People don’t understand what a million is

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2018-12-23T08:44:04+01:00Sun, 23rd Dec '18, 08:44|

The government refused to give details of how much judges and magistrates will be paid after a new agreement on their conditions comes into force. It’s looking like they’ll be earning something like €100,000 a year which for many people sounds like a lot.  Of course those people are not judges. Nor are they veteran [...]

Lucky him

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2018-12-23T08:13:06+01:00Sun, 23rd Dec '18, 08:13|

Malta Today said today Adrian Delia got his Christmas present. His trust ratings have 'shot up' which the newspaper attributes to respondents warming up to the PN's successful strategy of "embracing the Simon Busuttil faction" by taking a strong stand on 17 Black. In other words they tell him the old way works better. Of [...]

NSFW: That must have been a great night out

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2018-12-23T07:40:07+01:00Sun, 23rd Dec '18, 07:38|

Here's your Economy Minister under a mistletoe on the Instagram account of Denise Dalton, sometimes known as Holly Harlow. If you're going to google those names I am in duty bound to point out what comes up may be NSFW. Speaking of googling, Ms Dalton clearly did not google Chris Cardona before posting this. This [...]

Not legally obliged to feed the hungry

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2018-12-23T07:12:21+01:00Sun, 23rd Dec '18, 07:12|

Source: Sea-watch International The Maltese government is justifying to the rest of the world why it refused a request from around 300 migrants, including pregnant women, children and babies, shivering in the cold Mediterranean Sea and escaping from gunshots, torture and burnings, to provide them with some food. The explanation? Malta is not legally obliged [...]

€4 poinsettia and a lot of shouting

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2018-12-21T17:03:55+01:00Fri, 21st Dec '18, 17:02|

There was some kerfuffle this morning again at Great Siege Square. Around 8am my wife and a friend went to put some flowers and candles at the memorial. As they do. I sat down to watch their bags at the cafe’ across the street. Within about 2 minutes some 5 people came from different directions [...]

Aliyevas’ UK solicitor fined by regulator because of money laundering risks

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2018-12-23T07:24:15+01:00Fri, 21st Dec '18, 15:58|

Photo: Ben Pruchnie on The Guardian A UK tribunal has discovered that two of Ilham Aliyev’s daughters tried to purchase a £60 million property in London in a transaction that carried “a significant risk of money laundering”. Leyla and Arzu Aliyeva agreed in 2015 to buy two Knighstbridge apartments. Leyla and Arzu Aliyeva are well [...]

Dutch regulator fines Maltese bank

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2018-12-21T14:28:56+01:00Fri, 21st Dec '18, 14:28|

The Dutch financial regulator (AFM) fined Maltese Novum Bank 1.75 million euro because the bank offered pay day loans on the Dutch market between 2013 and 2016 without a license to do so. The news was reported in Dutch on line newspaper nu.nl. Novum Bank offered short-term credits on the Dutch market via the website [...]

Guest Post: Viva l-Pastizzi Maltin

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2018-12-21T08:49:00+01:00Fri, 21st Dec '18, 08:46|

Maltese Australians enjoying Pastizzi. Source: The Daily Telegraph (Australia) Today, 20th December 2018 my son returned quite subdued from his school Christmas party. New directives from government are forcing schools, including the church school my son attends, to have parties with “Healthy Food”. So he had a sandwich (“uff mummy I have that almost every [...]

Neville Gafa’ up for volunteer of the year award

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2018-12-20T13:16:14+01:00Thu, 20th Dec '18, 13:12|

If Michelle Muscat can get it, why not Neville Gafa’?  He should also be considered for the Elie Wiesel Humanitarian Award for ferrying wounded casualties from the Libyan war to Malta for medical treatment. There’s the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating between the Libyan government and warlords. And perhaps the Oscar for best actor in [...]

