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WEDNESDAY EDITION
€0.50
WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT
WEDNESDAY • 19 JANUARY 2011 • ISSUE 196 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY
JAILBREAK
MALTESE ESCAPE IN MASS
TUNISIA PRISON MAYHEM
Two Maltese inmates,
arrested on drug
trafficking charges
and held in a Tunisian
prison since July, have
gone missing after
a spectacular mass
escape yesterday
Full report on page 7
Spiteri surprised by book removal from schools
on charges of obscenity over the
publication of the short story Li
Tkisser Sewwi on a university
students’ pamphlet in 2009.
He explained that he got to know
about his book’s removal through
the media, and wondered why
what he wrote six years ago would
have such an effect now.
Critically acclaimed for its rich
Maltese prose style and its compelling characterisation, Meta
Jdellel Il-Qamar tells the story of
the tribulations of a family of fishermen from the south of Malta
during the Second World War.
It is not clear why the narrative,
which won the National Book
Award, was considered inappropriate for school-age readers. One
possible interpretation concerns
the fact that one of its characters,
Toninu, is gay.
The entire list of books removed
from schools libraries, which also
included classics like D. H. Law-
rence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover
and Voltaire’s Candide, was published in Sunday’s edition of MaltaToday.
Since then, government has announced a commission, headed by
novelist Trevor Zahra, to advise it
on the administration of school
libraries.
Lino Spiteri’s Meta Jdellel
il-Qamar was removed from
school libraries. Is it because of
one of its characters is gay?
See backpage
Newspaper post
AUTHOR and former finance
minister Lino Spiteri yesterday
expressed surprise that his awardwinning collection of short stories, �Meta Jdellel Il-Qamar’ (Peg
Publishers, 2005), had been removed from school libraries on
the recommendation of School
Library Services.
Spiteri, who has been active in
the literary scene for 55 years, was
testifying in the case against Alex
Vella Gera, who stands accused
2
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Rihanna tipprepara
l-Hens’ ta’ Perry
FAITHLESS live in concert
is-Sibt 7 ta’ Awwissu
f’Gianpula
paДЎna 3
Nhar il-Д¦amis se
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ta’ San Lawrenz?
paДЎna 5
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Ara l-aħħar paġna
“DIN mhix ir-rebħa tad-�Dede’ u
t-telfa ta’ Joe Mifsud. Din hi rebħa
kbira għall-futbol Malti inġenerali.
Mil-lum ’il quddiem l-MFA se tiftaħ
il-bibien għal dawk kollha li lesti
jagħtu l-ideat tagħhom u jaħdmu
għall-ġid tal-futbol Malti. Mil-lum
bdejna era ġdida!”
Din kienet l-ewwel reazzjoni ta’
Norman Darmanin Demajo lbieraħ
wara nofsinhar hekk kif sar magħruf
li hu l-President il-ДЎdid tal-Malta
Football Association wara li rebaħ
l-elezzjoni li kellu għal dan is-siġġu.
Darmanin Demajo kiseb din ilkariga tal-ogħla siġġu fil-futbol Malti
wara li għeleb lill-Avukat Joe Mifsud
b’distakk ta’ 46 vot – bir-riżultat finali
jaqra 77 għal Darmanin Demajo u
31 vot għal Mifsud.
B’hekk wara kważi 10 snin,
l-eks-TeЕјorier tal-AssoД‹jazzjoni se
jerġa’ lura fil-bini ta’ Ta’ Qali, din
id-darba fl-ogħla kariga biex iwettaq
il-programm elettorali tiegħu taħt ilwegħda ta’ “klabbs, klabbs u klabbs.”
Kienu għal ħabta tas-1.30pm meta
s-sala tas-Centenary Stadium ta’ Ta’
Qali beda l-għadd tal-voti, eżattament
108 mitfugħa, biex ftit tal-ħin wara,
kif id-�Dede’ kellu aċċertati 55 vot,
is-sala nfexxet f’għajjat u ċapċip kbir
li kkonfermat il-ħtieġa ta’ bżonn
ta’ bidla li kienu qed iħossu dawk li
kellhom id-dritt tal-vot.
Ir-riżultat tal-bieraħ jagħti raġun
lil din il-gazzetta li bħal-lum ġimgħa
żvelat stħarriġ intern li għamlet fost
il-klabbs u l-assoД‹jazzjonijiet membri
tal-futbol lokali.
L-istħarriġ wera rebħa għal Norman
Darmanin Demajo b’43% tal-voti u
telfa għal Mifsud bi 38% tal-voti.
Kien hemm 19% ta’ dawk eleġibbli
għall-vot li ma kkummentawx fejn
se jitfgħu l-vot tagħhom.
Ikkuntattjat minn MediaToday,
l-eks-President tal-MFA Joe Mifsud
sostna li “m’għandi l-ebda kumment
x’nagħti.”
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l-proprjetà li xtraw fis-sena ta’ qabel tiswa
aktar minn dak dikjarat.
Statistika li għandha f ’idejha din il-gazzetta
paДЎna 12
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FRANICA PULIS
IR-REAZZJONI ta’ Renee Laiviera,
membru tal-Malta Confederation of
Women’s Organisations, għall-kummenti
tal-Isqof ta’ Għawdex dwar l-edukazzjoni
sesswali hi li rridu naċċettaw ir-realtà taż-żgħażagħ Maltin li huma attivi
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ta’ tfajliet żgħar. Żagħżugħ se ngħidlu
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mhumiex tiegħi huma tiegħek.”
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WARA li turisti kienu
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paДЎna 8
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Floriana jirbħu
fl-94 minuta
Dwar jekk kummenti bħal dawn
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News
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Gideon Meir �no longer’
Israeli ambassador to Malta
KARL STAGNO-NAVARRA
ISRAEL has withdrawn Gideon
Meir as its ambassador to Malta,
and will instead appoint another
ambassador who will now work
from Jerusalem rather than from
Rome.
Gideon Meir - who was irked
by statements made last month
in Parliament by Transport Minister Austin Gatt over the multimillion Delimara Power Station
extension contract awarded to
Scandinavian contractors BWSC
rather than to Israeli firm Bateman – paid a farewell visit to
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi
last Monday.
Gideon Meir will keep his post
as Israeli ambassador to Rome,
however he will no longer be also
responsible for Malta.
A senior Israeli diplomat confirmed yesterday that a new ambassador for Malta will be appointed, and he will work from
Jerusalem.
Diplomatic relations between
Malta and Israel became strained
following Minister Austin Gatt’s
declarations before the Public
Accounts Committee in Parliament last month and led to a
stern reaction from ambassador
Meir.
“The State of Israel suggests
that whoever needs to explain
the odd results of the Delimara
power station tender should focus on the issue itself instead of
trying to involve us by using false
accusations,” a spokesperson for
the Rome-based ambassador had
told MaltaToday.
Spokesperson Yariv Ovadia
said: “the allegations suggesting that the Israeli Ambassador
or any other Israeli official had
threatened any Maltese official
are totally false.”
Israeli ambassador Gideon Meir during his �farewell’ meeting with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi at Castille on Monday evening
Prime Minister Lawrence
Gonzi was said to have refused
a phone call from former Israeli
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Gatt told the PAC that Israeli
company Hutney Bateman had
“threatened and offered incentives to the government in order
to win the contract.”
The minister added that Ehud
Olmert, who was disgraced over
corruption scandals, insisted to
speak over the phone with Prime
Minister Gonzi over the bid, but
the Prime Minister “refused to
take the call as politicians do not
get involved in contracts.”
Gatt stressed that the refusal
came in the wake of a previous
meeting between Prime Minister
Gonzi and the ambassador Gideon Meir.
“We feel sorry that the integrity of the State of Israel and the
Ambassador of Israel to Malta
were dragged into this internal
Maltese affair. We suggest that
whoever needs to explain the odd
results of the tender should focus
on the issue itself instead of trying to involve us by using false accusations,” Ovadia said.
Gatt told the PAC that the Israeli ambassador had warned the
Prime Minister that “the issue is
going to embarrass the Maltese
government as the Malta Labour
Party has good contacts with the
Hutney Bateman consortium and
has all the details of the tender.”
But Ovadia said that “during
the routine rounds of meetings of
the Ambassador, various people
on the island expressed their concern that apparently there are irregularities in this tender. At that
point, so as not to interfere with
internal Maltese controversy, the
Ambassador decided to refrain
from dealing with the subject.
He also informed Prime Minister
Lawrence Gonzi of his decision.”
Last night ambassador Gideon
Meir hosted a reception for all
ambassadors accredited to Malta
and other guests.
Government given full list of Armier squatters
JAMES DEBONO
A complete list of the current occupants of the shanty
town has been presented to
the government by Armier
Developments Limited, but
a government spokesperson
remained tight-lipped on the
government’s intentions regarding the squatters.
“At this stage, government
is analysing the information
provided by the Association,”
a spokesperson for the Office
of the Prime Minister told
MaltaToday.
In 2009 the government
had promised that this information would not be used
against the Armier squatters.
The OPM did not reply to
MaltaToday’s question on
whether the government is
still committed to hand over
230 tumuli of public land to
Armier Developments Limited on a 65 year lease against
an annual sum of €350,000.
The promise first made on
the eve of the 2003 election
was ratified on the eve of the
2008 election.
Neither did the OPM reply
to MaltaToday when asked
whether a valuation of the
land has been conducted.
MEPA cannot process the
application because the Marfa Action Plan. which sets the
planning parameters for the
project. has been pending for
approval since 2002.
4
News
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Tales from
the Crypt
Casa Lanfreducci application forms
part of application to demolish
bank – MEPA
Was this one of Malta’s defenders in the Great Siege of 1565? Human remains allegedly retrieved from Casa Lanfreducci suggest the crypt may have been a mass grave
JAMES DEBONO
PLANS to convert the crypt
under Casa Lanfreducci into
backstage facilities for the new
open air theatre are included
in a planning application entitled: “demolition of the Bank
of Valletta (abutting Auberge
d’Italie)”.
The application includes plans
related to the conversion of Casa Lanfreducci presented on 27
December.
The application (PA 4670/10)
is still at “consultation stage” according to MEPA.
The Superintendence for Cul-
ture Heritage is one of the bodies being consulted by MEPA.
“The Superintendence is currently in the process of examining this application… It is at
present too early in the process to give a position on this
application,” superintendence
official Nathaniel Cutajar told
MaltaToday when asked for his
Conference Launch of the ESF Project:
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Closer to Europe is partly financed by the European Social Fund and aims to promote a more
effective social and civil dialogue and wider participation in the decision-making and policy
development. The project also aims to increase knowledge on local and EU affairs.
Date of Conference Launch: 26th of January 2011
Time: 8.45am till 12.30pm
Location: Hotel Excelsior, Floriana
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This conference is of interest to those who want to know more about social and civil dialogue as
well as anyone who would like to make her/his voice heard through MCESD during the open
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views on the application.
On Monday NGO Flimkien
Ghall-Ambjent Ahjar published
photos of human remains found
in the same site some years ago,
to substantiate its claim that
the crypt was used as a burial
ground.
“FAA’s concern about this
space being converted into
dressing rooms, shower cubicles
and toilets is shown to be correct
by photographic proof, showing
several boxes of human bones
which were exhumed from the
Lanfreducci
basement-crypt
and piled in boxes in the same
basement.”
Flimkien ghall- Ambjent Ahjar said these remains probably
belonged to Knights of the Order of St John.
This claim is backed by forensic expert Anthony Abela
Medici, who had examined the
site when they were found and
now described the government’s
plans as shameful.
FAA has also described the
central arch supporting the
large main room of the basement as “a marvel of vernacular architecture and possibly
unique to this site”.
But the Ministry for Infrastructure insists that its plans
fully respect the building’s historical and architectural context, the Infrastructure Ministry said yesterday and denies the
house had been built on “some
burial grounds.”
The ministry said the FAA was
“flatly wrong” when it claimed
some form of deception so as
not to have the original application for the development seem
too intrusive.
“On the contrary, the decision
for the fresh application was a
result of the decision to explore
alternative solutions that would
bring about less excavation than
was originally planned and fully
permitted by the original permit,” it said.
The footprint of the buildings
in the controversy was barely
being excavated at all, the ministry said, pointing out all that
would be dug out were some
four square metres for a lift and
just over 12 square metres for a
staircase.
Heritage Trust Din l-Art
Helwa urged the government
not to take any decisions on the
future of the basement space
under Casa Lanfreducci in Valletta until the necessary studies
about its historical uses have
been carried out, and the conclusions have been made public
by the heritage authorities.
Din l-Art Д¦elwa was involved
in two restoration projects at
Our Lady of Victory church
in the past and had drawn up
plans for ongoing restoration of
the ceiling paintings as well as
other aspects of the church in
the near future. The crypt was
to be included in the restoration
project.
5
News
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
No official reaction to
report slamming Police
Economic Crimes Unit
MATTHEW VELLA AND
NESTOR LAIVIERA
A damning report that described the Maltese Police
Force’s Economic Crime Unit
as “old-fashioned”, “reactive”
and hampered by the “attitude
presented by senior management” has elicited little official response over two months
since publication.
In November 2010, a report
presented to the EU’s Council of Ministers said that despite Malta’s economic crimes
unit (ECU) being composed of
“highly motivated and dedicate
personnel,” the lack of a national strategy makes the fight
against economic crimes “reactive and not based on comprehensive threat assessments.”
The report, penned by a group
of experts from Interpol, OLAF
and Eurojust, maintained that
the Maltese Police Force’s capacity to fight economic crime
and investigate fraud and corruption is “old-fashioned”, “reactive” and hampered by the
“attitude presented by senior
management.”
“Apart from political decisions, the problem seems to
be related to lack of capacitybuilding and the attitude presented by the senior management,” the report said - without
entering into the specifics of its
concerns.
Despite repeated attempts by
MaltaToday to elicit a reaction
from the Police Force to the
report since November 2010,
there were no replies forthcoming to date – over two months
later.
A spokesperson for the Justice and Home Affairs Ministry was only able to confirm
the ministry is in the process
of “reviewing the report with a
view to assist the Police Corps
with the implementation of the
recommendations made in the
report.”
The spokesperson added that
these will be implemented
“should any of these be deemed
to be beneficial for the continued improvement in the operation of the Economic Crimes
Walkways and
Information
Panels proposed
for Ggantija
NEXT Friday the MEPA board
will have to decide whether to
approve the installation of timber walkways and 15 installation fiber glass panels within
the Ggantija temple complex.
MEPA’s own Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee
chaired by Dr. Albert Ganado
has shot down the proposal
insisting that it will have “a
very negative impact” on a
monument of “exceptional importance” which is also a world
heritage site.
