Parliament building up in colours to commemorate Rare Disease Day
Quarantine rules cannot be enforced by LESA admits same agency
The Local Enforcement System Agency (LESA) refused to state how many individuals had been fined by community officers for breaching quarantine regulations and admitted its inability to enforce the same rules.
Despite having issued fines in the past, it said on Monday that these regulations were not enforced by officers but by the police and health authorities.
This reply follows a decision taken last month by magistrate Victor Axiaq in two cases which involve breach of quarantine rules imposed by LESA. The court ruled that no local council, regional committee or agency for local enforcement had the power to enforce, or even commence proceedings, against any person accused of breaching COVID quarantine rules.
Although the quarantine regulations fell within the competence of the commissioners for justice, the magistrate ruled that they were not listed among offences which could be enforced by community officers. Thus, the two fines were declared null and void.
It was also revealed by Times of Malta that LESA has refused a Freedom of Information request by the same newsroom, asking for the number of fines issued by its officers against people who breached the rules. ‘LESA does not enforce quarantine rules, as they are enforced by the police and the health authorities’ it said by way of explanation.
Mario Galea says they ‘made his life hell’ to drop candidature
Nationalist MP Mario Galea has just rejected claims made by the Nationalist Party heads, notably leader Bernard Grech, that there was a ‘consensus’ to withdraw his election candidature.
Galea told MaltaToday that it was not true he told them to resign. ‘I had already prepared my campaign. I took photos at my district and had already begun home visits’ said the now withdrawn candidate.
This follows the announcement that four PN candidates would not be contesting the general election. Galea’s withdrawal was announced in the morning alongside Kristy Debono and Clyde Puli, with Claudio Grech announcing his own later in the evening during a PN event in St George’s Square Valletta.
Party leader Bernard Grech said Claudio’s decision was made out of persuasion that the Nationalist party needed a regeneration. Grech said that the three first withdrawals understood the need for regeneration, but Galea rejected the claims.
‘It’s completely not true. On Sunday evening, I received calls from the party headquarters to attend the press conference on Monday.’ He unveiled how people close to the party leadership made his life hell and that he was made a disposable commodity.
He even stated that his mental health was called out. ‘I was actively campaigning, but now it’s too much and I felt I needed to get out.’ Galea, who is 59, was elected for the first time to parliament in 1992 on the 3rd district. He was elected again in 1998 and every election following that.
Reforms Minister Owen Bonnici slams Marsaskala marina plans
Minister for Research and Innovation Owen Bonnici has come out against the Marsaskala plans which were published last summer, following in the footsteps of Chris Fearne.
The Minister was speaking on an interview on ONE, and reiterated that his position is the same as Prime Minister Robert Abela and Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne’s.
‘I absolutely do not agree with the Marsaskala marina plans that were published during Summer’ he told the interviewer, going on to explain that the inner part of the bay should be organised in a way that ‘makes sense to today’s world.’
He also stated that an extension of the marina into the outer part of the bay does not make sense, going on to explain how any development for this zone needs to have a number of principles satisfied within the plans.
Of these, he mentioned swimmers’ rights to swim along with cultural traditions which should be respected. Back when Fearne’s statements were issued, Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg had downplayed comments made by the Deputy Prime Minister, saying that he was not in fact expressing disagreement on the marina.
Photo Source: Owen Bonnici FB, Chris Fearne FB, Moviment Graffiti FB