-Slapp conditions if the Prime Minister had vote in favour of the PN’s parliamentary proposals, but he didn’t.


[13:59] Paul Salomone states that is it high time that certain mysteries in Malta are solved, amongst them the murder of Karin Grech, stating that there is so much more that should be done.


[14:00] Grech Mintoff calls for a coalition government and ‘absolute power’ to be removed from the hands of the Prime Minister.


[14:05] Paul Salomone stated that the tunnel would ruin the characteristics of Gozo – an island which someone loves to travel to by sea.


[14:05] Robert Abela says the race track will occur after mention by Ivan Grech Mintoff. He also said that Gozo is not just the tunnel but also other measures such as land preservation when it comes to development. Gozo needs to become climate neutral before Malta through renewable energy sources.


[14:11] Ivan Grech Mintoff says that his party’s battle is not against the LGBTIQ community but against the MGRM. He claims that the ‘indoctrination’ of children about gender as it is against human rights and that the party has the right to disagree with certain philosophical standpoints. The comment was met massive boos.


[14:15] The arts sector will be given the required sustainability as more health restrictions are removed, says Robert Abela. Ivan Grech Mintoff criticised vaccine mandates whilst Bernard Grech said that art is education and is therefore important to strengthen.


[14:19] The Nationalist Party will not be working off cheap labour says Bernard Grech in a jab at Labour. He says it is important that there is a levelled playing field so that workers do not have to be associated with Labour to do so.


[14:20] Ivan Grech Mintoff said that construction work happened through cheap labour and through the slavery and exploitation of immigrants.


[14:25] Respect towards teachers and educators is missing and the ADPD wishes to work on this issue directly. This was echoed by Robert Abela and Bernard Grech, who pledged increases in pay to educators, and Paul Salomone.


[14:30] Teachers need to be respected by not making them teach ‘illegal things’ said Ivan Grech Mintoff. This is a reference to anything related to sexual health and LGBTIQ ‘agenda’, according to Mintoff.


[14:33] Closing statement: Carmel Cacopardo says that the two main political parties are stealing from taxes and that throughout the ages, the two main parties (and not necessarily Abela and Grech personally) have committed such criminal acts.


[14:33] Closing statement: Paul Salomone: People are still suffering from poverty and the Partit Popolari will be the voice of those suffering in silence.


[14:36] Closing statement: Ivan Grech Mintoff questions whether we are better or worse off under either Nationalist or Labour parties. ‘If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem’ – Grech Mintoff claims the two main parties failed Malta, urging people to vote for change through ABBA.


[14:38] Closing statement: Bernard Grech says that today he confirmed why Robert Abela was running away from journalists. Grech says that the people are conscious of the present and what is needed to create success and grow. Our policy is based on the creation of good in the country whereas Abela’s policy has not spoken about a single new sector Labour wish to create, says Grech.


[14:41] Bernard Grech calls to put off the campaign for a day to demonstrate in support of Ukraine.


[14:41] Closing statement: Robert Abela says that Labour have been issued proposals ever since the campaign started. He called on the public to make a decision as to whether they wish to go forward or back in history. My message is not Labour, but assess what parties are proposing and vote for what is best for Malta.



Investment to modernise rescue vehicles in case of natural disasters

Investment to modernise rescue vehicles in case of natural disasters
Mar 10 2022 Share

Around €1 million from national funds and more than half a million euros in European funds were invested in order to create new vehicles and equipment in case of natural disasters such as tsunamis on our shores or that of Sicily. 

The Civil Protection Department will be modernising their fleet to address such real possibilities by buying four new vehicles. In total, the department had around six rescue vehicles which had been in use for well over 24 years. 

With an investment of €600,000 from European funds, 3 SUVs, 2 transporters and other equipment was purchased in case tsunamis occurred in Malta or even in Sicily. Minister for National Security Byron Camilleri said that this year, there are €8 million to be used by the department to modernise their fleet.

He praised the government’s rate of investment in such new equipment, saying that they will keep working to modernise Malta’s search and rescue services.