PN Pledges to Tackle Malta’s €10 Billion Debt: “More Than All Other Finance Minister Combined”

PN Pledges to Tackle Malta's €10 Billion Debt: "More Than All Other Finance Minister Combined"
Nov 7 2023 Share

During his Budget 2023 reaction speech, Opposition and Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech addressed Malta’s current financial situation and economic vision.

Grech explained that he cannot lay down the party’s vision without providing context of the country’s current financial situation, emphasising the near-€10 billion in national debt.

“Not that his predecessor did much better. The one before him left us with €5.7 billion in debt by the end of 2019”, Grech stated, referring to previous Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

The PN leader went on to highlight how this legislature will see an accumulated sum of debt which exceeds that of all other finance Ministers, Nationalist and Labour, in Malta’s history combined… “and he admits this himself, according to his projections”, Grech stated.

With a pledge towards transparent politics, good governance and giving taxpayers what they deserve, Grech broke down a number of Nationalist Party economic proposals.

Amongst others, parts of the Nationalist Party’s vision include a reaffirmed belief in the 10 economic sectors, which were one of the pillars of the party’s manifest during the previous general election, assurance that the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is not taxable, a National Fund to support local import and export industries and offering tax credits to employers to make sure they don’t increase prices to reconcile for the COLA.


12% Of Post Secondary Students In Malta 2021/22 Were Foreign

12% Of Post Secondary Students In Malta 2021/22 Were Foreign
Nov 7 2023 Share

In the academic year 2021-2022, there was a 2.5% increase in student enrolments in post-secondary and tertiary institutions, totaling 28,645. 

Among these, 9,610 were in post-secondary levels and 19,035 in tertiary education. Male students slightly outnumbered females in post-secondary education, while in tertiary education, there were significantly more females than males.

Within post-secondary education, the majority (88.9%) were under 20 years old, and 1,160 were foreign students, comprising 12.1% of the total. Notably, 75.6% of the 16-17-year-old resident population were enrolled in post-secondary level, with a higher percentage of females (7.3 points) compared to males.

At the post-secondary level, the majority of students (86.2%) attended state-run institutions. More than half were enrolled in vocational study-oriented programs (51.6%). The most popular fields of study were ‘Services’ (26.1%), followed by ‘Engineering, manufacturing and construction’ (16.3%) and ‘Health and welfare’ (14.7%).

In tertiary education, there was a 3.8% increase in enrolments compared to the previous academic year, totaling 19,035. Female students comprised 58.1% of the total. Most students studied on a full-time basis (66.3%), and there was a slight increase in part-time enrolments (1.1%).

The majority of tertiary students were at ISCED level 6 (Bachelor’s or equivalent) (52.8%), followed by ISCED level 7 (Master’s or equivalent) at 32.5%. More than half of the students were aged between 20 and 29 (53.7%). Female students outnumbered males in all tertiary ISCED levels except for ISCED 8 (PhD equivalent).

Foreign students at the tertiary level totaled 4,709, comprising 24.7% of all tertiary enrolments. This marked an increase of 7.1 percentage points from the previous academic year. The most popular field of study was ‘Business, administration and law’ (27.3%), followed by ‘Health and welfare’ (21.3%). The least popular field was ‘Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary’ (0.3%).

Full report by NSO here. 


6 Key Points from Bernard Grech’s Post-Budget Speech

Nov 7 2023 Share

As per standard procedure, Opposition and Nationalist Party Leader Bernard Grech addressed his fellow party members and MPs in Parliament on Monday evening to address the Budget 2024: here are some main points to take away from his speech.

1.  To open a new hospital dedicated to mental health.

2. To ensure the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is not taxable.

3. To improve working conditions within the Malta Police Force.

4. Automatic compensations for households experiencing power cuts.

5. €10 billion in national debt; more than every other finance minister combined. PN pledges to tackle corruption and waste of funds & resources.

6. Massive increase in population: quantity over quality.

During his 2-hour speech, Grech addressed a number of other issues, going into greater detail regarding the state of Malta’s culture, society and economy.

The PN leader also reiterated the party’s belief in the 10 new economic sectors to serve as a pediment for our country’s economy: Metaverse, Compliance & Due Diligence, Specialised Manufacturing, 3D Printing, AI, eSports, Video Game Production, Sports Industry, Strengthening of the Energy Sector and Social Enterprise.

The Opposition’s Budget Reaction and party vision aims to revitalise Malta’s reputation and integrity, enacting the necessary economic renewal whilst safeguarding democracy.


Ceremony For Soldiers, Officers And Civilians At National War Museum

Ceremony For Soldiers, Officers And Civilians At National War Museum
Nov 7 2023 Share

The memory of those who served our country during wars was honoured at a short but significant ceremony led by Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici, on the occasion of the upcoming Remembrance Day. The ceremony was held inside the chapel dedicated to St Anne at Fort St Elmo, which now houses a special section of the National War Museum set up as a Memorial.

Through a permanent display, the Memorial keeps alive the memory of Maltese soldiers, policemen and civilians who served and were awarded medals for their service during the First and Second World Wars, as well as other wars and periods.

The ceremony – a joint collaboration between Heritage Malta, the National Festivities Committee and Festivals Malta – entailed the laying of a poppy wreath, the observance of a minute of silence, and the sounding of Last Post and Reveille by members of the Police Corps.

Minister Bonnici said: “Today, as we gather in this sacred space, we remember and honor the service and sacrifice of our soldiers, policemen, and civilians during times of conflict.

“Their dedication to our nation will never be forgotten, the National War Museum’s Memorial stands as a lasting tribute to their courage and resilience, let us cherish their memory and the history they’ve written,” Minister Bonnici Concluded.

Following the ceremony, Minister Owen Bonnici was shown around the Memorial by Emmanuel Magro Conti, Heritage Malta’s Senior Curator for Palaces and Military.

The extensive collection in this section includes medals given to servicemen in the British Army, Navy and, later, in the Air Force, as well as a substantial number of medals awarded to civilians. Details about the awardee, as well as information as to why and when each medal was given, are provided on every interpretation panel in the Memorial.

Besides the medals, the section contains several other artefacts, such as the maquettes of local war monuments, and plaques donated to the Museum by ex-servicemen wishing to commemorate colleagues who died at war.