But the Superintendent of
Cultural Heritage found no
objection subject to the use
of a 5mm white high density
insulating material between
the platform and the floor, a
proposal which was accepted.
This will avoid any damage to
the surface of the monument.
The greatest physical impact
on the temples will be that
created by the supports of the
walkway.
According to the case officer
the platforms and information panels “will undisputedly
affect the setting of the Temples”.
However the proposal has
to be considered in the light
of the need to preserve the
monuments form from further damage and deterioration
. Furthermore the proposed
structures will be reversible
in that they can be dismantled
leaving no physical impact.
Unit within the Corps, in light
of Malta’s specific scenario.”
The ECU is composed of seven
police inspectors, two of whom
form the money-laundering
unit, and an assistant commissioner and police superintendent.
In the report, experts say there
is no separate training devoted
to financial investigations for
police, and only ECU inspectors regularly attend training
seminars to remain abreast of
investigative and prosecutorial
developments.
“No automated case-management system and no crimeanalysis software are put at the
disposal of the unit,” the experts say in their report. “This,
combined with limited capacity and unwillingness to undertake analytical efforts, has
a consequence that there is no
pro-active approach to financial crime.
“This attitude to policing
is largely reactive and oldfashioned and needs to be addressed by the Force’s senior
management.”
Even the prosecution office
faces similar problems because
there are no statistics on financial crime available, and no effort is being made to produce
assessments of the threats imposed by financial crime.
Problems were also identified
with Malta’s financial intelligence analysis unit (FIAU),
which is led by the Attorney
General and is also tasked with
the investigation of terrorismrelated transactions.
The report says the FIAU has
no central register of bank accounts, meaning that it takes
a couple of weeks to identify
bank accounts, slowing down
investigations.
“One important shortcoming
of the FIAU is obviously the
complete absence of any appropriate analytical software. The
unit is looking for funding to
make necessary purchases.”
The report was compiled by
the Council secretariat’s Multidisciplinary Group on Organised Crime (MDG), to evaluate
the judicial reaction to the financial crisis.
Gift
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A hand-bound art book
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Il-Manifest tal-Killer,
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Script and cartoons by Ebba
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20 breaking stories in
MaltaToday €2
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The price includes postage.
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6
News
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Revolution
by social
media
The Twitter Revolution:
How Facebook and Wikileaks
overthrew Tunisia’s regime
LAST week’s Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia offered proof
of the Internet’s potential to
promote freedom. As seen
two years ago in the protests
that racked Iran and Moldova,
social media sites help organise and inform the opposition
movement.
Demonstrations and clashes with government forces
were reported and tweeted
live, lending confidence to
other protestors and building a sense of solidarity. For a
month, the conflicts gradually
escalated. Until Friday night,
when the extraordinary happened: Tunisia’s authoritarian
leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali
fled the country.
Even without a leader or a
clear political ideology, the oppressed succeeded in toppling
the oppressor. Social media
was a crucial weapon against
gainst
autocracy.
The revolution in
Tunisia has been described by some as a
“Twitter Revolution.”
While the popular
social media site was
heavily used during the
revolt, several other
sites like Facebook and
YouTube were also key
parts of the protests.
Also, there were several
other factors that contributed to the revolt
which resulted in former
President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fleeing the
country last Friday.
These factors provide a
fuller view of the Tunisian revolution and also
provide clues for how future revolts may rise and
d
use social media to coor-dinate and communicatee
their message.
The Ben Ali administra-tion instituted a program
m
of widespread censor-ship of old media outletss
like radio and television.
n.
The rise of internet led to
o
further censorship of new
w
xmedia with the notable exception of Facebook.
ed
As Tunisian citizens tried
ls
to circumvent the controls
ed
placed by the state owned
atISP, the government creat-
ed phishing attacks which resulted in the compilation of a
list of activist email addresses.
These email lists were used to
track and arrest several activists.
Tunisia has a highly educated
population, and many of them
are sophisticated users of the
internet.
Approximately 34% of Tunisians are online, and 18% use
Facebook. They are adept at
using proxy servers to circumvent government censorship.
While Tunisia has long benefited from the strength of
industries like agriculture,
manufacturing, mining, and
oil, unemployment has been
high, particularly in rural areas and among the young. The
unemployment rate in Tunisia
is 14% with 30% of the unemployed between the ages of 15
and 29.
Many of the Tunisians who
are the most skilled at using
the Internet are also among
those affected by the high unemployment rate. Therefore,
they naturally used social media sites like Facebook to voice
their dissatisfaction with Ben
Ali.
For example, activists posted
web videos of Ben Ali’s wife
using the presidential jet to go
on shopping sprees in Europe.
In some ways, the death of
a young person has been the
catalyst for revolutions for
centuries. The martyr in the
Tunisian revolution was a
young man named Mohamed
Bouazizi who lived in Sidi
Bouzid.
Bouazizi was one of the many
young educated yet unemployed citizens of Tunisia, and
he resorted to selling fruits
and vegetables in the streets
to provide income for his family. Local food inspectors harassed him regularly, and eventually confiscated his cart.
Bouazizi went to a government office to complain, but
he was refused. He then went
to a government building,
doused himself in gasoline,
and set himself on fire on December 17, 2010. He later died
of his wounds.
Bouazizi became a symbol
of the Tunisian government’s
corruption and high unemployment.
His self-immolation set off
protests in Sidi Bouzid which
began to spread throughout
the country. The account of
Bouazizi’s death was circulated on social media sites like
Facebook and Twitter, and
videos of the violent police
response to the protests were
posted on Facebook and Dailymotion.
While social media sites are
effective tools for real time
communication, mainstream
media is still needed for amplification. Although Western media outlets were slow
to react to the Tunisian revolt,
Middle Eastern news sources like Al Jazeera followed it
closely. These media sites
multiplied the message of the
protesters and helped spread
the revolt.
While not a traditional
mainstream media outlet,
Wikileaks provided key information for the protesters. It
contained information about
the frustration of US diplomats with Ben Ali.
According to Wikileaks,
Ben Ali was described as
having lost touch with his
havin
people and the creator of
peop
police state. Tunisian
a po
hackers set up a site focushack
ing on
o these leaded diplomatic cables called Tunilemati
aks.
The
Th Tunisian revolution
was possible for the same
reason
reas that cyber warfare
presents
such an enorpres
mous
mou threat. The developed
ope world has become
almost
completely comalm
puterised.
put
While the world celW
ebrates the benefits of
ebr
modern
technology,
mo
there exists the need to
the
address its risks. Too ofadd
ten, governments only do
ten
the former.
In the virtual battlefield, traditional rules of
fie
engagement don’t apply.
en
Attacks are almost imAt
possible to anticipate,
po
the strength of the enth
emy is hard to identify,
em
and retaliation isn’t alan
ways possible.
w
There are no limitations. Safe behind comti
puter screens, scores
p
of “political hactivists”
o
lurk until the signal
lu
ccomes, decentralised
yyet deadly, and can hit
d
designated targets with
vicious fferocity.
7
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Two Maltese unaccounted
for after prison escape
The Great Escape: an inmate is lowered from
one of the windows of the Messadine prison.
The video of the jailbreak can be seen on our
website, www.maltatoday.com.mt
KARL STAGNO-NAVARRA
TWO Maltese youths are reportedly unaccounted for in Tunisia,
as the gates to their prison were
opened and all inmates have been
released.
Thomas Camilleri of Gzira
and Glenn Paul Xuereb of San
Gwann – both 22 years of age –
have been detained at Messadine
prison since July, after being arrested by police in connection
with a haul of 70 kilogrammes of
hashish.
Senior diplomatic sources have
confirmed that the two Maltese
youths were nowhere to be found,
while Tunisian media have confirmed that the prison has been
emptied of all prisoners who have
been set free by the warders, following last Friday’s escalation of
events that led to President Zine
el-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the
country.
The whereabouts of the youths
remains unknown.
Meanwhile, two other Maltese
nationals, also held in Tunisian
prisons have been accounted for.
33 year-old Tano Farrugia from
Msida, who has been held at Mornaguia prison for the last year,
was until yesterday still within
the prison compound, although
half of the inmates were set free.
Farrugia was arrested in January
last year in Nabeul in connection
with the attempted export of 50
kilogrammes of cannabis resin.
Authorities have also reportedly received confirmation that
Libyan born Jassem Jamel Ajjali
Tahar, and holder of a Maltese
passport is also safe and accounted for at the Tunis prison.
Tahar, 27 of Swieqi was arrested
at Tunis-Carthage airport last
month together with Latvian
national Meiris Atis after a large
quantity of drugs was discovered
in a luggage shortly before they
travelled out of Tunis to Malta
via Rome.
Jassem Jamel Ajjali Tahar was
released from Corradino prisons
last August after serving time for
assaulting a police officer.
Amid the confusion that has
ensued since the ousting of President Ben Ali, the Maltese embassy in Tunisia has been closely
monitoring the situation at the
prisons.
The prison at Monastir has
been set alight as inmates staged
a revolt at the height of the uprising. At least 43 inmates are reported to have lost their lives in
the blaze.
Prison warders are reported to
earn not more than €100 a month,
and corruption is rife within all
prisons where inmates have to
finance themselves to guarantee
survival.
The prisons revolt went handin-hand with the national uprising, and prisoners were shown
sympathy from the masses that
were demonstrating and confronting the corrupt regime.
Tunis is host to 120 Maltese
passport holders, many of whom
have travelled to France. Tracing
all and ensuring they are safe by
the Maltese embassy has proven
to be a daunting task, while business travellers have been guided
ts
to express caution on the streets
as the military has imposed a
unight-time curfew until the situation returns to normal.
sA number of Maltese businessle
men, mainly connected to textile
ch
factories and two hotels which
vare based in Tunisia, will be travnelling back to Malta this morning.
on
Meanwhile, further tension
is
has gripped the capital Tunis
ar
yesterday as police in riot gear
sfired volleys of tear gas to disrs
perse hundreds of demonstrators
ba
that gathered on the Bourguiba
he
Boulevard to protest against the
he
inclusion of Ben Ali’s allies in the
dnewly formed government headed by Prime Minister Mohammmed Ghannouci.
gThe protests led to the resigpnation of three of the newly-aprs,
pointed government ministers,
or
deepening the political crisis for
Ghannouci, who is struggling to
he
find the right balance after the
en
power vacuum caused since Ben
Ali fled the country.
8
Letters
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Send your letters to: The Editor, MaltaToday, MediaToday Ltd. Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 9016 | Fax: (356) 21 385075
E-mail: [email protected] Letters to the Editor should be concise. No pen names are accepted.
Caring for the unborn child
The Malta Unborn Child
Movement – MUCM - and the
Swedish Embassy in Malta, in
collaboration with the Department of Midwifery, Faculty of
Health Sciences, University of
Malta and the Malta Midwives
Association, organised the seminar �Caring for the Unborn Child’
at the auditorium of Mater Dei
Hospital, on 10 December 2010.
The National Council of
Women, Agenzija Sedqa of the
Foundation for Social Welfare
Services, the Malta Midwives
Association, Caritas Malta, the
Health Promotion and Disease
Prevention Department, the Union Haddiema Maghqudin and
the Social Assistance Secretariat of Catholic Action, member
organisations in the MUCM,
were the main promoters of the
Seminar.
In his welcome address Tony
Mifsud, Coordinator of MUCM,
stated that research had revealed
that babies in the womb were being exposed to cocktails of toxic
chemicals and that their blood
was swimming with dangerous
compounds found in everyday
household cleaners, perfumes
and even pans and furniture.
This, he explained, is affecting
the climate for the unborn child
in the womb.
Mr Mifsud suggested that
an opportunity is arising for
Malta to take the initiatve in the
workings of international bodies
and initiatives dedicated to the
welfare of children to proclaim
before all the member states of
the EU, and the world community, that “all men are created equal” and that all unborn
children, 200 million every year
world-wide, including 4000 in
Malta - the common beginners
in all mankind, and “created
equal” everywhere - should be
considered the “common concern
of all mankind” and that their
dignity, rights, protection, care
and development should be the
common moral, legal and political responsibility of the world
community.... in word... on paper
...and in deed... everywhere.
In her welcome speech, H.E.
Ulla Gudmundson, Ambassador
of Sweden to Malta. expressed
her keen interest working on this
issue in Malta. She stated that we
all need to work together on issues that are similar in Malta and
Sweden, and added that these
need to be addressed in the context of the different cultures, not
least where traditional alcohol
intake is one of the problems.
The Hon. Dr Peter Micallef,
Parliamentary Assistant at the
Ministry of Health gave a holistic
overview of ethics regarding the
rights of the unborn child from
the moment of conception. He
spoke about preparations for both
father and mother when they are
expecting a child, and preventive
measures for pregnant mothers,
especially those in vulnerable
situations of substance abuse,
smoking and alcohol abuse.
Ms Eva Karin Envall, Project
Director of the Swedish National
Institute for Public Health, who
was brought to Malta by the
Swedish Embassy in Malta, gave
two presentations of an evidencebased project that she has beeen
working on for the past seven
years together with her personal
experience on Ante-Natal Care,
Child Health Services and Alcohol and Drugs during Pregnancy
– as a matter of Public Health.
During a discussion on
“What can be done ar EU
level?” H.E. Ulla Gudmundson
and Grace Attard, President of
the Malta Council of Women
and Member of the European
Economic and Social Committee, outlined several initiatives that the EU Commission
is taking in particular with
regards to The Rights of the
Child, reducing alcohol related
harm to unborn and born children, child poverty, children’s
well-being, maternity leave,
breasteeding and work/life
balance.
Dr Rita Borg Xuereb PhD,
Head of the Department of
Midwifery of the Faculty of
Health Sciences of the University of Malta made references
to some very useful findings in
her study on the fertility rate in
Malta, fathers’ attitudes to the
unborn child, single parenthood, emotional well-being,
and work-life balance. Referring to the increased awareness of the need to care for the
environment, Dr Borg Xuereb
ended her presentation with a
very significant statement – “If
there is one thing that we can
change within our limits is the
way we care for the unborn
child”
In her winding up address
Ms Grace Attard, who chaired
the seminar, emphasised the
importance of addressing all
types of famlies which all have
their particular needs.
Medical practioners, social
workers, nurses, midwives,
health workers, trade unionists, Ph.D. students who are
carrying out research on
related topics and representatives of non-governmental
organisations spoke about their
experiences on matters related
to the unborn child. These
included planning a pregnancy,
workplace legislation and
enforcement on alchohol abuse
and substance abuse, how to
deal with difficulties encountered by drug starters as well
as hardened abusers; and the
different types of drugs used
before or during the pregnancy.
