The Weekly Round-Up (05/01/18)

 Vitals Received Gozo Hospitals for 1
Vitals Global Healthcare, the British Virgin Islands company originally given a €2 billion concession to run three public hospitals in Gozo, was given the three hospitals and millions worth of medical equipment for €1 by the government. Media also revealed that Vitals failed to meet multiple deadlines but so far the (unpublished) contract has not been withdrawn by the government. The PL and PN have agreed to debate the Vitals deal, however the government refuses a committee debate which would allow witnesses to be called. Deputy PM and Health Minister Fearne has repeatedly distanced himself from the Vitals deal, signed by his predecessor Konrad Mizzi.
PN Presents Motion to Reverse Zonqor Privatisation
The Nationalist Party has presented a motion to reverse the privatisation of Zonqor ODZ land to Sadeen Group, the Jordanian company running the American University of Malta. The AUM also fired all of its teaching staff this week after it emerged the organisation had attracted 15 students in its first year, rather than the original aim of 300 students. Environment Minister Herrera this week defended the Zonqor deal as a sensible one.
Parties air New Years’ Eve Messages
The two parties in Parliament released New Years’ addresses by their leaders. Prime Minister and PL Leader Muscat said that Malta is a peaceful country which knows how to live in peace, with wealth being evenly distributed. PN Leader Delia said that national unity and a change in the way politics is done should be encouraged.
Kasco profits from Crane Currency contracts
Kasco, the company owned by Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, will make thousands of Euro by supplying machinery to Crane Currency. Mr Schembri is credited as the architect of the deal which brought Crane to Malta. The government denied this constitutes a conflict of interest.
PN Defends Legality of Large Donations
The Nationalist Party argued that two large donations during its fundraising marathon, of €141,000 and €56,000, are not against the Party Financing Law. The Law limits donations from one source to €25,000 per year. Deputy Leader Arrigo and Secretary Puli, who presented the donations, claimed they were raised from various sources and thus were within the parameters of the Financing Law.
Assistant Police Commissioner Quits 
An Assistant Commissioner of the Police resigned after media reports alleging that he was violent towards his partner. Mr Tonna had previously been found guilty of intimidating his superior, a Superintendent, in 2011; despite this he went on to receive two promotions, in 2015 and 2017.
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