14.07.20 Covid-19 Update



Politics: President George Vella refuses to move Adrian Delia, PN Executive to meet tonight 

A PN Executive meeting is scheduled this evening at Dar Centrali, fresh from yesterday’s developments. After almost three days, President George Vella yesterday afternoon broke his silence through a lengthy statement in which he announced that following constitutional advice, Dr Adrian Delia cannot be removed of his position of Opposition Leader.

Dr Vella however confirmed that Delia had lost support of a majority of Opposition MPs.

Vella explained how in the judgement he arrived to, the role of Opposition Leader should be held by the leader of the largest party in Opposition, currently the PN. With this consideration, Delia could not be removed.

Delia and opponents react

In a message on Facebook, Adrian Delia asked for everyone who believes in the rule of law and respects the Constitution to respect this decision.

On the other hand, the group of MPs and MEPs who want Delia out said that “this decision breaches the constitution and this is confirmed by a number of constitutional experts who spoke publicly”. In their statement, anti-Delia MPs said that with a sense of responsibility and commitment towards the country and the PN, they will keep encouraging the PN to be led by a person with integrity and credibility, who puts the national and the PN’s interest before personal interest.

Delia vowed to remain on as Leader of the Opposition despite having lost the vote of confidence. Tonight’s Executive Committee meeting had been planned prior to the recent escalation of the PN crisis.

Coronavirus cases stable, as safe corridor with Belgium to open this Thursday

There were no new coronavirus cases in Malta between Sunday and Monday. No persons recovered, meaning the number of active cases remained at 5.

Travelling between Malta and Belgium is expected to resume as of 16th July, following the inclusion of Belgium on the amended ‘travelling list’ from Malta. The updated list of countries where travelling is allowed and travel corridors have been established, was published by the Government of Malta and enacted through a Legal Notice.

Earlier last week, the Belgian government has placed Malta on its “red zone” list, where travel was not recommended, mainly due to the fact that the Mediterranean island had not included Belgium as a country where travelling should take place.

Former Police Commissioner took hard disk with him after resignation

Former Police Commissioner keeps hitting the new news for the wrong reasons when in a PQ answered by Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri it transpired that he, as well as those before him, have been allowed to take the hard disk of their personal computer upon retirement or when their services were no longer required. Camilleri justified this decision on the basis that “it was always like this”, but expressed his opinion that such practice should be changed.

Newspaper coverage

The Times leads with the decision by President George Vella to retain Adrian Delia as Opposition Leader. A statement by the Office of the President  said that the constitutional role must be held by the leader of the biggest party in opposition.

In-Nazzjon publishes excerpts from the letter by the President in which he advised that the discussion about who the Leader of the Opposition should be, must not continue any further.

L-Orizzont says that President George Vella described the situation within  the Opposition as unprecedented but argued that there should be no change in its leadership in order to ‘protect the stability and continuity’ in the parliamentary system.

The Independent quotes Constitutional Law expert Kevin Aquilina who criticised the reasoning of the President in deciding to keep Adrian Delia as Leader of the Opposition. Aquilina said that the decision is a ‘meaningless interpretation’ of the law.

The Times follows the compilation of evidence against John Paul Woods, accused of having murdered Charlene Farrugia in 2008. The prosecuting inspector told the court that the victim and the accused had had an argument over money owed to her partner.

L-Orizzont follows the case about the murder of 25-year-old Charlene Farrugia in 2008. Accused John Paul Woods had first admitted to killing her, but then changed his version and blamed his friend.

The Independent says that Prime Minister Robert Abela ordered the missing Memorandum of Understanding signed between the government and Vitals Global Healthcare to be retrieved, after the National Auditor said that it could not be located.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Adrian Delia following the President’s decision to keep him in the role of Opposition Leader. Delia said that he will continue to give all his energy to party and country.

In its Editorial, The Times of Malta asks whether the President served democracy in his decision not to seek Adrian Delia’s departure. The Editor argues that his decision may well have been taken with the best interests of the country in mind, but jt remains to be seen, whether going against the will of the people’s representatives will help preserve or damage the integrity of this republic’s democracy.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS (By corporatedispatch.com)

Countries heading in wrong direction on coronavirus, warns WHO

The new coronavirus pandemic raging around the globe will worsen if countries fail to adhere to strict healthcare precautions, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned. “Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains   public   enemy   number   one,”   WHO   Director   General   Tedros   Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from the U.N. agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

“If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go – it is going to get worse and worse and worse.” Global infections stand at 13 million, according to a Reuters tally, with more than half a million deaths.

French healthcare workers get significant pay rise after coronavirus efforts

The French government and unions reached an agreement providing a significant increase in pay to health care workers, worth some eight billion euros with the prime minister saying the move was overdue in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

During  the  peak  of  the  outbreak  in France,  people  applauded  every   evening health workers who in turn said that such gratitude rang hollow if it was not followed by concrete steps.

France24 reports that the biggest increases will be received by nurses and careworkers, who will be entitled to around 90% of this package, equivalent to roughly 183 euro every month.

EU Corner – by Comuniq.EU

Differences remain among EU states on recovery fund, budget – Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she could not guarantee that EU member states would reach an agreement on a coronavirus recovery fund and a multi- year budget at a leaders summit this week given that differences remain.

“The positions remain apart,” Merkel said during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. “I can’t say today whether we will reach an agreement on Friday.”

This daily update bulletin is being compiled for the Chamber of Advocates by CI Consulta from Corporate ID Group. CI Consulta delivers policy research and analysis, evaluations and impact assessments up to policy implementation and integration.