References was made to current
statistics on risk-drinking and
smoking and drug taking by
sex and age groups, the social
and economic consequences
of these practices, adequates
support sturctures to parents
of unborn children, the role of
the media in advertising, and
the strong lobbies of ahcohol
companies.
The importance of appropriate education at all levels was
also emphasised. The seminar
also touched upon the situation
of pregnant inmates who are
serving a prison sentence.
A working group made up of
representatives of organisations
in MUCM will be studying further the issues discussed in the
seminar under the auspices of
the Faculty of Health Sciences
of the University of Malta.
Tony Mifsud,
Coordinator, Malta Unborn Child
Movement
When the vital attributes of marriage cease to exist
Your �Quote of the week’ (MaltaToday January 9) referred to
Archpriest Daniel Cardona’s
billboard with the words
“Divorce: a sickness injected
in youths’ minds”, which the
Archpriest was pressured to
remove within a couple of
days. Archpriest Cardona did
not do the Maltese church any
good with his billboard. He
only insulted the intelligence
of the majority of Maltese
youths, who happen to agree
that a serious and responsible
divorce law be introduces in
our country.
Rev. Daniel Cardona seems
to believe that Malta’s youths
are incapable of using their
own brains to decide on such
an issue of divorce and are
allowing themselves to be
brainwashed by the �Yes to
Divorce’ movement. Now if
there is any “brainwashing”
going on, on this issue, this is
certainly being done by those
who are using “scare-mongering” arguments. Such as that
divorce would result in more
broken marriages, when marital
breakdowns have increased
tremendously in Malta without
having divorce statue book. Or
when the anti-divorcists keep
resorting to “religious” arguments, such as: “Those whom
God hath joined together let no
man put asunder”. But divorce
is a civil-law and has nothing to
do with the religious aspect of
marriage. Besides, “civil-marriage” is “joined by the State”
and hence the State should also
have the possibility to undo
what it joined through divorce!
When Archpriest Cremona
Cardona and all those who
preach speak and write against
the introduction of the draft
law which was presented in
parliament by PL MP Evarist Bartolo and PN MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando should
reflect profoundly on, is what
they understand by marriage.
In my considered view, marriage is all about love, respect
and commitment. When these
vital attributes to a marriage no
longer exist and, perhaps, have
even changed to hate, moral or
physical violence, disrespect
etc... that marriage would have,
in reality ceased to exist. Even
if on paper only that marriage
still exists. But marriages are
not a piece of paper called
“marriage certificate”.
When a person dies, a funeral
is held to bury that person. Divorce is the funeral of a “dead”
marriage. The only difference
is that according to the abovementioned draft law awaiting
discussion in our parliament,
the “funeral” of a “dead” marriage, can only be held after
the marriage would have been
“dead” for at least four years”.
Eddy Privitera,
Mosta
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
9
MaltaToday, MediaToday Co. Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 9016
MANAGING DIRECTOR: ROGER DE GIORGIO
MANAGING EDITOR: SAVIOUR BALZAN
ACTING EDITOR: RAPHAEL VASSALLO
Tel: (356) 21 382741-3, 21 382745-6 • Fax: (356) 21 385075
Website: www.maltatoday.com.mt E-mail: [email protected]
Editorial
Leading by example
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi occasionally seems to move in mysterious
ways.
Faced with unprecedented levels of
popular discontent over the past few
weeks – mainly due to the recent revelation that Cabinet Ministers had been
awarded a double pay-rise/honorarium
two years earlier – Dr Gonzi appeared
on TVM’s Xarabank last Friday to publicly defend this questionable initiative.
As part of his defence, Dr Gonzi produced a copy of MaltaToday published
in September 2008, in which news of
this pay-rise had first been reported
under the headline: �You get a €4 weekly
increase… They get €290!’
Gonzi cited this article as �proof’ that
the decision to augment Cabinet salaries, as well as to award an honorarium
to MPs, had not been taken surreptitiously, as otherwise believed.
The Prime Minister also argued that
he could not understand all the fuss,
when the same issue has been in the
public domain for over two years.
In a sense, this represents an altogether unexpected endorsement of this
newspaper’s credibility, coming from
a Prime Minister who has so often
openly rubbished MaltaToday in the
past. Perhaps Dr Gonzi’s opinion of our
newspaper’s credibility varies, depending on whether or not our articles can
be cited on order to bolster his own
case. Either way, the Prime Minister is
free to cite any of our articles if he so
chooses.
The only trouble in this instance is
that the article in question does not
bolster his own case at all. On the contrary: it actually confirms that the decision was indeed taken in an underhand
and secretive way. This is how the news
was originally reported by MaltaToday
journalist Karl Schembri (incidentally,
the same edition is still available for
free in our online archives):
“The decision, which remained unannounced by the government, will cost
the country an extra €224,490 a year
as all ministers and parliamentary
secretaries will be each getting a yearly
increase of €14,966.”
Later in the same article: “Yet the
decision taken two months after the
(March 2008) election was not officially
announced… The prime minister’s
spokesman said Gonzi spoke about it
�in an interview in May’ – an unconventional way of announcing such an
important decision.”
Considering all this, what sense could
there be in the Prime Minister drawing attention to an article which only
proves the point his own critics are
themselves making? I.e., that the decision had in fact been taken behind the
people’s backs, and that it was not the
government’s intention to announce it
at all?
This fact alone raises questions about
who, if anyone at all, is currently advising the Prime Minister on political
strategy. But there is more.
As has been pointed out elsewhere
– most eloquently by former Finance
Minister Lino Spiteri –Dr Gonzi and
his Cabinet appear not to have understood the main thrust of the public
disaffection in the first place. Spiteri
based this observation on Gonzi’s
claim, made during a radio interview
last week, that the same pay-rise had to
be seen in the context of his decision to
reduce the size of Cabinet.
In so doing, Dr Gonzi argued that the
financial impact of Cabinet’s pay packet
on the exchequer was simultaneously
lessened... making the pay-rise less of
an extravagance than it may otherwise
appear.
But as Dr Spiteri rightly pointed
out, this only goes to show how far
removed from popular sentiment the
present government has grown. For the
popular ill-feeling has nothing to do
with whether the country can afford
this pay-rise or not. On the contrary, it
has everything to do with the timing
of the decision, which coincides with
a number of other factors (namely, a
simultaneous increase in prices across
the board) that have separately increased the cost of living for everyone
else.
This in turn points towards government insensitivity as the core issue
underlying popular discontent… and
viewed from this angle, the decision by
Dr Gonzi to quote that September 2008
article is even more anomalous.
As expounded by the same headline
Gonzi chose to publicise last Friday,
the cost of living adjustment increase
for 2008 had amounted to €4 a week.
Compare this to the corresponding
weekly figure for last year – €1.16 –
and the conclusion is inevitable.
While Parliament generously augmented its own remuneration, the
COLA mechanism benefiting ordinary
citizens was simultaneously slashed by
almost 25%.
Small wonder so many people would
complain that the government was indifferent to their financial difficulties.
Furthermore, Dr Gonzi omitted to
point out that, after supposedly reducing the size of Cabinet, he went on to
introduce the concept of �parliamentary assistants’ – i.e., a whole new role
for a number of backbenchers, whose
added salaries have not been factored
into the total expense of the Parliamentary wage bill. Surely, this can
only erode the central pillar of Gonzi’s
defence.
All things considered, it is debatable
which has hurt the Prime Minister’s
image the more: the decision to raise
parliamentary salaries, or the questionable way he has since chosen to defend
it.
10
News
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Government must refund
eco-contributions paid
since 2006 – Ombudsman
NESTOR LAIVIERA
OMBUDSMAN Joseph Said
Pullicino has slammed the
government’s position on ecocontributions, accusing it of
“arbitrary” interpretation of
law that “could give rise to
abuse.”
In May 2009, the Ombudsman was asked to intervene
by a packaging waste recycling
company (GreenPak) in a dispute it had with government
over refunds of eco-contributions paid since 2006 that had
not materialised since.
In February 2008, the government had issued a legal notice
entitling all companies participating in authorised schemes
to be exempt from paying any
eco-contributions. At the time,
GreenPak had said that not only had this not happened, but
member companies had still
not received any refunds on
the eco-contributions paid by
them since 2006.
In his opinion, Said Pullicino
noted that on one hand, the
government had “imposed the
eco-contribution”, while on the
other hand, it opened up the
possibility for the granting of
eco-tax credits.He pointed out
that while Eco-Contributions
are imposed by law, “if producers provide or participate
in an approved scheme – thus
suggesting that producers are
not legally obliged to provide
or participate in an approved
scheme – the authorities will
consider granting exemptions
or credits against future EcoContributions.”
“Such a strict interpretation
could lead one to conclude that
even if producers join an Ap-
proved Scheme, their refunds/
eco-tax credits are not guaranteed to materialise,” Said
Pullicino said, adding that this
would mean that government
is “free to refuse or grant refunds/eco-contribution credits
at any stage, to any producer.”
“I find this line of reasoning
unacceptable,” Said Pullicino
maintained. He said that producers “cannot be expected
to enter an approved scheme,
pay their dues towards the approved scheme, and then pay
Eco-Contributions.”
He described this as “unreasonable and unfair on the producer and ultimately on the
consumer who, in the end, always foots the bill by purchasing marked-up products.” He
added that it may be further argued that, given that consumers are paying twice for waste
recovery “implies that somebody is making an unjustified
enrichment.”
The Ombudsman also emphasised that “the Eco-Contribution is not, and should not,
be turned into another source
of income for the Government.”
The complaint was initiated
in 2009 by Green Dot Malta,
operators of GreenPak, the
largest waste recovery scheme
in Malta.
our claim is backed by the 2004
Act on Eco-Contribution itself
and was further re-affirmed by
Legal Notice 74 of 2008. By refusing to abide by its own rules
Government has for the past 5
years been denying a legitimate
right to GreenPak’s members
and creating a situation of unfair competition,” he added.
Schembri also said that the
Ombudsman also found that the
unfair situation brought about
by Government put Green Dot
Malta, as operator of the GreenPak scheme, at a grave disadvantage “As soon as schemes were
set up, registered and started to
operate, Government’s obligation to issue credits and exemptions became immediate.”
“We are pleased that the Ombudsman has confirmed that
our claim is backed by the 2004
Act on Eco-Contribution itself
and was further re-affirmed by
Legal Notice 74 of 2008. By refusing to abide by its own rules
Government has, for the past
five years, been denying a legitimate right to GreenPak’s members and creating a situation of
unfair competition,” Schembri
said.
“This means that GreenPak
has, due to Government’s failure to act in time, been unable to maximise its membership potential for all this time”
Schembri added.
GreenPak’s reaction
“GreenPak has been in operation since 1st January 2006and
has always maintained that its
members were entitled to full
and immediate eco-tax exemptions,” said Ing Mario Schembri,
CEO of GreenPak, reacting to
the report.
“We are pleased that the Ombudsman has confirmed that
Business leaders’ reaction to
the Ombudsman’s report:
Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Enterprise President
Helga Ellul said “we are thankful that the Ombudsman has
brought in much needed light
into a very darkened room. In
our dealings on the issue of
eco-tax exemptions and re-
Ombudsman Joseph Said Pullicino
funds, the Government has always been vague and elusive in
its action and statements. Now
the Ombudsman has made it
very clear for all – on the day
a producer signs up to an approved scheme, Government
is immediately obliged to issue
credits and exemptions. It has
really become that clear and
simple to follow.”
President of the Malta Employers Association Pierre
Fava said “it is welcoming to
learn that many companies
are entitled to money which
they have been unfairly made
to pay for the past five years
or so. I’m sure that many businesses will make good use of
this money which is rightfully
theirs. Companies now justifiably expect Government to issue these refunds without any
further delays as this money
will go some way to help them
remain competitive, maintain
jobs, and survive in these difficult times of economic downturn.”
EU and Malta at odds on 2010 deficit estimate
THE EU has halted excessive
deficit procedures against Malta,
despite forecasting that Malta’s
deficit for 2010 will be 4.2%, and
not the government-estimated
3.8%.
Speaking from Brussels at the
end of an EU finance ministers’
meeting (Ecofin) that addressed
pending issues related to the
current EU economic and financial instability, Finance Minister
Tonio Fenech said EU ministers
had approved a recommendation to halt excessive deficit procedures against Malta.
He referred to an assessment
made by the European Commission and the European Central
Bank which found Malta was
working well towards addressing
its excessive deficit: “The council’s conclusion was that Malta
received a good certification in
that it has directed its financing
in a cautious manner,” Fenech
said.
He added that the Council declared that Malta had taken the
necessary deficit control measures to be in a position to have
procedures against it halted.
Flanked by Permanent Representative to the EU Richard
Cachia Caruana, Fenech pointed out that currently, only three
countries in the EU are not facing excessive deficit procedures.
Fenech added that had Malta’s
deficit performance been found
to warrant further procedures
as part of the excessive deficit
penalties, it could have had to
present additional measures to
the EU council, such as additional taxes, or expenditure cuts.
However, Fenech said, the European Commission’s projections for Malta’s deficit for 2010
were higher than Malta’s – 4.2
per cent as opposed to 3.8 per
cent.
The reason for this, he said,
was that the European Commis-
Commissioner Olli Rehn, Hungarian minister for national economy
György Matolscy, and Commissioner Michel Barnier
sion took the Air Malta loan into
account as part of the government’s expenditure. Borg however maintained that he is confident that Malta will still be able
to reach the 3.8 per cent target,
and added that Malta’s forecast
is based on “final data” that the
European Commission would
not have.
Fenech also said that the Com-
mission is of the opinion that
Malta has work in do in ensuring the long-term sustainability
of certain services, among which
is the pensions scheme.
“We need to keep check on the
system, and ensure that pensions are provided in a sustainable manner,” Fenech said.
Fenech said that the Ecofin
meeting also touched upon top-
ics such as the financial stability
of the Eurozone, something that
is intimately related to the stability of Malta’s own financial and
economic performance. Fenech
also referred to how the Ecofin
meeting noted with satisfaction
that countries such as Spain
and Portugal performed well on
markets recently.
In the meeting Euro zone finance ministers also discussed
expanding the effective lending
capacity of the EU’s rescue fund,
the European Financial Stability
Facility (EFSF), to €440 billion
from about €250 billion now.
However, the talks proved inconclusive at this stage, in the
face of German opposition,
many have speculated. Speaking
after the meeting on Monday,
Ecofin chairman Jean-Claude
Juncker was tight-lipped on details on what support that idea
had among the council of ministers.
