What Matters This Week – Your weekly roundup

Steward announces Vitals concession deal, PN challenges deal in court

Steward Healthcare, an American company, has announced a deal with British Virgin Islands company Vitals to take on the latter’s concession of three public hospitals. It announced this a day after PN Leader Adrian Delia went to court to have the deal rescinded, on the basis that Vitals failed to deliver. The government has celebrated Steward as having the same vision on Maltese health care. Steward CEO Dr. Armin Ernst, who will take over the hospitals for the rest of the concession, was until recently CEO of Vitals.

David Casa Presents FIAU Report

MEP David Casa has presented what he claims to be an FIAU Report on Konrad Mizzi to an inquiring magistrate. Testifying before the Court, Mr Casa said the finalised report by the financial crime watchdog, concluded last March, shows Mr Mizzi and other high level officials laundered money. Mr Mizzi has denied that the report exists. This week, former FIAU head Manfred Galdes said that serious financial crimes were seemingly going unpunished.

President wants a second term

President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca wants to serve a second term in office, according to media reports. Ms Coleiro Preca, who is only 59, will reportedly contest MEP elections with the Labour Party instead if she fails to secure a second term. Neither government or opposition have publicly commented on this. No President has ever served a second term, or reentered politics, since the role was established.

Wied Għomor could be developed

A planning tribunal will decide in the coming week whether to allow the development of Wied Għomor, a valley. The decision hinges on whether to develop a home for the elderly, along with gym, restaurant and parking area, to be built in the middle of the valley. Residents and NGOs opposing the development believe this would lead to the urbanisation of the entire valley as developers rush into the area.

Michelle Muscat, Deborah Schembri, Charles Buhagiar Benefit from Public Funds

Michelle Muscat’s Marigold Foundation this week received €48,000 in voluntary funding, making it the second highest beneficiary of funding after Inspire. In a busy week for Ms Muscat, she was also reappointed patron for the European Alliance on Rare Diseases. Meanwhile, former MP Deborah Schembri received a €29,925 direct order to provide services related to the passport sale scheme (Dr Schembri also enjoys a €126,000 contract with the Planning Authority). Finally, former MP Charles Buhagiar was given a €600,000 direct order for his architecture company by MIP.


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