16.07.20 Covid-19 Update



Politics: Reactions to vote of no-confidence in PN Leader Adrian Delia

Reactions continued to flow after the second vote of confidence lost by PN Leader Adrian Delia during Tuesday’s late-night Executive Committee session. The strongest reaction came from former PN stalwart Louis Galea, who had been appointed by Delia himself to steer reforms in the Party, who called on the Opposition Leader to resign and stop abusing the loyalty of paid-up members.

While the PN leader continued to minimise the meaning of this second vote, saying that it had no consequences, Alex Perici Calascione, President of the PN Executive Committee told The Times of Malta that another confidence vote could be sought before the party’s highest organ, the general council, thereby openly contracting Delia’s claim.

The paper reports that Perici Calascione explained that “if anyone wishes to take this further, Delia himself may opt to seek a confidence vote from General Council or else others. They need to present a motion, signed by at least 150 councillors, to the executive with a question to be put to the general council.”

Yorgen Fenech denied again

Alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech has seen his bid to challenge a Cabinet decision to refuse him a presidential pardon confirmed by the Civil Court. In a judgement delivered yesterday, Justice Francesco Depasquale, upheld the plea which had been raised by the State Advocate, assisting the Cabinet of Ministers and the Police Commissioner in the proceedings.

Fenech had sought a presidential pardon in exchange for information about former PM Joseph Muscat’s Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri.

On the road to Covid-free Malta?

Health Minister Chris Fearne celebrated a full week without any new coronavirus cases with a post on social media this morning. He called for caution to ensure further success. There are currently four active cases in Malta.

Yesterday was an important day in the return to normality following the crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, with Malta re-opening its airport to further destinations, including the UK, the largest market for the country’s tourism market. Flights to and from China, the country where the virus is thought to have originated, have also resumed.

Newspaper Review

The Malta Business Weekly says that the EU Commission intends to put pressure on low-tax members, including Malta. The Commission says that advantageous corporate tax regimes create distortions in the Single Market.

L-Orizzont announces that the General Workers Union registered an industrial dispute with Water Services over delays in the finalisation of a new collective agreement.

In-Nazzjon says that the financial services watchdog raised concerns over three private entities declaring that they operate from a Malta address. The Authority is warning the public about dubious claims by foreign entities.

The Independent speaks to Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci who said that the antibodies in people who recovered from Covid-19 do not last long. She said, however, that the rate of re-infection remains low.

Business Today reports that Air Malta is currently operating three of its 10 aircraft to serve 22 destinations. The airline predicts that it will take two years to reach the same passenger levels recorded in 2019.

The Times speaks to the president of the PN Executive Council, Alex Perici Calascione, who said that the party statute does not impede a vote of confidence in Adrian Delia in the General Council. Delia had suggested that that route would not be possible.

L-Orizzont quotes PN Leader Adrian Delia who said that the vote of confidence in the party’s executive council on Tuesday was ‘a declaration’ but does not have any consequence according to the statute.

The Independent quotes Louis Galea, who was tasked by the PN Leader Adrian Delia to head an internal reform process. Galea said that the party needs a new leader after Delia lost a vote of confidence in the executive council.

In-Nazzjon reports that the tax authorities have recovered over €14 million from investigations into 163 cases linked to the Panama Papers. Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said that there are another 74 cases pending.

In its Editorial, The Times of Malta looks again at the situation within the PN and describes Therese Comodini Cachia as representing a new generation. The Editor argues that she has shown political courage in offering to step into the breach caused by Delia’s inability to win the support of all wings of the party.

Business Today looks at the tourism numbers which so far remain low, with Air Malta currently operating with only three planes, down from 10 planes. In light of this, the government needs to reduce – where possible – tax burden, including VAT. The Editor says that there need to be more schemes to help ailing industries and businesses stay afloat and this can only be done by extending the Malta Enterprise schemes.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS (By corporatedispatch.com) Spain registers rise in number of coronavirus outbreaks

Despite the rising number of coronavirus outbreaks in Spain, the government says it has no plans to restore the kind of emergency powers that led to one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns between March and June.

Sources in the Spanish executive said that regional authorities have enough tools at their disposal to control the current outbreaks, which now number over 100.

Ireland delays opening of bars due to rise in new COVID-19 cases 

Ireland has delayed the planned opening of bars and nightclubs by three weeks to Aug. 10 due to concerns about a rise in COVID-19 infections among younger people, Prime Minister Micheál Martin announced on Wednesday. The country had been due to enter the fourth and final phase of COVID-19 restrictions on July 20, which  would  have allowed the opening of all bars and nightclubs and indoor gatherings of up to 100 people, but this will now happen on Aug. 10, Martin told journalists.

The Department of Health has confirmed two further deaths from Covid-19, bringing the death toll in Ireland to 1,748. It has also confirmed 14 additional coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 25,683.

EU Corner – by Comuniq.EU 

EU budget: Parliament pushes for financial transaction tax and consolidated corporate tax base

As Europe recovers from the coronavirus outbreak, MEPs are insisting on the introduction of new revenue sources to cover the refinancing costs of the recovery instrument, prevent sharp reductions in EU budget expenditure and ensure the Covid-19 response does not become a burden for future generations. They include a common consolidated corporate tax base, digital services taxation. a financial transaction tax, income from the emissions trading scheme, a contribution based on non-recycled plastic packaging waste and a carbon border tax.

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.