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Business Today
WEDNESDAY 19 JANUARY 2011 - SUPPLEMENT ISSUE NO. 666
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Page 12
Air Malta: Beer
and Sauerkraut
Page 14
The �Jasmine
Revolution’
In collaboration with:
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EU and Malta at odds on
2010 deficit estimate
Nestor Laiviera
The EU has halted excessive deficit
procedures against Malta, despite
forecasting that Malta’s deficit for
2010 will be 4.2 per cent, and not
the government-estimated 3.8 per
cent.
Speaking from Brussels at the end
of an EU finance ministers’ meeting
(Ecofin) that addressed pending
issues related to the current EU
economic and financial instability,
Finance Minister Tonio Fenech
said EU ministers had approved a
recommendation to halt excessive
deficit procedures against Malta.
He referred to an assessment made
by the European Commission and
the European Central Bank which
found Malta was working well
towards addressing its excessive
deficit: “The council’s conclusion
was that Malta received a good
certification in that it has directed
its financing in a cautious manner,”
Fenech said.
He added that the Council declared
that Malta had taken the necessary
deficit control measures to be in a
position to have procedures against
it halted. Flanked by Permanent
Representative to the EU Richard
Cachia Caruana, Fenech pointed
out that currently, only three
countries in the EU are not facing
excessive deficit procedures.
Fenech added that had Malta’s
deficit performance been found to
warrant further procedures as part
of the excessive deficit penalties, it
could have had to present additional
measures to the EU council, such
as additional taxes, or expenditure
cuts.
However, Fenech said, the
European
Commission’s
projections for Malta’s deficit for
2010 were higher than Malta’s –
4.2 per cent as opposed to 3.8 per
cent.
The reason for this, he said, was
that the European Commission
took the Air Malta loan into
account as part of the government’s
expenditure.
Borg
however
maintained that he is confident that
Malta will still be able to reach
the 3.8 per cent target, and added
that Malta’s forecast is based on
“final data” that the European
Commission would not have.
Fenech also said that the
Commission is of the opinion tat
Malta has work in do in ensuring
the long-term sustainability of
EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels yesterday
certain services, among which is of Malta’s own financial and
the pensions scheme.
economic performance. Fenech
“We need to keep check on the also referred to how the Ecofin
system, and ensure that pensions meeting noted with satisfaction
are provided in a sustainable that countries such as Spain and
manner,” Fenech said.
Portugal performed well on markets
Fenech said that the Ecofin recently. In the meeting Euro zone
meeting also touched upon topics finance ministers also discussed
such as the financial stability of expanding the effective lending
the Eurozone, something that is capacity of the EU’s rescue fund, the
intimately related to the stability European Financial Stability Facility
(EFSF), to €440 billion from about
€250 billion now.
However, the talks proved
inconclusive at this stage, in the
face of German opposition, many
have speculated. Speaking after the
meeting on Monday, Ecofin chairman
Jean-Claude Juncker was tightlipped on details on what support
that idea had among the council of
ministers.
Banif Investment Bank to host Malta conference
Banif Investment Bank is hosting
a national conference on the main
business and investment opportunities in Malta, offering an opportunity for investors seeking assets
with better future return prospects
for their portfolios, as they will
be able to learn more about the
growth prospects of the Maltese
market.
The conference - Infrastructure
Opportunities in Malta - will
be held tomorrow at the Hilton
Portomaso, is set to offer all
participants a chance for an
open discussion on the main
challenges and opportunities in
the current market conditions for
the main entrepreneurs operating
in construction, public works,
engineering and large projects.
The forum will discuss issues
such as Malta’s macroeconomic
situation, its plans and priorities
with regard to infrastructure,
its role as an EU bridge to other
markets and the regulatory
frameworks for concessions and
public-private partnerships, as
well as many other topics of
interest.
The main speakers senior
executives from Banif Investment
Bank, among whom Vasco Pinto
Ferreira, Director of Banif Banco
de Investimento.
The investment bank activity
of Banif Grupo Financeiro is
conducted by Banif - Banco de
Investimento, and operates in three
strategic business areas: Capital
Markets, Investment Management
and Advisory Services and
Banking. Its work is done by a
large team of professionals with
significant financial experience
and a flair for innovation, who
are guided by the principles of
discretion, ethics and impartiality.
Access to exclusive markets,
use of sophisticated technological
platforms and association with
international partners within Banif
- Grupo Financeiro pave the way
for synergies and enable this team
to rapidly and effectively provide
the best financial solutions based
on the new market requirements.
12
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Business Today Supplement
News
Portman International celebrate
25 years of success
2011 marks a milestone for Portman
International as the professional
services provider celebrates its 25th
year in business.
Portman International services
an international client base with
professional,
accounting,
tax,
fiduciary and trading support
services.
The company was set up in
London in 1986 providing clients
with accountancy and company
formation services. Since then the
company has expanded significantly
and after relocating its back office
operation to Malta in 1997, the
company moved its head offices to
Malta in 2002 and eventually opened
a second satellite office in Dublin,
Ireland to support its international
UK inflation high
again in December
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) jumped from 3.3% in November to 3.7% in December,
revisiting the peak rate for 2010
The cost of living in the United Kingdom reportedly rose faster during December with latest figures showing
that headline inflation hit 3.7% in the
month.
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
jumped from 3.3% in November to
3.7% in December, revisiting the peak
rate for 2010.
The figure was much higher than
analyst expectations and was pushed
up by the depreciation of the pound
and the rising cost of petrol, energy
and food.
It does not include January’s hike in
VAT and petrol but is affected by the
VAT rise at the beginning of 2010 from
its temporary rate of 15%.
The UK Office for National Statistics
said fuel costs rose at their fastest
annual rate since July and food prices
saw their biggest yearly rise since May
2009.
The Retail Price Index (RPI), which
includes housing costs like mortgage
payments, insurance and council tax,
rose to 4.8%.
This was a 0.1% rise from November
and the highest rate for six months.
The rate of inflation has been above
the Bank of England’s target of 2% for
CPI since December 2009.
The Bank has said it expects inflation
to remain above target throughout
2011.
It left the base rate of interest on hold
at its most recent meeting but may be
forced to raise it in the first half of the
year following the surge in inflation.
The effect of the VAT rise to 20% is
yet to be seen.
Brendan Barber from the Trades
Union Congress, which represents
organised workers across the nation,
said: “The alarming rise in inflation
means prices are running well ahead
of pay deals.
“This will make a tough year for
workers even harder to bear, particularly
for public servants suffering a sharp
real terms pay cut.
“Fuelling inflation with a VAT hike
will hit workers in their wage packets
and shopping receipts.
“This tax rise is bad for working
families and damaging for the
economy too.
“Surely it is now time for the
Chancellor to use the budget to
reconsider the VAT increase.”
client base in addition to the London
office and the Malta head office.
“Over the past few years we have
worked extremely hard to establish a
growing reputation for offering good
quality and reputable services. This
is an extremely proud moment for
the company – 25 years in business
is a great achievement and I hope to
celebrate many more successes for
many years to come,” said David
Marinelli, Portman International’s
Managing Director.
Employing a total of over 80
professionals in Malta, London and
Dublin, Portman International is a
provider of professional, fiduciary
and trading support services to
international clients. The core
services of the company are the
formation and administration of
companies, partnerships & trusts,
accounting, taxation, advisory
and assisting clients to meet their
legal, statutory and commercial
objectives.
Portman International is based in
Malta supported by two other offices
located in the heart of London and
Dublin.
Apple shares fall as Jobs
takes medical leave
Apple’s share price have plummeted following news that its boss,
Steve Jobs, is taking fresh medical
leave.
The announcement comes two
years after Steve Jobs took a sixmonth break during which he
underwent a liver transplant
Following
the
news,
the
company’s shares fell 7.5%
in Frankfurt, while futures for
the SP 500 and tech-heavy
Nasdaq dropped 0.3% and 0.9%
respectively.
The US markets resume trading
today following a public holiday
on Monday.
“At my request, the board of
directors has granted me a medical
leave of absence so I can focus on
my health,” Jobs said in an email
to Apple employees.
“I will continue as CEO and
be involved in major strategic
decisions for the company,” the
e-mail read.
Without specifying his health
issues, Jobs said he had asked Tim
Cook “to be responsible for all of
Apple’s day-to-day operations” in
his absence.
“I have great confidence that
Tim and the rest of the executive
management team will do a terrific
job executing the exciting plans
we have in place for 2011.
“I love Apple so much and hope
to be back as soon as I can. In the
meantime, my family and I would
deeply appreciate respect for our
privacy.”
The company’s fortunes have
been uniquely linked to their CEO,
who returned to the company
in 1997 after a 12-year absence
to turn around the flagging tech
giant with innovative and wildly
successful products like the iPod
and iPhone.
Steve Jobs underwent an
operation in 2004 for pancreatic
cancer, which was kept under
wraps until years later.
Questions about his health have
resurfaced periodically since the
cancer diagnosis, and have been
the subject of much debate among
corporate governance experts over
the obligations the company has to
its shareholders.
Steve Jobs
13
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Business Today Supplement
News
Media
Consulta
invests in
alternative
energy
source
Marketing communications agency
Media Consulta Malta recently inaugurated its first photovoltaic (PV) installation on the roof of its offices in
Birkirkara. Investment in the system,
which was planned, installed and commissioned by Solar Solutions Ltd, was
part funded by the ERDF Energy Grant
Scheme managed by Malta Enterprise.
Commenting on the PV project,
Media Consulta Managing Director
Andrew Warrington stated that this
initiative was an important investment
in reducing the company’s carbon
footprint as part of its CSR programme.
It also presented a win-win opportunity,
eliminating as much as one third of the
company’s energy bill at a time when
electricity costs are spiraling upwards,
while producing clean energy from
renewable resources.
On his part, Solar Solutions Marketing
Director Karl Azzopardi stated that
while this was a moderate sized
project, as more and more companies
realize that there is an opportunity to
reduce their energy costs through this
long term investment, the country
will benefit from having several little
power-stations situated on company
roofs, which is normally dead space.
He underlined the importance of grant
schemes as a catalyst for changing
mentalities and facilitating investment
in alternative energy sources.
Compensation
agreement for
petrol station
owners still
unpublished
Those who took decisions that consumers will pay for must be held accountable, the Consumer Association
says, adding that requests to the Malta
Resources Authority to publish the
agreement have been ignored.
In a statement, the Consumer
Association referred to threatened
strike by petrol station owners’ just
days before Christmas – one of the
busiest periods of the year for catering
enterprises.
The association noted that the strike
was avoided through discussions
between the GRTU, the government,
and the Malta Resources Authority.
The association however added
that, from what has been said about
the agreement, “it seems as if the
consumers will be the ones ultimately
footing the bill, which will amount to
roughly €26 million.”
In light of this, the association said, it
had requested that the Malta Resources
Authority publish this agreement for
viewing by the public.
“To this day however,” the
Association said, “there have been no
replies forthcoming from the MRA
and the agreement has not yet been
published”. The association maintained
that, “given that the consumer will be
the one footing a bill that will amount
to roughly €50 per consumer, the
public has a right to know what the
agreement entails.”
“This is not only important for the
sake of transparency, but also so that
those who took the decisions that
consumers will have to pay for are
held accountable,” the association
maintained.
New Senior International
Banking Manager at
HSBC Malta
HSBC Bank Malta named John
M. Rusher as the new Senior International Banking Manager.
His experience encompasses
over 30 years in financial services,
two thirds in Banking with the
remainder in leading positions in
other businesses. John started
his career in NatWest Bank in
Birmingham, UK, then he moved
to other major cities around the
UK, ending up in London as
national development manager.
In 2007, John moved to Malta
with his family to become head
of sales with a local financial
services company.
Richard Cottell, Head of
Corporate Banking, said: “Our
international business is a core
proposition,
providing
our
corporate customers with the
ability to access personalised
banking services from any of the
88 countries in which the group is
represented.
John’s experience in business
development
and
customer
relationships will be an invaluable
resource for us and our corporate
international customers.”
“Having a passion for technology,
investments and pension planning
- apart from cricket - it is a great
opportunity for me to move into
a senior role with HSBC while
staying in Malta. HSBC is Malta’s
leading international bank and it
has the people and the technology
necessary to provide an excellent
client service to international
clients,” said John Rusher.
John M. Rusher
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14
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Business Today Supplement
Opinion
Beer and Sauerkraut
George Mangion
The illustrious leaders who have
piloted Air Malta throughout its
tempestuous 35 year-old business
cycle have all expressed their sincere wishes for the company to attain a speedy recovery.
Such leaders had shared a
common destiny. Starting from
Albert Mizzi who nursed the airline
through its difficult first decades
and others such as Joe N. Tabone
(mostly remembered for his brainchild being the launch of the propengined Avro-liners) to the presentday incumbent Sonny Portelli
- they all owe their appointment to
allegiance to the party in power.
It is true to say that the company
has seen better days and in its
existence managed to foster
multiple job opportunities for
specialised staff which otherwise
would never have been on offer.
Today it is on its knees scraping
though the intravenous intervention
of a massive €50 million rescue
operation. The sad truth is that
political pressure was a hallmark
of the constant interference by
the government navigating in the
cockpit.
Over the years it shamelessly used
it as a job centre for unemployed
constituents. It comes as no surprise
that the company is top heavy with
employees and who can blame the
unions from having a field day in
pressing for better conditions and
higher pay.
In the early nineties government
boasted a feel good factor
culminating in a �money noproblem’ mantra.
It is no mirage that profits were
pouring in Air Malta�s coffers. The
unions took the cue and paraded
their members through the streets
clamouring for a larger share of the
cake.
There was a time when
governments ceded to excessive
union demands in order to buy
industrial peace and thus riddled
the company with escalating
financial obligations.
Now that the company reported
heavy losses, some unsavoury
news items are coming to the
fore. The media reported how
generously pampered were the
senior management responsible for
its critical condition .They enjoy
privileges and perks. 7
The political masters such as
ministers, MPs as well as former
parliamentarians, are also privileged
to a number of subsidised tickets.
But the brunt of Air Malta’s woes
is placed fairly and squarely on the
directors who conceded against
better technical advice to embark
on a hair brained adventure to turn
the island in a hub aka the Avro
Liners debacle. The choice of the
aircraft and the subsequent sale of
the RJ70’s, as well as the creation
and dissolution of subsidiary airline
Azzurrair, are reported to have cost
the airline €150 million in losses.
No heads rolled.
This adventure has eroded past
profits earned in the golden years.
It comes as no surprise that the company is top heavy with employees and who can blame the unions from having a field day in pressing for better conditions and higher pay
It is no secret that Joe N.Tabone
and his coterie of directors stand
accused by the GWU of losses when
in 1992 they invested amid much
aplomb in the British designed
Avro RJ70’s.
