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Over 100 postponed court sittings in Gozo as lawyers strike

Over 100 postponed court sittings in Gozo as lawyers strike
Oct 5 2021 Share

As lawyers take on strike action, over a 100 court sittings in Gozo have had to be postponed. The lawyers are refusing to attend sittings, causing Gozo’s courts to come to a standstill ever since Thursday. An assistant registrar and a full-time court marshal are all absent, as staff shortcomings are becoming a continuous reality in several branches of the courts. Documents are bing lost or go unscanned, with others not being served on time to parties or judges. 

The Court Services Agency met lawyers on Tuesday to hear complaints over a long list of shortcomings at the Victoria courthouse. These even include authorities ignoring shortcomings identified by the Occupational Health and Safety Authority and the Commission for People with Disabilities in the cramped old building located within the Citadel. 

Lawyers are demanding improvement in the environment and the facilities. They were told that a deputy registrar has been appointed and given information on measures that are to be taken. These include a marshal from Malta crossing over to Gozo twice a week and eventually daily. The prospect of have more staff being moved to Gozo to improve the situation was also discussed. 

Despite this, lawyers have decided to continue their strike as they argue that very little progress has been made since their collective action in June. The promised measures, they argued, did not adequately address the needs of the Gozo courts. Unless actual progress was made, lawyers will refrain from attending sittings. 

‘The Gozo courts, the judiciary, practicing lawyers and the citizens deserve better and should not be treated differently.’ The lawyers also expressed appreciation that lawyers from Malta did not attend sittings in Gozitan courts out of solidarity with those permanently based in Gozo. 

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Photo Source: GozoNews

399 for rent in social housing sites on offer

399 for rent in social housing sites on offer
Oct 5 2021 Share

As part of the scheme by the Housing Authority, 399 are being offered for rent in several social housing sites around Malta. The applications for the scheme will open on the 11th of October and will close by the end of the year. Preference will be given to residents who live close to the garage, and those applicants who already have their own garage will not be eligible to benefit from the scheme. 

The garages are spread out thus:

  • 3 garages in Attard
  • 56 garages in Birkirkara 
  • 115 garages in Bormla
  • 35 garages in Kirkop
  • 22 garages in Imsida
  • 44 garages in Qrendi
  • 89 garages in Siggiewi 
  • 15 garages in Zebbug
  • 20 garages in Zurrieq

In the case of there bing multiple applicants interested in the same garage, with both having the same distance, the decision will be taken through raffle. Voluntary organisations who wish to apply for this scheme will be given priority independent of the distance. The call for application will be done through the website of Housing Authority in the coming days. 

Minister for Social Accommodation Roderick Galdes announced the scheme during a conference in the new social housing site in Zurrieq. He was accompanied by Executive Chief of the Housing Authority Leonid McKay. The latter explained how the garages will be allocated in a method used in the calls for tender offers and does not wish to give the garages to those financially powerful or well-adjusted. 

Minister Galdes said that the increase in population in zones where there are social accommodation buildings increases certain pressures. Apart from these 399 garages, more will be made available in the future. 

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Photo Source: Roderick Galdes FB

4 day work week ruled out by Finance Minister…for now

4 day work week ruled out by Finance Minister for now
Oct 5 2021 Share

Addressing the launch of a national employment strategy, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana ruled out the move towards a four day work week ‘at this stage’. Caruana revealed that the government would be willing to discuss the prospect once worker productivity and skillsets improved. As of yet, Malta is not in that situation, said the minister, despite several other countries, including Iceland, Scotland and Spain, trying out the work week model. 

With the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development recently proposing a similar trial for the island, Caruana said that education needed to be improved first. The minister highlighted how in the span of 20 years there had been only marginal improvements in the number of students leaving compulsory education with six O-Levels. 

Caruana also acknowledged that many high-end jobs had been filled by foreigners as the Maltese did not have the skills to take them on. Creating new work opportunities would be ironic if worker’s children did not have the skills required to take them on. Malta has one of the highest rates of early school leavers in the EU, said the Minister. This would make it immensely difficult for Malta to compete in a world where Scandinavian youth spend an average of 21 years in education. 

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Photo Source: Clyde Caruana FB, iStock

Twistees go pink for breast cancer awareness month

Twistees go pink for breast cancer awareness month
Oct 5 2021 Share

One of Malta’s favourite snacks, Twistees, has switched up its packaging to a pink colour to raise awareness for Pink October. The month is dedicated to raising awareness on Breast Cancer, and Twistees is now jumping onto the good cause by selling packets with the iconic colour associated with the movement. 

A donation to ‘Action for Breast Cancer Foundation’ is being made by Twistees on sale of the pink packets. 

Twistees is Malta’s iconic branded snack established over 40 years ago, coming in nibbles with a whole range of flavours. As the brand continues to grow through innovative new marketing ideas, their latest move will help raise awareness about a situation which impacts thousands around the globe. 

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Photo Source: Twistees Malta