Malta’s news cycle is non-stop action ahead of the summer season. From controversial COVID-19 regulations, a Standards Commissioner’s report into a dodgy deal between an MP and Yorgen Fenech, and Italy’s Euro 2020 win, last week had something in it for everyone.
It can be hard to keep up with so much going on, so here are some of the biggest news stories last week to keep you informed on everything that’s happening on the islands.
1. Glorious victory for Italy at the 2020 Euros
Italy has triumphed victoriously at the UEFA Championship, in a volatile game between Italy and England.
The first portion of the game seemed to be in England’s favour when a goal was scored by Luke Shaw within the first few minutes of kickoff. That, however, took a turn in the second half of the game, with a goal from Leonardo Bonucci and two penalty saves by Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Maltese revellers took to the streets in order to celebrate the Italian’s win. Jubilations took place in areas like St. Julian’s and Maltese roads were abundant with carcading in a show of support.
2. Ian Castaldi Paris faced threats against his family due to Rosianne Cutajar and Yorgen Fenech affidavit
A damning Standards Commissioner’s report into a property deal between Rosianne Cutajar and Yorgen Fenech dominated the news following its publication.
The claims concern Cutajar accepting a substantial amount of money from Yorgen Fenech, as part of a brokerage fee over a 2019 Mdina property deal. At the time, Fenech had been outed as the owner of 17 Black but had not been arrested in connection with the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
It is being claimed that the money pocketed by Cutajar has not been declared to authorities, something which the Standards Commissioner agrees with.
Prime Minister Robert Abela has said that Cutajar will not be reinstated to Cabinet. However, it is unclear whether she will remain on as an MP, with Abela waiting on a parliamentary committee meeting before taking a decision.
In the wake of this, the leader of the opposition, Bernard Grech has demanded that Rosianne Cutajar is fired due to her ethic’s breach. Stating that, “Our country needs to be led by serious and mature politicians, today before tomorrow.”
An interesting detail emerged from MP Ian Castaldi Paris’ testimony. Castaldi Paris was the notary who signed the affidavit that made the allegations.
He told Commissioner George Hyzler that soon after his testimony on 1st March 2021, he was approached by an individual who told the MP that he was to watch out for his family
He also shared with Hyzler that this is not the first time he’s received threats of the sort.
Joseph Camilleri is the person who came forward with the claim. He has worked closely with Ian Castaldi Paris on the case.
The Standards Commission has described Castaldi Paris’ role in the ordeal as “ambiguous”. The pair were working on an affidavit with the intention of presenting it to the Prime Minister, Robert Abela.
The report and affidavit in question have created a lot of controversy amongst the players. Rosianne Cutajar claimed that she felt “entrapped” for being involved in this case. She has since lambasted Hyzler’s report and has stated she will carry on her duties as MP and will be contesting in the upcoming general elections.
As it currently stands, she is being kept out of Robert Abela’s Cabinet and that her resignation will continue to apply.
3. Frustration and chaos amidst language schools closing down and recent COVID-19 vaccine measurements
This week has been marked one of chaos and uncertainty when it comes to the development of the COVID-19 situation in Malta.
English Language Schools have been abruptly forced to close their doors from Wednesday 14th July, due to the cluster of cases that have cropped up within the last week.
Health Minister Chris Fearne has announced that a devastating nine* language schools have reported COVID-19 cases. This new announcement accompanies a number of new measures which have been announced, to the detriment of the foreign student and English Language School businesses.
A new measure was also introduced where people travelling to Malta must be in possession of a recognised vaccine certificate, otherwise, they would not be allowed into our shores.
It has generated a lot of controversy with many saying it discriminates against those who either can or cannot take it. However, the EU has announced that the measure could be discriminatory.
4. Woman who had to travel to Gozo in order to pay a Local Council fee
A Gozitan Local Council’s unfriendly working hours and archaic operating system, required that a woman travel to the Council in order to pay a fee of a measly 10eu. Despite being able to fill out the forms relating to the fee online, she still had to go and deposit the payment physically.
Such a situation seems rather counter-productive and retroactive considering pandemic safety regulations. Such, is not an isolated case, however, as the same woman has described other similar situations taking place, the Qawra Local Council being one of such places.
5. Woman gets makeover after having been bed-bound for two years
A Lija hairdresser recounted a touching tale of a client who walked into her office last week, in need of some tender love and care for her locks. The client in question had been battling depression for quite a while, the intensity of what the woman was going through, relegated her to being bed-bound for a couple of years.
A small but mighty feat by this woman consisted in her going to the salon and asking the hairdresser for her help. After what can be described as a laborious yet ‘touching’ experience, the client’s hair had been completely transformed.
The hairdresser, who is the owner of the Vintage Hair Lounge in Lija, spoke with Lovin Malta about the experienced and said that it was “one of the most satisfying moments” of her life. The client has also expressed how she feels she has been making an improvement, thanks to the positive experience.
Let us know of your favourite stories from last week, in the comments below!