Institutionalised contempt

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2020-11-20T10:23:13+01:00Fri, 20th Nov '20, 10:23|

It just never ends. This government is fundamentally indifferent to the way the world sees us. We’re already in shit with the European Central Bank for a number of reasons. We had two banks licensed since 2013 shut down for pervasive money laundering. Our status as a white-listed and compliant financial jurisdiction is in serious [...]

Do not let the Castille thugs get away with this

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2020-11-19T16:55:54+01:00Thu, 19th Nov '20, 15:08|

The police prosecuted three thugs who in November last year blocked dozens of journalists in the Ambassadors' Room of Castille, preventing them from doing the job the world expected them to: ask tough questions to Joseph Muscat. That night the country rightly expected him to resign. The press waited outside Castille since about noon that [...]

Joe Mifsud strikes again

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2020-11-19T12:49:39+01:00Thu, 19th Nov '20, 12:49|

Three men were charged with unlawfully detaining journalists that night of 29 November when cabinet met until 3 am and journalists were then allowed in to hear Joseph Muscat say it took cabinet 7 hours to decide to deny Yorgen Fenech his request for immunity to turn state’s evidence. While testifying one of the journalists, [...]

An extra chapter

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2020-11-19T11:54:17+01:00Thu, 19th Nov '20, 11:54|

Carlo Bonini, John Sweeney and I first published our book Murder on the Malta Express: Who Killed Daphne Caruana Galizia? on 14 October 2019. That was a few days before Yorgen Fenech was arrested and the story we had been telling turned towards some form of extended denouement. That first edition was published by the [...]

Immune VIPs

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2020-11-18T14:20:25+01:00Wed, 18th Nov '20, 14:17|

The "Guidelines for the Return to Sport as part of the COVID-19 transition in Malta" currently in force say that no spectators are to be allowed in sports venues. The rules say that "a closed-door policy must be observed at all time - spectators are not allowed - for both training and competitions. Access to [...]

The pestilence of fake news

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2020-11-18T10:44:58+01:00Wed, 18th Nov '20, 10:44|

Yesterday we set up 100 chairs in Castille Square, put flowers on them, and recalled the deaths of Covid victims. We criticised the government's policy on the subject and when Robert Abela emerged from his office he got some catcalls by people who don't approve of him. This was reported in the media. It was [...]

Not Mr Transparency

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2020-11-17T18:30:17+01:00Tue, 17th Nov '20, 18:30|

Robert Abela has been telling MPs they should comply with the code of ethics and declare their assets. Government ministers are expected to publish yearly returns. The process is not what you might call thorough and the fact alone that they don’t need to include assets belonging to their spouses makes it a bit of [...]

GUEST POST: Atlas shrugged

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2020-11-17T17:13:21+01:00Tue, 17th Nov '20, 17:13|

Robert Abela and his underlings have in recent days had multiple orgasms cutting ribbons and inaugurating unfinished roads, bridges and other infrastructural projects. Basically, this is how it works. The prime minister, accompanied by ministers, parliamentary secretaries and various chairpersons who were in some way or another peripherally involved in the project meet on site. [...]

Repubblika brands government’s mixed messages on Covid “crazy” and “irresponsible”

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2020-11-17T16:58:53+01:00Tue, 17th Nov '20, 16:58|

Repubblika organised a symbolic protest in Castille Square today marking the 100th victim of the covid pandemic and criticising government policy on the subject. "Doctors with the courage to speak up say that Robert Abela's government's inconsistent policies are leading to more deaths," the NGO said. A hundred empty chairs were decked out recalling each [...]

Maria Efimova says her husband has been released without charge

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2020-11-17T17:01:57+01:00Tue, 17th Nov '20, 16:43|

Maria Efimova announced earlier this afternoon that her husband, detained since yesterday by the police in Greece, has since been released without charge. Speaking to this website, Maria Efimova said the Greek prosecution service agreed that Cyprus's request for her husband's extradition had no legal basis. Cyprus asked for Pantelis Varnava's extradition the first time [...]

NGOs call for European action against SLAPP

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2020-11-17T17:06:56+01:00Tue, 17th Nov '20, 07:58|

First published by Euractiv One hot spring afternoon in Malta, a journalist drove up to her house to find a court marshall duct-taping hundreds of sheets of paper to her front gate. Her family’s two guard dogs were barking uncontrollably and snapped at the marshall through the bars of the gate, but he was determined. [...]

Plus ça change

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2020-11-16T16:33:48+01:00Mon, 16th Nov '20, 16:33|

#occupyjustice said it was informed protest banners it put up yesterday are already being removed. This was standard practice during Joseph Muscat's administration that had a zero-tolerance policy on banners or posters that suggested the government was less than immaculate. Here's #occupyjustice's statement from a few minutes ago: ONE YEAR ON FROM START OF MASS [...]

Follow my rules

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2020-11-16T16:12:46+01:00Mon, 16th Nov '20, 16:05|

Robert Abela thinks MPs should comply with their code of ethics and declare the gifts they get.  He was giving Malta Today the quote as if they needed a reason to repeat the story on their sister newspaper Illum which on Sunday reported that Jason Azzopardi did not get a bill for using the gym [...]

Freedom of the City

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2020-11-16T13:22:28+01:00Mon, 16th Nov '20, 13:22|

In the iron curtain hyperbole of Mintoff’s time, the space cleared in the 1960s just inside of Valletta’s landward gate, was named “Misraħ il-Ħelsien” or ‘Freedom Square’. That space, a grotty carpark just in the front hall of the town, was replaced with Renzo Piano’s parliament building. The architect said at the time that his [...]

GUEST POST: The inauguration of a partly completed 800 metre road and the Vice-President of the European Parliament

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2020-11-16T08:24:20+01:00Mon, 16th Nov '20, 08:24|

Robert Abela got to know that Bernard Grech was going to be in Gozo last Thursday. He has spies everywhere. He was not to be outfoxed. He gathered his communications staff (about 81) and ordered them to prepare a public relations event for the same day. Telephones buzzed to all ministries to see if there [...]