Maltese government hires Spanish lawyers to argue at European Court of Justice

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2020-10-27T18:02:34+01:00Tue, 27th Oct '20, 15:05|

A 15-judge panel of the European Court of Justice heard today arguments from NGO Repubblika in its case arguing that appointments to the judiciary in April 2019 were not in conformity with the Treaty of European Union that requires judicial independence. Three judges and three magistrates were appointed by Joseph Muscat’s government in spite of [...]

Stamping authority

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2020-10-27T08:43:20+01:00Tue, 27th Oct '20, 08:43|

I’ll refer here to a Times of Malta letter from Eddie Privitera not because it deserves a response in and of itself, but because in one point he makes he repeats a general line from this week’s hymnbook for Labour spokesmen from across the partisan divide. Eddie Privitera makes the case that Bernard Grech is [...]

Suitability

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2020-10-26T14:57:46+01:00Mon, 26th Oct '20, 14:57|

Carmel Caccopardo of the ADPD makes a fair point. Robert Abela used to be the lawyer for the Maksars who are suspected of involvement in the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia. They are also suspected of being crime lords in their own right. In any case they’re running free. It seems that the government may [...]

His own job plus

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2020-10-26T11:52:01+01:00Mon, 26th Oct '20, 11:09|

The government continues to ignore calls from the Council of Europe and others to give parliament space to oversee its activities. Co-opting the prime minister’s chief of staff to parliament, while he retains his job, takes to an unprecedented extreme the hijack of parliament. Why do we need a parliament at all? Why do we [...]

When the going gets tough

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2020-10-26T10:22:21+01:00Mon, 26th Oct '20, 10:06|

Archbishop Charles Scicluna was in quite a mood yesterday. He looked at the camera and wagging his finger he “cursed” profits made from usury: that’s excessive interest made on loans above the legal limit of 8%. He spoke of suicides of people who could not repay payday loans. He looked like he had specific and [...]

That poor nassab

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2020-10-26T12:36:04+01:00Mon, 26th Oct '20, 08:54|

We only have the Kaċċaturi u Nassaba’s society’s version of what happened yesterday. They say a foreign couple held down a bird trapper and punched him in the face. In a separate incident a foreign couple – it is not clear if these are different people – set free a trapped bird and ran away [...]

GUEST POST: A corrupt deal, endorsed by a corrupt government

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2020-10-26T07:26:11+01:00Mon, 26th Oct '20, 07:26|

The National Audit Office (NAO) had issued a report on the Electrogas power station and indicated ‘shortcomings’. There had been a cheaper option, the NAO found. To many, this was and is a clear indicator of corruption. The evidence was damning but the government, at that time headed by the most corrupt political person in [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Different shades of hate

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2020-10-25T07:43:07+01:00Sun, 25th Oct '20, 07:43|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "Equality and liberty are intertwined. People of all races should have the right to vote. That will not solve all problems. We still discriminate between women and men, but we have come far in the last 100 years, further than we would have if women were still [...]

Owen Bonnici pressuring students to hold graduation ceremonies now so he can wear his toga

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2020-10-24T02:45:00+02:00Sat, 24th Oct '20, 02:45|

The student union KSU, is under pressure from the minister of education Owen Bonnici to withdraw its recommendation to the university authorities to postpone graduation ceremonies to March 2021. KSU, with the agreement of student societies and representative organisations, has asked the university authorities to reschedule graduation ceremonies normally held in November in the hope [...]

Robert Abela on inquiries

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2020-10-23T14:56:06+02:00Fri, 23rd Oct '20, 14:56|

It is disgraceful to hear the prime minister speak of public inquiries as if they were some alien and disruptive “game” that messes about with institutional due process. Inquiries are set up under the Inquiries Act that has been part of our laws since 1977. The Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry is unprecedented because it is [...]

GUEST POST: Mr Prime Minister, shall we blame Metsola and Casa for this too?

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2020-10-23T14:15:00+02:00Fri, 23rd Oct '20, 14:15|

According to Ernst and Young (Malta)’s foreign investment attractiveness survey, published last Tuesday, the lack of stability in the political environment has gone from once being a leading factor in drawing investors to the island, to now being viewed as a drawback. Malta’s attractiveness to foreign investors is at its lowest-ever level since data started [...]

Repubblika publishes proposals for a national anti-racism policy

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2020-10-23T10:23:47+02:00Fri, 23rd Oct '20, 11:25|

Repubblika responded today to a call made a few days ago by Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar for recommendations to go into a national anti-racism and anti-xenophobia policy that still needs to be drawn up. Repubblika submitted 17 proposals summarised in this short video: In its response to Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar's call, Repubblika pointed out [...]

GUEST POST: Playing God

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2020-10-22T10:00:54+02:00Thu, 22nd Oct '20, 10:00|

“I was scared. Do you know what it's like to hold someone else's life in your hands? It's like playing God. Can you think of anything scarier than that?”- Sidney Sheldon Let’s start with something light. A great piece of news was announced by Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, Chairman of the Malta Council of Science and [...]

Roberta Metsola’s journey

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2020-10-22T08:55:12+02:00Thu, 22nd Oct '20, 08:55|

I generally disapprove of vicarious national pride. Often it brings about harmless displays of glum hysteria like the mornings after a Eurovision night. Sometimes it leads to madness like accusations of treason that are all too often bandied about. Roberta Metsola has had more than anyone’s fair share of that. There’s a facile temptation now [...]

Daphne Caruana Galizia awarded Allard Prize for integrity

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2020-10-22T08:14:21+02:00Thu, 22nd Oct '20, 08:14|

Daphne Caruana Galizia and Danske Bank whistle-blower Howard Wilkinson were jointly awarded the 2020 Allard Prize for International Integrity at a virtual ceremony held yesterday. The $100,000 prize is one of the world’s largest awards recognizing leadership and courage in protecting human rights while promoting transparency and the rule of law and combatting corruption. As [...]

Why is the government projecting a 50% increase in revenue from a scheme they’re “winding down”?

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2020-10-21T14:10:06+02:00Wed, 21st Oct '20, 14:10|

Robert Abela is annoyed that the European Commission has launched an infringement procedure against Malta over the passports scheme. He says it’s Roberta Metsola and David Casa’s fault because… nazzjonalisti. But he says he’ll be defending the scheme on point of principle, not because it’s any skin off his nose. The passport selling scheme, he [...]

GUEST POST: Not traitors

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2020-10-21T15:42:39+02:00Wed, 21st Oct '20, 13:06|

It’s not unpatriotic to denounce an injustice committed on our behalf, perhaps it’s the most patriotic thing we can do. – E.A. Bucchianeri Last Monday the European Union said that it will start legal action against Malta and Cyprus over their ‘golden passport’ citizenship scheme. Which is being abused by criminals. EU Commission vice-president Maros [...]