Nurses Could Strike over Vitals Deal
The MUMN, the union of midwives and nurses, looks set to order 200 nurses at Mater Dei to strike next Monday. This is due to concerns that the Vitals deal will harm health care workers. In other news, Ashok Rattehalli, who owns 10% of Vitals, has filed a second motion in court to prevent Vitals’ sale of the 99-year hospital concession to Steward Healthcare. A previous effort was quashed by another shareholder, Ram Tumuluri.
European Banking Authority investigates Pilatus
The European Banking Authority has launched a preliminary investigation into Pilatus Bank. The EBA will determine whether or not the MFSA operates independently from the government. Pilatus Bank Chairman Ali Sadr this week contacted Ana Gomes, an MEP investigating corruption in Malta, demanding that her source on allegations of money laundering linked to the bank be revealed.
Prime Minister warns David Casa
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has warned Nationalist MEP David Casa that he is bound not to disclose information bound by secrecy laws. Mr Casa alleges he is in possession of an FIAU report calling for Minister Konrad Mizzi to be investigated for money laundering. The Prime Minister this week also continued to dismiss Jonathan Ferris’ application for whistleblower status – Mr Ferris claims his life is in danger.
DCG Murder Case continues
The investigation into murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia continued this week. Whilst three suspects are charged with the murder, their employer has not yet been revealed. Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, praised Ms Caruana Galizia and called her murder “a shining example of impunity”.
President says she cannot speak freely
Maltese President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has stated she cannot speak about contentious or political issues due to the constraints of her role. The President, who was meeting with young people, argued her constitutional position does not allow her to address controversial issues, but that she would do so after her term ends when she returns to being a private citizen.
Minister’s Partner given MTA job
Janice Bartolo, a journalist for One News and partner of Justice Minister Owen Bonnici, has been given a communications job at the Malta Tourism Authority. Taxpayers will pay her €30,000 a year. The position, granted by Dr Bonnici’s colleague Konrad Mizzi, was given on a position of trust basis without a call for applications.