The story is well known and
fully documented by various preselection options commissioned by
the board from technical advisers.
Such advice was not heeded. Now
that the days of plenty have receded
it is easy to criticise the airline for
being everything to everyone.
In short it is trying to pose as a
legacy airline, a low cost airline, a
national airline and a tour operator
all at once, simply because it’s
politically appointed leaders are
not free to manoeuvre without
strings being pulled from Castille.
Some may throw water over the
fire saying the board was not to
blame since orders from the top
made them invest in the wrong
aircraft.
This ploy is alleged to arise from
a political decision by former
Prime Minister Eddie Fenech
Adami when lobbying the British
government for support of its EU
accession bid in 1992.
With hindsight we know that if
this was true the bouquet of flowers
did not do the trick since Malta had
to wait another 12 years to enter the
pearly gates in Brussels. Another
blow to the company’s viability
was the introduction in 2007 of low
cost carriers.
Again this time consultants
PriceWaterHouse
were
commissioned
directly
by
government to evaluate the impact
from such competition. In 2006,
the confidential report painted a
devastatingly negative scenario
for the national airline should LC
C are allowed to start operations
by yielding to demands to pay
them subsidies in a discriminatory
manner.
Naturally there was a strong
lobby from various sectors that
LCC will more than double the
tourists’ arrivals within a year of
commencement. Hoteliers were
complaining that the dwindling
figures of tourist arrivals were
threatening
their
massive
investment.
In the end the government
yielded to pressure and opened
the floodgates to low cost tourists
who merrily filled our beaches and
promenades. Ever since that day we
see how LCC’s are continuously
demanding to have more subsidised
routes. For example we note that
now Liverpool is a new route, but is
only 30 miles away from Air Maltaoperated Manchester. Similarly
Trapani in Sicily is just a few miles
from Palermo, another established
Air Malta route; not to mention
Luton, when Air Malta operates
from Heathrow and Gatwick.
All these routes were a godsend
for LCC’s but sounded the death
knell for AirMalta fleet of just
12 leased aircraft. Each of the 12
leased aircraft has to feed 1,400
employees, in other words it must
be the most expensive fleet in
Europe with an annual payroll of a
cool €52 million. All this did not
help when fuel costs skyrocketed.
Yet, when everything else
is said and done we note how
the parliamentary secretary Dr
DeMarco was ebullient on last
year’s achievements. The arrivals
for 2010 showed a healthy increase
of about 12 % yet nothing points
that the subsidies paid to LCC
’s yielded the spectacular results
promised although one has to be
thankful for the improved traffic
particularly from airports not
serviced by the national airline.
In five years, the growing reality
of LCC’s has turned Air Malta’s
concerns from costs to revenue,
and observers point out that this is
where the real problem lies. It is
unnerving to contemplate that in a
short period LCC �s market share
garnered over 30% market share.
The boost in arrivals did not come
without a cost and we notice how
in 2010 budget one finds a hefty
allocation of record proportions
to market the island. Over €35
million paid to the Malta Tourism
Authority including a spectacular
sum of €4.5 million directly
earmarked for LCC’s.
Some can argue that AirMalta
did benefit indirectly from this
handsome allocation and should
be thankful for the government
to create a level playing field for
airlines operating in Malta.
Others
contend
that
such
competition is not fair for a legacy
airline which always supported the
business and national community
interest through rain or shine.
Travellers patriotic to Air Malta
say that it always honoured its
social commitment by transporting
patients overseas for treatment,
while continuously sponsoring
local sports associations.
So what happens now? More
consultants arrive on the scene
.This time we welcome the arrival
of auditors Ernst & Young sending
two of their brightest to salvage the
situation.
Their monumental task is to
recommend the urgent restructuring
needed to save Air Malta from the
fate airlines much bigger than
it like Belgium’s Sabena and
Geneva’s Swiss Air …but perhaps
the solution may lie elsewhere
.We cannot forget how the ailing
and loss making Austrian Airlines
(much loved by its patrons) was
taken over by Deutsche Lufthansa
AG in 2009.
Not withstanding the loss of
business due to the Icelandic
ash cloud, Lufthansa group has
announced the creation of 4,000
jobs despite a programme of cost
cutting. It has posted an operating
profit of €159 million for the
second quarter of 2010, more than
tripling the figure for the second
quarter in 2009.
The
recovery
in
demand,
particularly
in
cargo
and
intercontinental traffic, and the
efforts to reduce costs in all areas
of the Group during the past months
played decisive roles in recording
the positive result. Lufthansa got
a boost last year from recovery in
air travel as its group of airlines
reported a 17.2% rise in traffic to
90.2 million people carried.
Perhaps the recent visit of the
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
did not come a moment too soon.
Can she be persuaded that the
German airline so successful in
its own operations shed some
light on the dwindling fortunes of
our livery flying the eight pointed
star? Who knows perhaps the cosy
relationship that currently exists
between the Air Malta and the
German giant can lead to tying the
knot in the coming months.
This does not come as a surprise.
Last year we witnessed the
privatisation of transport fleet
ceded to Arriva now owned by the
German state. Will this be followed
by our legacy airline toasting to
another happy occasion by sharing
the beer and sauerkraut.
George M. Mangion
The writer is a partner in
PKFMALTA, an audit and business
advisory firm.
[email protected]
15
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Business Today Supplement
News
The Jasmine Revolution
Weekly international investment round up to 18th January 2011
The Tunisian stock market closed on
Monday as further troops were deployed on the streets of Tunis following large scale scenes of social unrest
which have left tens of protestors dead
and their ousted President seeking refuge abroad.
Tunisia’s Tunindex index tumbled
13% last week, its biggest fall in
a decade, with leading banking
institutions Banque de Tunisie and
Attijari Bank nursing heavy losses,
declining 4.4% and 3% respectively.
Sentiment has also turned against
Tunisian government debt with its
current Fitch rating of BBB now under
close watch.
How times have changed for our
near-neighbour. Just a couple of years
ago while other world stock exchanges
crashed their stock market was held
aloft as one of the best performers
of 2008 and its political regime was
then perceived as among the most
• Turmoil in Tunisia closes their
stock market.
• Arab world faces market forces
stress-test
enlightened throughout the entire
Arab world. But with unemployment
estimated by the IMF at over 13%
coupled with rising food and living
costs the effects of the global credit
crunch for Tunisia was simply delayed,
not dodged, and acted to shine a light
on the inefficiencies of an economy
long blighted by its ruling class who
are accused of patronage, nepotism
and endemic bribery.
The Jasmine Revolution, named
after the national flower of Tunisia,
was triggered following the horrific
suicide of a young unemployed
Mark Lamb
[email protected]
graduate whose protest has now been
replicated throughout other Arab
nations prompting the question, �which
authoritarian regime will be next?’
Egypt, the most populous Arab country,
has seen its benchmark EGX30 index
fall by over 3.5% during recent days
based on fears that a similar uprising
could happen there, particularly as
wheat prices now exceed those which
sparked the Cairo bread riots in 2008.
Oil production in Tunisia is very
modest. It consumes as much as it
produces, around 91,000 barrels of
oil a day, very small when compared
with its neighbour Libya’s 1.79
million barrels per day based on
figures produced in the CIA Factbook.
However, this has led the country
to diversify into other areas such as
agriculture, and manufacturing while
its service industry e.g. catering and
tourism makes up over 60% of their
economy.
But with 5 out of their 6 biggest
export partners being EU countries
who have now significantly reduced
their Tunisian imports, times have
turned tough for the majority of the
country’s 10.5 million citizens.
In pursuit of higher returns investors
have increasingly looked towards
emerging economies to fuel their
portfolios often turning a blind-eye to
their unsavoury internal practises while
rulers throughout the Arab world have
managed to convince the West that
their systems are the only alternative
to extremism and terrorism however,
just like elsewhere, uncompromising
market forces will ultimately test these
contradictions to the full.
With three-quarters of most Arab
populations now below the age of 30
demographics may spark the biggest
social changes leading to a new sense
of openness both at home and with
their potential trading partners.
Of Arab heritage, but with a strong
Mediterranean, Roman and Phoenician
history Tunisia remains a nation of
traders whose future success relies
upon the freedom for their trade to
bloom.
Mark Lamb is Head of the Life Dept. at
Citadel Insurance plc which is authorized to carry on general and long term
business of insurance under the Insurance Business Act, 1998 and is regulated by the MFSA. Contact by email;
[email protected] Tel; 25579000.
Website; www.citadelplc.com
This article does not intend to give investment advice and its contents should
not be construed as such. Information
in this article has been obtained from
various public sources and is given by
way of information only. Readers are
always encouraged to seek financial
advice before making any investment
decision
ECB leaves interest rates unchanged
Money Market Report for the week ended January 14, 2011
ECB Monetary Operations
On Thursday, January 13, the
Governing Council of the European
Central Bank (ECB) decided to
keep the interest rate on its Main
Refinancing Operations unchanged
at 1.00 per cent. Interest rates on
the marginal lending and deposit
facilities were also left unchanged,
at 1.75 per cent and 0.25 per cent,
respectively.
n Monday, January 10, the
ECB announced its weekly Main
Refinancing Operation (MRO). The
auction was conducted on Tuesday,
January 11, and attracted bids from
euro area eligible counterparties
of €180.08 billion, €15.61 billion
lower than the amount bid for in
the previous week. The bid amount
was allotted in full at a fixed rate
equivalent to the prevailing main
refinancing rate of 1.00 per cent,
in accordance with current ECB
policy.
On Tuesday, January 11, the
ECB also conducted an auction
for a seven-day fixed-term deposit
intended to absorb €74.00 billion.
The operation was designed to
sterilise the effect of purchases
made under the Securities Markets
Programme and settled by the
previous Friday, January 7, 2011.
The auction was carried out at a
variable rate, with euro area eligible
counterparties allowed to place
up to two bids at a maximum rate
of 1.00 per cent. It attracted bids
amounting to €99.49 billion, with
the ECB allotting the full intended
volume of €74.00 billion, or 74.38
per cent of the total bid amount. The
marginal rate on the auction was set
at 0.45 per cent, with the weighted
average rate at 0.41 per cent.
On Wednesday, January 12, the
ECB conducted a seven-day US
dollar funding operation through
collateralised lending in conjunction
with the US Federal Reserve. This
attracted bids of $0.07 billion,
which was allotted in full at a fixed
rate of 1.18 per cent.
Domestic Treasury Bill Market
In the domestic primary market for
Treasury bills, the Treasury invited
tenders for 182-day bills maturing on
July 15, 2011, and for 273-day bills ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet
maturing on October 14, 2011. Bids
of €91.31 million were submitted the outstanding balance of Treasury
for the 182-day bills, with the bills increased by €29.89 million,
Treasury accepting €19.94 million, to stand at €403.82 million.
while bids of €95.80 million were
The yield from the 182-day bill
submitted for the 273-day bills, auction was 1.0410 per cent, i.e. 6.6
with the Treasury accepting €36.00 basis points lower than on bills with
million. Since €26.05 million worth a similar tenor issued on January
of bills matured during the week, 7, 2011, representing a bid price
of 99.4765 per 100 nominal. The
yield from the 273-day bill auction
was 1.1610 per cent, i.e. 15.4 basis
points lower than on bills with a
similar tenor issued on November
12, 2010, representing a bid price of
99.1273 per 100 nominal.
Treasury bill trading on the Malta
Stock Exchange amounted to €0.25
million during the week, with all
trading being conducted by the
Central Bank of Malta in its role as
market maker.
On Tuesday, the Treasury invited
tenders for 91-day bills maturing on
April 22, 2011
16
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
THIS WEEK
AT CINEMAS
TODAY
TV / CINEMA
Embassy Cinemas
Valletta
Tel. 21 227436, 21245818
The Green Hornet (PG)
11:00 13:45 16:10 18:35 21:00
Gulliver’s Travels (U)
14:10 16:20 18:30
Machete (18)
21:59 – Le parole che non ti ho detto – Rete 4
21:10 – The Vampire Diaries – Italia 1
21:10 – Paperissima – Canale 5
10:30 16:00 18:10 20:50
The Next Three Days (12)
TVM
ONE
CANALE 5
RAI DUE
20:00 L-Ahbarijiet 20:37 Dissett 21:05 Kenn
il-Bahhara 21:35 Airborne 22:05 Mixage 22.30
Xorts 23:15 L-Ahbarijiet 23:35 News in English
23:40 Ghawdex Illum (rpt)
19:30 ONE News 20:10 Telepoplu 20:25 Ambjent 30 20:26 Konfini 20:30 TX 21:45 Midinbin
(ep.13) 22:45 Trijangolu 23:15 ONE News 23:45
Local music videos & One Promotions 00:00 Kalamita (rpt)
20:00 Tg5 20:31 Striscia la Notizia 21:10 Paperissima 23:00 Kalispera 01:30 Tg5
20:30 Tg2 21:05 Raidue Rewind – Senza
Traccia 23:25 Tg2 23:40 35^ Rassegna della
canzone d’autore
NET TV
ITALIA 1
19:45 NET NEWS 20:30 The Radio 101 live sessions 21:30 NET NEWS 21:32 Ucuh 23:00 NET
NEWS
18:30 Studio Aperto 19:00 Studio Sport 19:30
Glee – L’Unione Imperfetta 20:30 Transformat
21:10 The Vampire Diaries 23:40 Underworld
RETE 4
18:55 TG4 19:35 Tempesta d’Amore 20:30 Walker
Texas Ranger 21:10 Le parole che non ti ho detto
21:52 Tgcom 21:59 Le parole che non ti ho detto
23:50 C’era una volta in Messico
RAI UNO
10:30 13:20 16:00 18:35 21:10
The Tourist (PG)
14:30 18:50 20:55
Love and Other Drugs (18)
16:35 21:00
RAI TRE
Meet the Parents: Little Fockers (12)
19:00 Tg3 20:00 Blob 20:10 Seconda chance
20:35 Un posto al sole 21:05 Chi l’ha visto?
23:15 Parla con me 00:00 Tg3 Linea notte
14:20 16:30 18:40 20:50
20:00 Telegiornale 20:30 RaiSport 23:10 Porta
a Porta 00:45 Tg1
Eden Cinemas
St Julians
Tel. 23 710 400
Meet the Parents: Little Fockers (12)
Films released by KRS Distributors
14:15 16:25 18:40 21:10 23:15
The Warrior’s Way (16)
14:15 16:35 18:40 21:10 23:15
Tangled
Burlesque (12)
14:00 16:25 18:50 21:15 23:40
The Next Three Days (12)
14:30 18:15 21:00 23:40
Paranormal Activity 2 (14)
14:30 16:30 18:30 21:00 23:00
Gulliver’s Travels 3D (U)
14:20 16:20 18:20 21:00 23:00
The Social Network (14)
14:05 18:15 20:55 23:25
Takers (12)
14:05 16:20 18:35 20:50 23:05
The Way Back (PG)
14:05 18:05 20:45 23:25
Malta Force (12)
14:05 16:20 18:35 20:50 23:05
The Chronicles of Narnia Voyage of
the Dawn Treader (3D) (U)
14:00 16:30
Giselle (PG)
20:30
WHEN the kingdom’s most wanted and most charmingbandit, Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi), hides out in a mysterious tower, he’s taken
hostage by Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore), a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair.