Ranier Fsadni: Rule of law, you say

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2018-12-20T08:43:42+01:00Thu, 20th Dec '18, 08:43|

Photo: REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi Do read Ranier Fsadni’s piece in Times of Malta today. He patiently explains the difference between obeying laws and respecting the rule of law. I don’t think that guy who walked away with a candle on yesterday’s video will be reading this article and having a Damascus experience. But some people [...]

Sicilian police arrest three Maltese bird-trappers

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2018-12-20T08:25:59+01:00Thu, 20th Dec '18, 08:24|

Source: Polizia Provinciale Ragusa on ragusanews.com Three Maltese bird-trappers have been arraigned in the Sicilian province of Ragusa accused of illegal bird-trapping and animal cruelty. They were found on the hills of Monte Badia between Ragusa and Modica with 21 cages, boxes, metal nettling, ropes, nets and electrical bird-calling devices. The police also found trapped [...]

MONEY: But can we police it?

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2018-12-20T08:13:23+01:00Thu, 20th Dec '18, 08:08|

My article in this month's Money Magazine: There was a moment at the time when Malta was getting ready to join the European Union when a number of choices had to be made. Joining the EU was, at the time, a form of graduation for a young, independent country. It was not unlike a wedding. The heady, exciting and naughty days [...]

Khadija Ismayil fearing arrest in Azerbaijan

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2018-12-19T14:14:15+01:00Wed, 19th Dec '18, 14:14|

Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayil posted yesterday that she has been warned the Azerbaijan regime may be preparing a criminal case on the back of trumped up charges against her. Khadija Ismayil is a thorn in the side of Aliyev regime and has reported extensively on corruption in her country. She is part of the [...]

Little vikings

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2018-12-19T13:55:26+01:00Wed, 19th Dec '18, 13:55|

Protesters are finding that the clearing of the protest site in Great Siege Square, which used to be a daily affair with a sweep by Owen Bonnici’s employees in the dead of night, has now been upgraded to three or more times a day. Just about as soon as you turn away from the site, [...]

Genghis Khan goes to refresher kindergarten assistant course

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2018-12-19T11:13:36+01:00Wed, 19th Dec '18, 11:13|

Unlikely? Is it more unlikely than seeing Karl Cini walk into the FIAU for a refresher course on anti-money laundering procedures? That happened yesterday. For real. In August this year, the police are supposed to have interrogated Karl Cini for hours. Although never fully confirmed that interrogation was supposed to be connected with his activities [...]

Repubblika on the Venice Commission report

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2018-12-19T10:50:57+01:00Wed, 19th Dec '18, 10:49|

Repubblika Press Release: The report by the Venice Commission, the advisory body of the Council of Europe, reflects Repubblika's concerns about the lack of strong democratic structures in Malta. Having elections every couple of years does not mean having a democracy. Constitutional structures which ensure separation of powers and a strong system of checks and [...]

Star Comment: Identikit Malta

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2018-12-19T09:49:38+01:00Wed, 19th Dec '18, 09:49|

Artist Joe Farrugia sent in a comment with an image of artwork of his in reaction to my earlier post on the passport scheme: I read with interest your article about the passport scheme. I am attaching a recent artwork I made about the subject: Indentikit Malta, which I feel captures in some way the [...]

Regulator tells banks not to bother checking money of dodgers buying Maltese passports. Someone stop this madness.

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2018-12-19T09:08:31+01:00Wed, 19th Dec '18, 09:05|

There are times when I wonder if I’m the only one to be shocked. And then very quickly I stop caring anymore. Take Carmel Degabriele’s annual report tabled in Parliament this week. He is the regulator of the passport sales program and the law obliges him to report on a yearly basis on the workings [...]

When Lawrence Cutajar thought of resigning. And when he changed his mind.

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2018-12-18T18:19:43+01:00Tue, 18th Dec '18, 18:19|

How does one say this nicely? Let’s just say Lawrence Cutajar would not be the likely choice in a casting for a cop-show looking for a chief of police that inspires sobriety, confidence, balance and hard-nosed, indefatigable determination to fight and defeat crime. If Lawrence Cutajar played NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, binge watching [...]