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Zija TT’s partner in custody following domestic violence charges

Zija TT’s partner in custody following domestic violence charges
Sep 15 2021 Share

22-year-old Gareth Clach from Bormla has been denied bail and remanded in custody following charges of injuring his partner Zija TT. The latter, also known prominently as Terry ta’ Bormla, uploaded a Facebook post revealing she had been abused in her own home. This came around a month and a half after Zija TT reported death threats to the police but being ignored about them. 

Clach was charged with inflicting grievous injuries on her, threatening violence and even drug possession and recidivism. The partner of eight months had, as described by the court, punched Zija TT in the nose. The incident happened during an argument over Zija TT’s mobile phone. His bail request was refuted and Clach was remanded in custody. 

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Photo Source: Zija TT FB

Finance Minister pledges no new taxes despite pandemic impact

Finance Minister pledges no new taxes despite pandemic impact
Sep 14 2021 Share

Reiterating a pledge made months ago, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana stated that the next budget and the subsequent ones will not be introducing any new tax. Caruana was made finance minister in late 2020, making this his first budget. The minister stated how the pandemic’s impact on every country presented one of the biggest challenges since WWII. 

The pre-budget document was unveiled on Tuesday, with a theme asking: ‘What country would you like to leave for your children?’ He went on to state that Malta saw an economic boost of 7.2% between 2015 and 2019, with an 8.3% contraction in 2020 when COVID-19 hit. 

Caruana forecasted a 6% economic growth in 2021 and 4.9% in 2022. He also reiterated that employment figureswecreased steadily during 2021 and went below the 2019 level. The action of the government during the pandemic, Caruana noted, cost the country millions that it afforded. The country’s revenue decrease as a sharp increase in expenditure was noted. 

The pandemic will have cost the country a total of €1.5 billion by the end of 2021. The debt-to-GDP ratio for 2021 was 65%, with a forecast of reaching 65.8% in 2022. 

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Photo Source: Clyde Caruana FB

Nurse’s union calls quarantine measures punishment for travelling to red zone countries

Nurse’s union calls quarantine measures punishment for travelling to red zone countries
Sep 14 2021 Share

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses have criticised the regulations set by health authorities which require travellers from dark red countries to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks. Joining the outcry of many other individuals and entities, the union stated on Tuesday that ‘it is clearly evident that this is not a COVID-19 measure but a punishment for going abroad to a red zone country.’ 

The statement says that the measures are not acceptable since there are constraints in one’s life and travel is not always for pleasure. Following an appeal by a mother to allow her daughter with Down’s Syndrome to quarantine at home rather than a hotel, more similar stories emerged criticising the quarantine measures. 

With people paying €100 daily, the service in these hotels ‘is far from acceptable’ stated the union. This statement also comes before Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced that the health authorities will be addressing these concerns in a press conference tomorrow Wednesday 14th September 2021. 

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Photo Source: Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials

A bidder for the Malta-Gozo tunnel project has been shortlisted

A bidder for the Malta-Gozo tunnel project has been shortlisted
Sep 14 2021 Share

One bidder out of four who submitted an offer to build a tunnel between Malta and Gozo has been shortlisted by Infrastructure Malta. The first hurdle was only surpassed by a consortium of five companies – UK’s Equitix, Japanese Itochu, Turkish companies Yapi Merkezi and Maykol and French company Egis. Eliminated from Infrastructure Malta’s tendering committee where rival bidders Malta-Gozo Fixed Link Limited, Salini Impregilo SpA and CGYI Malta-Gozo consortium. The appeal period for the decision closes September 20th 2021. 

Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg revealed last year that the government would not be funding this tunnel project, with all construction and maintenance costs going to the winning bidder. The government will instead maintain control of all the inert material that would be generated as part of the project. The Minister also revealed that the tunnel project is financially viable even lacking state subsidies. The tolls would only be determined at the end of negotiations with the bidder being considered. 

Support for the project is split right down the middle, according to a recent Times of Malta commissioned survey. 41.6% agree whereas 38.8% disagree with the project. Respondents from Gozo tended to show more disagreement for the project, racking up at a total of 41.5% expressing disagreement and 37.7% in favour. 

The project was first initiated by the Nationalist government back in 2021 following a series of studies. The current proposal would see a 13-kilometre-long tunnel with one traffic lane heading in either direction along with a safety lane being constructed. Environmentalist groups have raised alarms about the project’s potential impact on both islands and the seas connecting and surrounding them. 

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Photo Source: Ian Borg FB, Archidose of Malta

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