Flynn’s curious captor, who’s looking for her ticket out of the tower where she’s been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome
thief, and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse (named Maximus), an over-protective chameleon (named Pascal), and a gruff gang of pub thugs.
Showing soon
Tron Legacy (3D) (U)
23:30
Love and Other Drugs (18)
14:10 16:30 18:50 21:10 23:30
The Last Exorcism (16)
14:15 16:15 18:25 21:05 23:00
Burke and Hare (14)
14:25 16:25 18:25 21:15 23:15
The Dilemma
London Boulevard (18)
14:20 16:35 18:45 21:05 23:15
The Green Hornet 3D (PG)
14:00 16:25 18:50 21:15 23:45
The Tourist (PG)
14:10 16:20 18:30 20:45 22:55
Empire Cinemas
Bugibba
Tel. 21 581 787, 21 581 909
The Chronicles of Narnia Voyage of
the Dawn Treader (3D) (U)
13:45 16:15 18:45
Gulliver’s Travels 3D (U)
13:30 16.00 18:20 (subtitled) 21:00
Meet the Parents: Little Fockers (12)
14:00 16:25 18:40 20:55
The Next Three Days (12)
14:20 17:45 20:45
The Tourist (PG)
21:15
The Green Hornet 3D (PG)
BACHELOR Ronny and happily married Nick are buddies since college. Now partners in their own company, the two pals are vying
to land a dream project that would put their company on the map. With Ronny’s girlfriend, Beth, and Nick’s wife, Geneva, by their
sides, the pair is unbeatable.
Until Ronny’s world is turned upside down when he inadvertently sees Geneva in the arms of another man, shattering the sheen of
his best friend’s perfect marriage.
Showing soon
13:45 16:15 18:45 21:15
London Boulevard (18)
13:55 16:20 18:50 21:10
The Last Exorcism (16)
14:05 16:05 18:15 21:05
17
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
THIS WEEK
WHAT’S ON
MUSIC
JANUARY 23
Tea for Two
A concert dedicated to
the delightful and lively
rendering of some classic
songs featured in classic
musical films will be taking
place at the Sagrestia
Vault, Valletta Waterfront.
The show features Marita
Bezzina (soprano), Frans
Mangion (tenor) and Ramona
Zammit Formosa (pianist).
Bookings: 7968 0952 or
[email protected]
com.
JANUARY 27
Spotlight on Augusto Lauri
Quintano and Sarah Micallef
Violin and Piano Recital with
the participation of Augusto
Lauri Quintano on violin
and Sarah Micallef on piano
at Sala Isouard, Manoel
Theatre, 20:00. P
FEBRUARY 5
Skimmed, Areola Treat and
Clandestines
The bands will be playing
at Escape Club, St Julian’s,
alongside a DJ set by Sick of
Ants. Doors open at 22:00.
Entrance is at €8.
THEATRE
JANUARY 22, 23
Ingabar ghax jigbruk
A Maltese-language version
of Neil Simon’s Come Blow
Your Horn by the Valletta
Theatre Company at The
Manoel Theatre – 19:00
on Saturday 22 and 17:00
on Sunday 23. Bookings:
[email protected]
com.mt, 21246389.
Ingabar ghax Jigbruk
at the Contemporary Hall
of the National Museum of
Fine Arts, Valletta. Opening
hours: Monday to Friday:
09:00 – 16:30 (last admission
16:00). Entrance is free.
Is-Siegha tal-Kittieba
Jazz Paintings
Curved Silence
Paintings in pastel by Pauleen
Micallef at Damiano’s, Sir
Luigi Preziosi Street, St Paul’s
Bay. Opening Hours: Every
day (except Tuesdays) from
18:00 onwards.
An exhibition by the artist
John Paul Azzopardi at the
Contemporary Hall of the
National Museum of Fine
Arts, South Street, Valletta.
Opening Hours: Monday to
Friday 09:00hrs till 16:30hrs
(Last Admission 16:00hrs).
Free entrance.
A one hour interview with the
writer Lina Brockdorff at St
James Cavalier, Valletta from
19:30.
JANUARY 14 – FEBRUARY 17
Vince Briffa and Tom Dale
An exhibition of paintings
LITERATURE
JANUARY 20
A production of the William
Douglas comedy by Maleth
Theatre Company at Manoel
Theatre, 19:30. Bookings:
[email protected]
com.mt, 21246389.
Daniela Astone
Exclusive Interiors, Mosta
will be hosting an exhibition
by painter Kevin Sciberras.
JANUARY 31 – FEBRUARY 13
The Secretary Bird
ENDS TODAY
09:00 till 19:00, Saturdays,
Sundays and Public Holidays
09:00 till 13:00.
UNTIL JANUARY 30
UNTIL JANUARY 31
JANUARY 28 – 30
EXHIBITIONS
Kevin Sciberras at Exclusive
Interiors
A two-person show featuring
a new film and a photography
exhibition at Malta
Contemporary Art, St James
Cavalier, Valletta.
JANUARY 24 – FEBRUARY 28
On Site
Exhibition of 55 pieces by
ceramist George Muscat at St
James Cavalier, Valletta.
JANUARY 28 – FEBRUARY 18
Anne Frank – A History for
Today
The travelling exhibition
makes use of images from the
Frank family photo albums
and quotations from the
Diary of Anne Frank, and will
be displayed at the Auberge
de Castille, Valletta. Opening
hours: Mondays – Fridays
LIVE SCREENING
TONIGHT
Royal Opera House Live:
Giselle
Eden Cinemas will be
screening the Royal Opera
House (London) production
of the classic ballet, under
the direction of Peter Wright.
Price is €23 per ticket and
parking at the Eden Car Park
is included. Persons under 16
pay just €10. The full schedule
for Opera and Ballets can be
found at www.edencinemas.
com. Tickets can also be
purchased online.
JANUARY 30
MET Opera Live: Modest
Mussorgsky
As part of the MET Opera
series, Valery Gergiev
conducts Mussorgsky’s soulful
spectacle during a live matinee
performance at 14:30, St James
Cavalier Cinema. Tickets are
at €10, with €5 concessions
for children up to 12-yearsold. Bookings: 2122 3200,
[email protected]
WORKSHOP
JANUARY 21
Digeridoo Workshop at Why
Not?
A workshop at the newly
opened shop in Paceville
(between Champs and the
bus terminus) from 20:00.
Jamming session will follow.
All materials provided free
of charge.
18
Events
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Income from royalties on patents
exempt from tax under new incentive
MALTA Enterprise launched
a new incentive whereby income from royalties on eligible
patents will be exempt from
taxation, an initiative which
is aimed at encouraging enterprises to invest in research and
knowledge creation as well as
encourage the exploitation of
intellectual property.
Details of the incentive were
given by Malta Enterprise executive chairman Alan Camilleri
during a seminar on Funding
Industrial Research and Innovation, which sought to provide information on the existing funding mechanisms and
other support services which
may be utilised by companies
to conduct research, development or innovative projects.
These also include support
provided through the Eurostars Joint Programme which
Malta recently joined, a panEuropean initiative through
which companies from over 30
participating states are brought
together to work on collaborative projects that comprise
market-driven R&D.
In giving details of the programme, Eurostars Call Coordinator Dr Peter Chisnall
spoke about the benefits for
Maltese companies such as
the availability of funding and
the collaborative aspect of the
projects which leads to technology transfer and sharing of
resources.
He also explained the mechanism behind the process evaluating the projects and said that
a decision on whether these
are approved or not is generally taken within 14 weeks, noting that this lead time was one
of the shortest for European
projects.
Dr Chisnall also referred to
Eurostars Call Coordinator Dr Peter Chisnall spoke about the benefits for Maltese companies such as the availability of funding
the feedback given by participants in Eurostars projects,
which generally stated the
projects would lead to increased turnover and increased
employment.
Malta Enterprise executive chairman Alan Camilleri
stressed on the importance
of research, development and
innovation for businesses and
industries to ensure their competitiveness and long-term
sustainability, whether this
leads to a new product or service or even to the development
of a new process that enables
the company to become more
efficient in its operations.
He also referred to the Innovation Union initiative which
the European Commission recently launched and placed at
the very heart of the Europe
2020 strategy, which boldly
states that boosting the research and innovation performance is the only way to
create good and well-paid jobs
that will withstand the pressures of globalization and support sustainable growth.
Mr Camilleri also gave a
brief overview of the schemes
available for R&D and innovation, which include tax credits,
business advisory services, as
well as specific schemes making use of ERDF funds through
which over €6 million have
already been granted for this
purpose.
Other speakers at the seminar,
which was attended by over 80
stakeholders in the industry,
included representatives from
Malta Enterprise, the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise
and Industry, the Malta Council for Science and Technology, the Competitiveness and
Innovation Programme, the
University of Malta and the Industrial Property Registrations
Directorate.
They delved deeper into the
support available through
their respective entities either
through local or EU-funded
assistance for R&D and innovation projects, thereby helping the participants identify
which assistance best suited
their company’s needs.
PerfumeryDirect.com is on the market
WWW.PERFUMERYDIRECT.
COM is fast becoming the
one stop virtual shop for all
your scented needs around the
world. The company stocks a
considerable number of the
latest brands as well as those
which are hard to find, at extremely competitive prices as
well as overall discounts which
range from 20 to as much as 60
per cent on the marked price
offering the opportunity of
unheard of savings.
The company is committed
to provide a vibrant shopping
experience with an easy to use
state of the art website and is
constantly launching offers
to attract new clients. These
include limited time pop-up
sales, giveaways and sweepstakes which will definitely
add to your excitement levels!
At perfumerydirect.com, we
have something for everyone
so you are just one click away
from all you ever dreamed of.
Amongst the brands stocked,
one may find such established
names as Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Calvin
Klein, Bulgari, Giorgio Arma-
ni, Nina Ricci and many many
more. There is a vast choice
of perfumes for both Him and
Her as well as some attractively priced options such as gift
sets and other combinations
to suit practically all shopping
themes.
Perfumerydirect.com is also
a major supplier of quality
skin care and skin perfume
products as well as make up
produced by the top brands on
the market.
Additionally, the company
guarantees that upon order,
our delivery team will ensure
that your goods will be at your
doorstep in no time, wherever
you live in the world free of
charge.
We pride ourselves on providing a committed and dedicated service which combines
value for money with the least
possible waiting times.
Perfumerydirect.com
can
be contacted at the following
address; Perfumery Direct,
The Penthouse, Triq L-Ispiera
,Swieqi, Malta, Europe. Alternatively via Email: [email protected] .
19
Classifieds
ANTIQUES
OLD patterned tiles for sale. Tiles
already cleaned and various patterns.
Call 79730397
POMSKIZILLIOUS museum of toys,
10 Xibla Street Xaghra, Gozo, open
December on Saturdays only from
10:30-13:00. Will be closed in January.
Open times for February, on Saturdays
only from 10:30-13:00. �Keeping yesterday for us to see today’. (Groups by
appointment). Artifacts from late 1700s
- 1950s. A treat for 2011. Call on
21562489,21557111
BOATS
ITALIAN make, 11.75 meters (39 feet)
sports fishing boat. Complete with GPS,
two fish finders, safety equipment, fishing equipment. Two ford engines 250HP
each. Price negotiable, part exchange
with smaller craft considered. Call
79626626.
SPEEDBOAT, 14ft with 35hp force outboard motor and trailer, unused and
garaged for past 20 years. Best offer
secures. Call 21373019,79926683
FOR SALE
100 top quality whistles for just €40.
Suitable for any party. Call now on
99287701.
HOUSEHOLD Sale - Sony FD Trinitron
colour 29” 2005 model, flat screen
with woofer, in impeccable condition and
used by owner only. Price €95. TV cabinet priced at €30. Open display shelving for decorations in wrought iron with
glass shelves. Price €30. Call owner on
79478867,21382958
TREADMILL up to 100 kilos. Used
few times. As new. Price €250. Call
21372922,99858089
GENERAL
BAR, 3.8m long, full stainless steel
construction, unused and stored for the
past 15 years. Best offer secures. Call
21373019 or 79926683
FILMING and copy edited professionally
on DVD of any sort of occasion, parties,
sporting events, seminars and other personal filming. Call COLOURBARS LTD on
99444092.
WANTED to let for a very long period, a
medium house for two with two separate
bedrooms in any area. Having the basic
rooms and furniture plus a roof. Please
call on 20994486.
A small house for a single person
with a dog in Msida, Hamrun, Pieta,
Gwardamangia, St. Venera and Birkirkara
for a long period. Reasonable rent. What
can you offer? Call 20997786.
LETTING
GZIRA - Room for rent, ready to move
into just off the main road. Ideal for
shop, office, nutritionist, physiotherapist or any type of business. It has
own entrance. Call on 27888272,
99461900, 99890101.
BUGIBBA - Flats one, two or three bedrooms, fully furnished including TV and
air conditioner in Bugibba and St. Paul’s
Bay from €220 per month for long lets.
View on www.mecca-marine.com or call
owner on 79732780
PROPERTY FOR SALE
BALZAN - Price reduced! A welcoming,
wide fronted Town House having a beautiful, good sized back garden and set
in the heart of this highly sought after
village! Ample accommodation comprises an imposing hall leading directly
through to the garden, study, formal
dining room, kitchen/breakfast, large
living room (also leading to the garden),
guest toilet, 3 double bedrooms - all
with en suite facilities and master also
enjoying an enchanting terrace, bathroom, spiral staircase leading to private roof and optional garage close by.
Excellent opportunity! Price €349000.
Call 79429400
GHARGHUR - An amazing house of
character in the core of this tranquil
village! Hall, sitting, dining, kitchen, TV
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
lounge leading to a 30 X 80ft garden
with pool, sundeck and BBQ area, guest
toilet and a picture perfect courtyard
giving light to the whole house! Three
double bedrooms – two en suite bathrooms, laundry! Price €650000. Call
79429400.
GHAXAQ – A larger than usual penthouse and ground floor apartment having
a large front terrace/back and internal
yard. To be sold in shell form. Common
parts finished with six passenger lift.
