Check the law

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2018-01-15T10:43:44+01:00Mon, 15th Jan '18, 10:43|

The Leader of the Opposition made two nominations for people to sit on legal bodies that are required by law to include nominees of the Parliamentary minority. Adrian Delia nominated John Rizzo to the Corruption Commission and Janice Chetcuti to the Resources and Environment Authority. I will not go into the merits of the choices [...]

Put a tail on it and call it a weasel

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2018-01-15T09:50:07+01:00Mon, 15th Jan '18, 09:42|

Joseph Muscat warned Air Malta pilots yesterday he will not be held to ransom. They know his plan and he made sure they knew in the way cold war nuclear powers warned each other of assured retaliatory destruction. Except that Joseph Muscat’s plan is not retaliatory. He got Konrad Mizzi, that rather less artful dodger [...]

Justice for Daphne. Justice for Malta.

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2018-01-16T22:10:22+01:00Sun, 14th Jan '18, 20:22|

On Tuesday 16th, it will be 3 months since Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated. We are nowhere near knowing who ordered her killing. Justice remains denied. My wife and I plan to lay fresh flowers and spend some minutes of reflection at the improvised memorial to Daphne at the feet of the Great Siege Memorial [...]

G Farrugia Calleja: Whitewash is the New Black

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2018-01-14T21:03:54+01:00Sun, 14th Jan '18, 20:15|

By resident guest George Farrugia Calleja: The end / beginning of the year brings about the obligation to attend festivities usually over-populated by grey men in similarly shaded suits. Being of an ascetic disposition, I don’t indulge, preferring the company of friends to the enforced jollity of “il-kumplament” or “is-sena t-tajba”. The Great And Good [...]

LISTEN: The Efimova Tapes – 2 (updated with transcript)

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2018-01-15T17:18:19+01:00Sun, 14th Jan '18, 16:30|

Here is the second part of the detailed interview I conducted with Pilatus whistleblower Maria Efimova. Labour has been putting a spin on a phrase in the European Parliament report in Malta that said that Efimova "indicated she was not the original source" for Daphne Caruana Galizia's reporting on the Egrant case. Leave aside for [...]

La Repubblica on Malta’s passport scheme

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2018-01-14T11:46:48+01:00Sun, 14th Jan '18, 10:58|

See this report by La Repubblica on the Russian oligarchs that can now travel and move their money freely in Europe by pretending to be Maltese. The world's interest into Malta's way of doing things the last few years is not going to go away. We can no longer speak of the risk to Malta's [...]

LISTEN: The Efimova Tapes – 1 (updated with transcript)

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2018-01-15T08:45:44+01:00Sat, 13th Jan '18, 17:22|

Maria Efimova is a Russian woman who lived in Malta for a few months between 2016 and 2017. She worked briefly at Pilatus Bank between January and March. She says she was employedthere. Her employer says she was an intern. While there she came across what she believed were suspicious financial transactions by politically exposed [...]

Don’t look back in anger, I hear you say

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2018-01-13T02:20:30+01:00Sat, 13th Jan '18, 02:20|

I went to the Comedy Knights in Sliema today. I had been a previous year and enjoyed it. I warn you I’m not a theatre critic. There was a judge in the US who famously assured his court that he would find it difficult to define pornography; but that he’d know it when he’d see [...]

An inch long arm

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2018-01-12T09:49:48+01:00Fri, 12th Jan '18, 09:49|

As employees of Air Malta slowly realise their chances of being in employment in Easter will be slimmer if by then the government manages to strip the national airline of its asset base, no opportunity is missed by Joseph Muscat to award one of his cronies an iced bun. Newsbook reports Sandro Craus, the prime [...]

Don’t let them intimidate you

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2018-01-11T22:36:28+01:00Thu, 11th Jan '18, 22:36|

Vitals Global Healthcare, that according to Minister Konrad Mizzi no longer owns three of our hospitals and according to itself is still considering whether to sell them, has today issued a warning to its employees: 'Do not speak to the press. If the press speak to you, everything goes to head office. Do not answer [...]

Did we need to be told?

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2018-01-11T21:56:44+01:00Thu, 11th Jan '18, 21:56|

The European Parliament's mission's interim report, available here (1143312EN), and summarised painstakingly by  The Times here is not a victory for anyone. It is a formalised humiliation; a collective indictment charging us for not knowing how to run our own affairs, for needing outsiders like those nasty royal commissions the British used to send here to [...]

Traitors and artful dodgers

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2018-01-11T16:58:33+01:00Thu, 11th Jan '18, 16:58|

This is such a weird country. Within the same news cycle when the civil rights minister waxes melodramatic in parliament about a junior ombudsman stepping out of line, Tony Zarb warns international journalists to look away from Malta and brands anyone speaking to them – yours truly included – traitors. And to top it all [...]

Meryl Streep pays tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia

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2018-01-10T22:13:42+01:00Wed, 10th Jan '18, 22:13|

American actor Meryl Streep paid tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia and other journalists around the world who lost their life in the line of duty. She was speaking at the yearly award ceremony of the Committee to Protect Journalists where she was introduced by Christiane Amanpour of CNN. https://youtu.be/o6Hgqim4Dwo Go to 11:09 for the reference [...]

Flying conflicts

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2018-01-10T20:49:48+01:00Wed, 10th Jan '18, 20:48|

Yannick Pace was quick to report on Malta Today in much greater detail the very dry statement of the government on the stripping of Air Malta's ownership of its airport slots, particularly Heathrow's morning slots. His report is fleshed out with the government spiel we can expect over the next several weeks: that the government [...]

Air Malta being stripped of its value

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2018-01-10T19:19:56+01:00Wed, 10th Jan '18, 19:19|

In a short statement the government today announced it has set up a new company named Malta Air Travel Limited. The new company will own the airport slots that Air Malta currently holds. Most of these are close to worthless. But the slots for the early morning flights that Air Malta flies into Heathrow are [...]

Beam in the eye

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2018-01-10T12:58:06+01:00Wed, 10th Jan '18, 12:58|

Labour has been persecuting Jason Azzopardi for having authorised the sale of government property in Balluta for a price set by law when leasing it out would have made the government more money. This happened eight years ago when Azzopardi was vice-minister responsible for the lands department. He approved a recommendation from the department officials [...]

STAR COMMENT: I stumble from one shock to the next

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2018-01-10T12:59:36+01:00Wed, 10th Jan '18, 12:43|

This was sent in by Iris Rohmann, correspondent for the Cologne-based Westdeutscher Rundfunk, part of the national German television network, in reaction to yesterday's post Locus standi in which I spoke on how difficult it is for international journalists even to believe how Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of a democratic country, can obstruct the [...]

Locus standi

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2018-01-09T18:15:57+01:00Tue, 9th Jan '18, 16:46|

Joseph Muscat's lawyers said in court today Simon Busuttil has no interest in whether money-laundering and corruption suspects exposed by the Panama papers should be investigated by the police. I confess that is an inaccurate statement. Strictly speaking they said Simon Busuttil has no place asking the constitutional court to force the recusal of a [...]

INSIDE HIGHER ED: Fired far from home

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2018-01-09T14:03:24+01:00Tue, 9th Jan '18, 14:03|

Read this report in specialist industry online publication Inside Higher Ed about the mass dismissal of all but one academics employed by the so-called American University of Malta. The perspective of the cheated employees is interesting of course. But it is representative of how an entire country has been hoodwinked by what in all accounts [...]

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