In the Press: Malta remains sole interlocutor for Libyan lawmakers

Stories from today’s national papers

MaltaToday reports that senior Maltese government sources have expressed their concerns at the ever more intricate situation in Libya. The situation could potentially lead to increased violence if rebel general Khalifa Haftar leads the Libyan National Army to make its way into Tripoli.

A peace deal was signed earlier this week in Morocco by some MPs from opposing parliaments, roughly 18 months after the civil conflict began in the country and some four years after former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed.

The presidents of both the House of representatives of Tobruk and the General National Congress of Tripoli were in Malta earlier this week, where they announced they would go ahead to establish their own unity government after refusing a UN deal proposed earlier this week.

In an interview with this newsroom, President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca also spoke about the culture of hostility towards women in Malta. Discussing the issues of domestic violence towards women, Coleiro Preca also touches upon the inequality women face in the professional world and the way prejudices shackle progress in the field.

Sunday paper Illum carries an interview with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) sufferer Bjorn Formosa. The paper describes Formosa as having a ‘steel determination’ to face the condition and to raise awareness about the destructive illness. Formosa described this year as “the best year of his life”, despite the fact that the illness is getting increasingly worse over time.

The paper also reports about a proposal by AX Holdings Ltd for a transport project linking the three cities to the Grand Harbour and Sliema. The project, which relies on ferries and sea transport, promises to conflate a 45 minute journey to one that takes 25 minutes using traditional public transport means, the paper reports.

The Sunday Times of Malta reports that the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) will be assessing an application by Mark Gaffarena to sanction illegalities at a Naxxar home tomorrow. The illegalities include two bedrooms built over a public lane and adjoining with another property. The building also contains a unit built before 1992, which extends in a way that clashes with original structures and an Urban Conservation area.

De La Rue employees are to face an uncertain Christmas period as they have not yet been informed whether they are among the 400 people being laid off. The security printing company is one of the largest suppliers of passports worldwide, but it announced redundancies earlier in December and it proposed the phasing out the printing of banknotes in Malta.

Sunday paper It- Torca headlines its edition with the tragedy which claimed the life of a 53-year-old worker in a quarry in Rabat.  The Zabbar resident lost his life after the crane he was in overturned at around 3.00pm, trapping him in a pool of mud. Preliminary investigations showed that the man died on the spot and investigations into the case are still ongoing.

The paper also carries an interview with ALS sufferer Bjorn Formosa’s partner. Maria Muscat met Formosa at Junior College Sixth Form, when they were both students, but they re-kindled contact after Formosa’s story was first reported on local media. Muscat spoke to Formosa and offered assistance in the foundation he launched to further raise awareness about the condition.

Il-Mument carries an interview with the parents of Pierre Baldacchino who express their concerns after their son was abducted in Tripoli earlier this week. Baldacchino, General Manager of St. James Hospital in Libya, was abducted by criminals in the war torn country earlier this week, leaving his parents ‘lost’ as they don’t know anything about his whereabouts.

The paper further reports about an investigation carried out by Italian website Rischio Calcolato. The report claims that Malta, is among a number of countries being used in the trafficking of Kurdish crude oil. The report says that Bilan Erdogan, son of Turkish president Recep Tayib Erdogan heads a company which registers vessels in Malta to transport oil coming from areas controlled by the so-called Islamic State.

The Malta Independent’s Sunday edition reports that over 450 people are employed in positions of trust with government ministries, parliamentary secretariats and government entities. Quoting Freedom of Information requests by the paper, it adds that the positions included cleaners, gatekeepers, dog handlers and maintenance workers among others and the commandant of the police academy among many others, with the Office of the Prime Minister holding the largest complement of such employees.

The Sunday paper Kull Hadd,  embarks on an analysis of the contract for the proposed American University of Malta at Zonqor point. The paper claims that the Parliamentary discussion, which went well into the night and early hours of Wednesday morning, was dominated by the Opposition’s criticism of the title of University vs Higher Education, a subject which was unrelated to the land issue, the paper adds.