Property must be viewed. Call owner on
79282428.
GHAXAQ - Spacious three bedrooms
apartments to be sold in shell form
common parts highly finished with six
passenger lift. Garages are optional. Price €92000. Call owner on
79282428
renovated and includes new plumbing
and electricity, has an alarm, a solar
system, reverse osmosis, and has
been finished to high standards. Part
exchange with property in Gozo will
be considered. Asking price €170000
(price negotiable) and can be sold with
or without furniture.
MONTE ROSA GARDENS - A sizable
detached Villa centrally located just a
stones throw away from all important
amenities and public transport routes.
Hall, large sitting/dining room, good
sized kitchen breakfast, TV lounge/
study, four double bedrooms, bathroom and en suite shower. This property also has a surrounding garden
and carport. In need of slight modernisation, this villa is being offered at
a bargain price! Price €430000. Call
79429400
GOZO - XAGHRA - Large apartment in
a quite area on the outskirts of the village close to Calypso’s cave with sea
and country views, having three double bedrooms (one ensuite). A highly
finished apartment with rustic interiors, three front balconies, two large
bathrooms, utility/washroom, access
and use of common roof, large open
plan sitting/dining and fully fitted new
kitchen. Definitely a must see property. This apartment is also available for long lets. Price: €155,000
(LM 66,541). Call owner direct on
79205023/99478303.
NAXXAR - Well-priced three to four
bed roomed apartment in a quiet yet
central location, close to all amenities. The block is served with lift and
consists of striking and spacious sitting/dining room with front balcony
and good town views, combined, fitted kitchen/breakfast, study, bathroom
and shower. Garages are available.
Must be seen! Price €149000. Call
79429400
HAMRUN - Town house situated in central Hamrun, ready to move into which
includes a high finish throughout and
is to be sold either fully furnished with
brand new furniture or without furniture. Property consists of an entrance
leading into a hallway with a large
under stairs room which can be used
as a study. An antique stone staircase
then leads to the first floor and opens
onto an open plan living room and an
adjacent dinning room, brand new toilet with Jacuzzi / Shower, fitted kitchen
and built in appliances and a small pantry. The property also has a small garden circa 17 by 27 feet. Access to the
second floor can be accessed either
through a spiral stone stairs or else
from a wooden stairs. On the second
floor there are another three rooms
and a roof garden. Prospective buyer
has the possibility to further construct
another floor to the existing property. The property has been recently
QAWRA - Apartment in the best part
of Qawra, three bedroom third floor
with lift, fully furnished in high standards including all appliances, two bathrooms, front and back balconies, beautiful sea views, use of roof. Freehold.
Price €160000 negotiable. Call owner
99252196
PAOLA - Duplex maisonette, two
bedroom, has own airspace. Price
€85000.
QAWRA - seafront apartment, fully furnished, three bedrooms with lift. Priced
to sell at €122000. Call owner on
21411598,99242312,79242316.
SAN PAWL TAT- TARGA - Last remaining apartment forming part of a smart,
new block in a most pleasant, quiet street of this popular destination.
Being offered finished (except for bathroom sets) to excellent specifications
and having two bedrooms. Block is
served with lift and hall porter and a
car space included in the price. Price
€122300. Call 79429400.
SLIEMA - Lower Bisazza street, one
=
€3
bedroom apartment, partly furnished,
third floor, no lift. Good investment
opportunity. Price €750000. Call
79626626.
SLIEMA - A magnificent penthouse in a
nice area, served with lift and intercom
and enjoying abundant natural light and
lots of space! Open plan dining, sitting
and kitchen with large doors leading
on to a wonderful terrace enjoying a
beautiful panorama of town and partial sea views! This property has three
bedrooms, bathroom, en suite shower
and a utility room. Price €349500. Call
79429400
SWATAR - B’ KARA - Two, two bedroom
apartments and maisonettes, or three
bedroom maisonettes in a modern and
elegant brand new corner development. South facing very sunny and airy
in quiet made up area overlooking the
valley yet close to B’Kara By-Pass with
easy access to University/Mater Dei.
Maisonettes are at street level with
large front terraces and back yard.
Apartments served with lift and all in
advanced high finish including gypsum
and graffiato plastering throughout,
large Italian ceramic floor tiles, heavy
duty profiles apertures, plumbing and
electricity, large balconies, front doors,
etc; optional garages available at special price for property buyers. Prices
from €119000 (LM51086) Call owner
direct on 79205023,99478303.
SERVICE
TRANSFER all your old videos onto
DVD. Any type and quantity accepted.
Reasonable prices for a very good and
discreet service. Call 99287701
SITUATION VACANT
ACCOUNTS clerk with A level experience. Salesperson and handy persons
with experience and driving licence, full
time or part timers considered. Email
[email protected], or visit Mecca
St. Paul’s Bay. Call 79732780
MAID is required to work in a family residence and office premises.
Applicant must be over 21 years. Call
79999928
SITUATION WANTED
A smart mature care worker with experience is seeking work at your home.
Call 79472971, 21472971.
TUITION
CHEMISTRY,
Physics
and
Mathematics O’Level private lessons. Small groups and one to one
basis, Zurrieq, Safi, Kirkop, Luqa,
Siggiewi, Qrendi, Mqabba area. Call
21680732/79680732
GRAPHICAL communication tuition, O’ Level. Small groups and
one to one attention. Call on
21411598,99242312,792423416
MALTESE: Forms 1-5. O/I Advanced
Level 2011/2012. Notes provided. University graduate. Also
a foreign language. Mosta. Call
21410218/99843441
MATHS/PHYSICS - Forms 1-5,
O’Level full courses, San Gwann/
Msida/Gzira. Call 79092549.
MATSEC 2011, English, French,
Italian, Maltese. Individual attention
by experienced tutor. Lessons are
in Paola. Also Form 1 to Form 5 in
same subjects. Start now to get
a good result. Call 21697187 or
99804695.
NEW beginners course in sequence
dancing by experienced teacher.
Price €60 per couple for ten lessons.
Call 79618861
PRIVATE lessons in Mathematics �O’
Level questions from past papers.
Highly experienced tutor. Call to book
a place - Marsascala. Call 79730397
REVISION for February exams. Start
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In good condition. Asking price for
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€11990 o.n.o. Call 99553700
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20
Sport
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
SPORTTODAY
FORMULA ONE
New livery could cause
problems for Renault
THE Lotus Renault GP team
could face major problems over
its new livery before the 2011 season starts.
Renault had it new car with the
2011 livery on display at the Autosport International show last
week with the black-and-gold colours revealed to the public.
The car was a massive hit with
the Formula One fans as expected, but the livery is expected to
clash with the Canadian Tobacco
laws. The Canadian Grand Prix
takes place in June and currently
the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will
not allow a team to compete if its
cars were to resemble a cigarette
packet.
he 2004 Canadian Grand Prix
was close to cancellation when
a new tobacco law was enforced
during the previous year, with
race-officials having to pay 29
million Canadian dollars (18.35
million British pounds) to compensate cigarette sponsors when
their logo’s were removed from
every competing car.
A spokesperson for Health
Canada commented: “Tobacco
inspectors would need to fully review to assess whether a violation
of the Tobacco Act has occurred.
The Tobacco Act prohibits the
promotion of tobacco products
or tobacco product-related brand
elements in Canada, except as
authorized by the Act or regulations. Tobacco product sponsorship is prohibited entirely and
tobacco advertising is severely
restricted.
“A representation about a product or service by any means,
whether directly or indirectly,
including any communication of
information about a product or
The livery of the 2011 Lotus
Renault is expected to clash
with the Canadian authorities
service and its price and distribution, that is likely to influence
and shape attitudes, beliefs and
behaviours about the product or
service.”
Imperial Tobacco Canada distributes a wide variety of brands
across Canada including John
Player Special, and was curious
to know if the Renault team knew
about the legislation.
“It is categorically against the
law to present any likeness to a
cigarette pack,” a member of the
company said. “If I were Lotus
though, I would be concerned. I
wonder if they are aware of the
law in Canada.”
Ayrton Senna driving the Lotus
with similar livery in the 80’s
FUTSAL
Malta Futsal scool to participate in the
Uefa Futsal Euro 2012 preliminary round
THE Malta Futsal School’s next
upcoming event will be their
participation in the UEFA FUTSAL Euro 2012 preliminary
round qualification matches to
be held at the Cottonera Sports
Complex between the 21st and
the 24th of January 2011.
Children from the school will
assist as ball boys during matches played between the four nations taking part in Group D:
France, Lithuania Bulgaria and
hosts Malta.
Members from the school
will also be participating in fun
games on Sunday the
23rd of January at
the Cottonera Sport
Complex. This day
will be also considered as an OPEN DAY
(9am to 12:30pm) for
all interested children, aged between
7 and 14 years, who
are willing to find out
what Futsal and the school are
all about. On this special day,
all those attending will also
have the opportunity to meet
with some national team play-
ers from the four different nations taking
part in this preliminary round qualification tournament.
All those interested
in joining this open
day event may apply
within the Malta Futsal School. For more
information
please
contact 79016016 or e-mail
[email protected]
Malta Futsal School holds session every Thursday at De La
Salle College.
21
Sport
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
BOWLING
Fifth Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Championships Qualifiers
Sullivan, Caruana Scicluna, Abela, and
Carannante for Kuala Lumpur event
THE local qualifying tournament for the fifth edition of
the Commonwealth Tenpin
Bowling Championships, was
recently held by the Malta
Tenpin Bowling Association
at the Eden SuperBowl, St.
Julian’s. After three bowling sessions and a total of 24
games, the qualifying athletes
who will now represent Malta
in Kuala Lumpur next month
were Neil Sullivan and Justin
Caruana Scicluna from the
men’s division, and Sue Abela
and Tiziana Carannante from
the ladies’ field.
Men’s Division: Sullivan
never loses sight of victory
2010 National Champion,
Neil Sullivan, has been enjoying the most successful period
of his bowling career for many
months, and the resulting
confidence in his game was
evident from day one of these
Commonwealth qualifiers. It
did not take long for Sullivan
to set the pace for his peers in
the first eight game session,
with highs of 216, 223 and 236
helping him into the top spot
with a 204.2 game average
(1634), ahead of veteran Paul
Baldacchino in second place
on 1601.
Day two saw a switch from
the �short’ lane condition used for the
front eight games, to
a longer oil pattern.
Sullivan was little affected by the change,
retaining his scoring
level and sound consistency sound to hang
onto the top spot with
3277 pins from sixteen
games (204.8 ave).
There was a change
below him in second,
as Baldacchino suffered on the changed
patter, allowing Dennis Mercieca to ease
through on a 3214 tally
(200.8 ave), with Justin
Caruana Scicluna hot
on his heels in third
place on a straight
3200 total.
Day three was the most challenging for all, with the lane
oil pattern alternating lane
by lane between the short and
long patterns adopted. This
system can easily knock a
bowler out of synch, and there
was some inconsistent play
all round, but again Neil Sullivan was equal to the challenge, rolling a 1361 set for a
tournament winning total of
4821 (200.8 ave), stamping on
his winning seal with a 24th
for invincible Abela
game of 246, his best of the
tournament. Meanwhile Mercieca and Caruana Scicluna
were locked in a tough battle for the second qualifying
place, which went right down
to the wire. In the end it was
the youngster, Justin Caruana
Scicluna, who prevailed, taking second with a 4759 total
(198.2 ave), a mere sixteen
pins ahead of a disappointed
Mercieca on 4743.
Ladies’ Division: No match
Sue Abela has been at
the forefront of tenpin
bowling in Malta for
many a year, scooping
near countless honours
and titles both locally
and also in the international arena. Once
again Abela topped the
stakes in the V Commonwealth ladies division, winning it with
typical ease. The scrap
for the second qualifying spot was eventually
won by youth champion
Tiziana Carannante.
Sue Abela powered into the top spot from the
opening game of day
one, and never looked
like being budged from
there as the event took its
course. She finished day one
with 1559 pins, including top
games of 227, 214 and 219.
Tiziana Carannante established herself in second with
1452 pins , ahead of Josephine
Borg on 1355.
The top two held their positions throughout the middle
eight, with Sue stretching her
wood lead to 163 pins on 3121,
while Tiziana looked comfortable in second place on 2958,
well up on third place which
was now occupied by Joanna
Attard on 2716.
Day three and the dual oil
pattern came around, and
after all 24 games were completed little had changed in
the ladies competition as Sue
Abela finished no less than 458
ahead of the chasers on 4772
pins (198.8 ave), with Tiziana
Carannante earning her ticket
to Kuala Lumpur with a second place total of 4314 (179.7
ave). Joanna Attard was left in
third place on 4157 pins.
Team Malta, made up of Neil
Sullivan, Justin Caruana Scicluna, Sue Abela and Tiziana
Carannante, will now represent Malta in the V Commonwealth Championships, to be
held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between the 19th and
27th of February. Their participation is being made possible thanks to backing from
the MOC, KMS, the Ministry
responsible for sport, and also
the Eden SuperBowl which
provides the required training facilities to enable adequate preparation for Malta’s
bowlers prior to their trip to
Kuala Lumpur. Further details can be found on the official Commonwealth Tenpin
Bowling Federation website:
www.ctbf.org
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22
Sport
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
FOOTBALL
RUGBY
Overseas Rugby Union
Football Club present
new sponsors and launch
Womens Division
Inter coach Leonardo shares a joke with the players
Leonardo: �Let’s make
the game in hand count’
INTER coach Leonardo has emphasised that tonight’s match
against Cesena is very important
for Inter.
The match is a must win for
Inter. With Milan losing points
in the last two matches, a victory
for Inter would open up the title
race.
Inter have two games in-hand
and the match tonight against
Cesena is one of them. If Inter defeat Cenesa they will move within
six points of leaders Milan with a
game in-hand.
“The first few minutes are decisive because they set the pattern
for the match. The way you approach a game is important and
against Bologna it was virtually
perfect. We’ll try to do the same
again tomorrow against Cesena.”
Were the opening words of Inter
coach Leonardo at yesterday’s
press conference.
“This team is perfectly capable of adapting to and playing
against any formation or tactics,”
the coach went on. He then explained why Thiago Motta wasn’t
in the squad: “Motta has been left
out of the squad so he can have
a rest; it’s not a serious problem,
just a minor thing that needs to
be sorted out. I don’t consider it
an injury; he just needs to sit out
for a bit so he can recover.”
Sulley Muntari, on the other
hand, is in tomorrow’s match-day
squad: “Muntari is available and
he’s in the squad for the game. It’s
up to him what he decides to do
in the end, but he’s looked good
over the last few days so that’s
why he’s been included.”
On tonight’s match Leonardo
continued “It’s a situation we
need to take advantage of, be-
cause of course we’re the only
ones playing. It’s a game in hand
that could turn out to be crucial.
And anyway, we have to concentrate on no one else but ourselves.
It would be wrong to sit down
and try to figure out all the ifs and
maybes.”
It’s impossible for a team like Inter to give up on the idea of winning something important, no
matter what difficulties they have
had. If Ayrton Senna has problems with his car and he starts
from the back of the grid, he still
thinks he can win the race; it’s
impossible for him not to; it’s in
his DNA. It’s always like that. But
we do have to concentrate on one
game at a time and the most important game now is tomorrow’s
against Cesena: that’s the game
we have to do well in and the team
knows it,” concluded Leonardo.
Aston Villa complete record signing of Bent
ASTON Villa have signed Darren Bent from Sunderland in a
club-record deal that could rise
to ВЈ24 million.
Bent has signed a four-and-ahalf year contract at Ville Park
after passing a medical. Bent
could make his debut against
Manchester City this Saturday.
“Aston Villa is a massive football club and as soon as I knew
they were interested in signing
me I wanted to join,” Bent said.
“The size of the football club
and the history of the club are
major reasons for me coming
here.
“There are some top, top
players here too, real quality,
and I’ve been able to speak to
the manager and the owner
about their ambitions for the
club. I’m very excited about being a part of what we hope to
Darren Bent
achieve.”
The former Ipswich, Charlton
and Tottenham striker scored
24 Premier League goals last
season and is the third-high-
est scorer in England over the
past three years, behind only
Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and
Manchester United’s Wayne
Rooney.
AT a reception held at Club 47
in Madliena on last week, the
Overseas Rugby Union Football Club presented the sponsors of the club for seasons
2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13
together with an overview of
the Club’s plans for the future. The Club has sealed a
three season deal with both
Eurosport and BMIT Limited. Livingwell will once again
be the official fitness partner
with the traditional third half
being hosted at Footloose Fun
Bar, Paceville.
In
addition,
Overseas
launched its new kit for coming seasons.
Club President Mr Brian
Dalton spoke about the improvements the club has gone
through over the past few
seasons. These ranged from
becoming registered with the
Malta Sports Council through
to recruiting young players
and increasing members. Another big development for the
current season was the establishment of the Club’s Womens’ Division (dubbed the
�OverSHES’).
Mr Dalton mentioned the
long history of the club, originally founded in 1946, and
how its current representation carries on this legacy by
promoting itself as an international club open to all. Mr
Dalton stressed that rugby in
Malta in its current state is
still an amateur sport and it
would not be correct to promote it as otherwise. This limited the possibilities available
but allowed a �reality check’
whereby sustainable plans
could be developed without
putting too much burden on
volunteers running the clubs.
Following a healthy period
of growth the Club is now
looking to establish a more
permanent base by entering
into talks with local councils with a view to twinning.
This would allow it to start its
most desired project – setting
up a youth academy. More information on the Club can be
found on the website – www.
overseasrufc.com.
Prior to the presentation, a
minute’s silence was observed
for the passing away of Robert Attard, an Under 18 rugby
player.
23
Sport
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
OPINION
Future not taken for Granted
and though Grant has managed
to get the best out of an underperformed team, their best is no
where near good enough.
Despite all this, Grant remains
with his head held high and
braves the media despite rumours
suggesting West Ham are already
looking for his replacement, and
were due to sack him irrespective
of the result against Arsenal.
Right now West Ham are a
sinking ship, as their new owners are still settling and a move
to the new Olympic Stadium is
pondered. The club’s finances
allow for lower budget signings,
and lower paid managers, and
they would rather opt for a low
income boss with higher survival
bonuses, so attracting a top manager wont be easy. Sam Allardyce,
Dave Jones, Roy Hodgson, Chris
Hughton and Martin O’Neil still
sit in unemployment rooms (or
play endless rounds of golf), however all men might not settle for a
contract due to a lower wage than
their current compensation.
To many, West Ham seemed
relegated before a ball had been
kicked, however Grant has
dragged them through the mud
in order to make sure they are
still not detached from survival.
Sadly, Grant’s bubble seems
to have been burst and his departure is imminent, and again
HAVING played the most games
in the league and acquiring the
least points is hardly going to
make anybody’s day. The mood
in the West Ham camp seems to
be one of desperation. Emotional
handshakes and applauses mirrored those of a farewell party,
and Saturdays 3-0 defeat to Arsenal might have been just that for
United manager Avram Grant.
Results and fortunes have been
hiding for the Hammers this
season, who currently prop up
the table with a poor 20 points
from 23 games. It has been an
uphill struggle from day one to
the Hammers, however in these
times I must give maximum
credit to humble manager Grant
and the Iron fans who applauded
him despite the defeats.
Avram Grant seems to be a
man who loves a challenge. His
time at Chelsea was never going
to be easy, filling in Special shoes,
while his time at Pompey was
harder than asking a newborn
to climb everest. Times at West
Ham do not seem any different,
he inherited a second rate team,
who unfortunately belong in the
Championship.
Criticising a team I follow whole
heartedly is never easy, however
some of the players at West Ham
can not distinguish between
their earhole and their nostril,
his life span was only that of six
months. Six months to plug a
whole bigger than that in the
Titanic’s hull: mission impossible. Grant is not to blame for the
teams position, as even the likes
of Sir Alex would have struggled
at Upton Park this season.
Any of his proposed replacements will also struggle to keep
them up, as he will only have two
weeks to make any new signings,
and the clock is ticking. Robbie Keane’s deal is delayed as he
wants assurances over the club’s
future manager, while Steve Sidwell never joined due to increasing instability at the club. Two
new signings would have boosted
the team, who also snapped up
Wayne Bridge from Man City last
weekend, however as many have
preached before, sandy terrains
don’t hold the best foundation.
West Ham will now be planning
two budgets for next season: one
for a Championship club, and another for a Premier League survivor. Though no one likes to see
his/her club crumble down a division, one season away from the
big time can do a world of good:
just look at Newcastle United,
who finished 18th two seasons
ago, and now sit comfortably
happy in an impressive eighth
place.West Ham’s squad needs
an overhaul, and three months in
Avram Grant deserves an established club
the Summer won’t be enough.
My personal choice would be
Martin O’Neill, however we’ve
all seen how well Roy Hodgson
coped when Fulham where in a
similar position, so this might
be his sort of territory. Sam’s
style might suit the club, however when Alan Curbishley used
similar tactics fans often jeered
that it was too boring and “like
watching (Championship side)”
Charlton, deeming the 4-5-1
used as too negative.
Who ever replaces the gentle
giant is irrelevant for now, as
Grant himself still sits in his
office scratching his head, practicing his departure speech.
Avram Grant deserves to finally
inherit a stable club, not a blair
witch project, and maybe a club
with the standards of Bolton,
Sunderland, Birmingham or
Villa. Give the man a proper job
and don’t ask him to shine the
walls of London’s dirtiest tube
line!
Pursuits
Across
1. Powerful dog (7)
4. Paving substance (7)
8. Superb (11)
12. Increase in size (4)
13. Yellow metallic element (4)
14. Toss (5)
15. Bequest (6)
17. Purchaser (5)
22. State in the central United States
(4)
23. Make amends (5)
24. Canines (4)
25. Seraglio (5)
28. Minister (6)
30. Men (5)
32. Apparatus for weaving (4)
34. House rodents (4)
35. Using obscene language (4-7)
38. Sunset (7)
39. Opposes (7)
Sudoku
Sudoku rules are
extremely easy: Fill all empty
squares so that the numbers 1
to 9 appear once in each row,
column and 9x9 box.
Answers to the MaltaToday crossword will be published next Wednesday
Last week’s solution
Chess
Today’s Weather
8
8
WEATHER: Rather cloudy with
the possibility of an
isolated shower
7
6
7
5
4
6
VISIBILITY: Good locally moderate
to good at first
3
5
2
1
4
A
3
B
C
D
E
F
G
1. Qc1
Ra8
2. Qxh6# (Qxc4#)
2
1. ....
Bg5
2. Qxc4# (Ng7#)
1
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
White to play and mate in two moves
1. ...
Bxc1
2. Ng7#
WIND:
Variable mainly
Westerly force 2 to 3
SEA:
Slight
SWELL:
Low Easterly locally
negligible
H
MOSTLY CLOUDY
16ВєC / 9ВєC
UV INDEX: 2
Down
1. Margarine (5)
2. Melt (4)
3. Amusement (3)
5. Not sweet (3)
6. Suspended (4)
7. Most tender (9)
8. Additional (4)
9. Indolently (4)
10. Charged particles (4)
11. Member of the Conservative
Party (4)
14. Fragment (5)
16. Wine fruit (5)
18. Unwarranted (5)
19. Blind (9)
20. Leap on one foot (3)
21. Fruit (5)
26. Upper covering of a house (4)
27. Injury (4)
28. Republic in W South America (4)
29. Stated (4)
31. Trials (5)
33. Emotional state (4)
34. Lake or pond (4)
36. Not high (3)
37. Label (3)
News
Kenneth Wain
maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011
Maria Grech Ganado
Lino Spiteri
Authors and academics defend
�pornographic’ short story
CHERISE ABELA
AUTHORS, academics and
journalists yesterday testified
in defence of Alex Vella Gera’s
infamous Li Tkisser Sewwi: a
short story that was banned
from campus in 2009, and for
which the acclaimed author
stands accused of �distributing pornography’.
Novelist Lino Spiteri, lecturer Kenneth Wain, anthropologist Ranier Fsadni and poet
Maria Grech Ganado, among
others, defended the piece of
fiction on the grounds that
it truly reflection of a part of
society that would never merit being banned.
They were testifying before
Magistrate Audrey Demicoli
in the case instituted against
Alex Vella Gera by the police,
following a report submitted by University rector Prof.
Juanito Camilleri, who has already testified
The bulk of the witnesses
fielded by the defence yesterday alos described the possible effect that restricting the
short story – a first-person
account of a misogynist published in the pamphlet Ir-Realtà – would have on society
in general.
At the start of his testimony,
author and former Labour
minister Lino Spiteri mentioned that he has been active in the literary scene for
55 years. He said that when
he read Vella Gera’s piece
he noted it was a good and
strong example of the social
reality on which he himself
has written, considering it as
“a piece of literary and moral
work”.
He said that when one writes
in the first person, as Vella
Gera had done in his short
story, he is “passing on to the
reader the practical example
of the worst part of our society.”
Spiteri also said that he recently found out that one of
his own books, which won the
Book Award two years ago, is
now banned from secondary
schools and wondered why
what he had written has such
an effect now.
University professor Kenneth Wain said in his testimony that the controversy on Li
Tkisser Sewwi was a common
occurrence abroad, citing examples such as the banning
of Lady Chatterley’s Lover or
Marquis de Sade’s work.
Ironically, Lady Chatterley’s
Lover was one of a number of
classic novels – which also
included Spiteri’s , mentioned
above - to have recently removed from school libraries.
Wain said that Vella Gera’s
short story, as distinct from
an article, should not be compared to pornography. “In
this case, it leaves no space
for one’s imagination and it is
a literature of excess realism
in that the reason to be excessive is in fact not to be pornographic, but going beyond to
make a statement.”
Ranier Fsadni, a lecturer in
anthropology and a columnist
for The Times, was surprised
that people had confused this
with a journalistic �article’.
He said the short story was
an example of “stream of con-
sciousness” and that it was
clear that the author’s point
of view was different from
that of the protagonist.
Maria Grech Ganado, poet
and former lecturer at the
University of Malta and Junior College, said she was disgusted by the main character
in the story, but argued that
the author wanted to portray
a protagonist actually disgusts the reader. She mentioned how even a renowned
author such as Charles Dickens wrote shocking things
about children and child-labour in Victorian England.
Albert Gatt, from the University of Malta’s institute of
linguistics, said it was common to also find real men who
treated women in the manner
that Vella Gera’s character
does. He said the story, depicting small episodes of sexual conquests, was similar to
other foreign authors’ works.
Adrian Grima, a lecturer in
Maltese literature the University of Malta, said the short
story actually condemned its
main character through the
way he boasts of his violent,
sexual conquests. “The story
provides a window to a reality which in fact exists. Do we
want to know what lies in the
abyss?” Grima asked, arguing
that in analysing our darker
sides, it helps society understand itself.
The witnesses also agreed
that while restrictions exists
on what language actually is
published, the internet opens
a window to far harsher and
cruder subjects.
They even said the short
�Maltese literature remains,
as it was a long time ago,
a backwater that is not
corresponding to literary
development as in other
countries’ - Ranier Fsadni
Ranier Fsadni in fact referred to it as an experiment,
and that such experiments in
the literary camps help others
to seek other directions and
improve.
Wain added that the island
had to mature and realise that
it was part of a bigger world.
“Maltese literature remains,
as it was a long time ago, a
backwater that is not corresponding to literary development as in other countries.
While children should be
protected, the situation is different when talking to adults
and such restrictions rather
make us a childish society.”
Maria Grech Ganado said
society was not about “patriotism, religion and family…
Literature allows us to accept the differences in human
beings and that brings with
it compassion. Stopping authors from writing in that way
would not only go against the
Maltese literary interests but
also Maltese moral interests.”
story’s main character was
modelled on people they
themselves had met in real
life. Rather than using an unknown form of language, it is
an example of classic social
realism, they argued.
When asked what would be
the effect on Maltese literature if the writer’s right to express himself were inhibited,
the witnesses agreed the effect would be disabling of literature in general. “Inhibiting
authors writing in good faith
would be prohibiting them
from expressing themselves,
and in turn, prohibiting Maltese literature from expanding as foreign literature did,”
Grima said.
“Had Vella Gera’s work not
been in Maltese it would have
never created a quarter of the
attention it did. It draws attention because being in the
Maltese language, it shows us
who we are and perhaps, we
don’t wish to ask ourselves
that question.”
Next Sunday in Maltatoday:
888."-5"50%":
$0..5
maltatoday
SUNDAYt+"/
6"3:
t*446&
t16#-*4)&%&7&3:8
&%/&4%":"/%
46/%":
Jean Pierre Farrugia, a man
with a mission?
Next Sunday in Illum:
Peter Serracino Inglott interviewed
€1.00
FFOOD - KAREN
MU
MUGLIETT
Pgs 26-27
Pg
SAVIOUR BALZAN
OPINI
O
ON
ON
Avukat interrogata
dwar fjammi u
David
Dav Gatt PaДЎna 2
Pgs 15
Ford xiħ wisq
għall-films
PaДЎna 21
UB+BOOBSrNr 222
Se jkun mixlii
li ffroda lil
ħutu f’wirt
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