10 Years of ‘Running Commentary’
Daphne Caruana Galizia’s blog, ‘Running Commentary’ turned 10 this week. The journalist founded the blog temporarily prior to the 2008 election but remained dedicated to upholding it. Activists used to occasion to commemorate her work in a candlelight vigil held in Valletta last Saturday, for which around 200 people attended, including Reporters Without Borders bureau director Rebecca Vincent. Placards with printouts of some blog posts were carried.
Fears of Construction Bubble
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat dismissed claims of ‘an imminent construction bubble’ when addressing the Malta Developers Association’s annual general meeting last Thursday. He claimed that there were market stability and good growth, but conceded that growth would slow down in the future. Sandro Chetcuti, the President of the MDA, was once quoted telling developers to “make hay while the sun shines”.
Electrogas Shareholder with Interests in Medical Cannabis
A shareholder of Electrogas, Mr Paul Apap Bologna, who advanced the LNG-fired power station, was this week revealed to have interests in promoting the medical marijuana sector in Malta. It was alleged that Apap Bologna, who has close ties with senior government officials including Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi and Edward Zammit Lewis, lobbied the government to introduce the sector in the first place. Apap Bologna denied exerting influence on the government but acknowledged his vested interest.
Wied Għomor Development Blocked
Development plans for Wied Għomor were rejected by the Planning Authority on appeal after residents and environmental groups demonstrated against them. Plans were set for a 133-home residence along with other facilities in the valley separating San Ġwann from Swieqi. The decision was widely hailed and welcomed by many.
Glenn Bedingfield given €40k a year present one day after election
Controversial blogger and MP Glenn Bedingfield was put on the OPM payroll just a day after the 2017 snap election for a salary of €40,000 to compliment his €20,000 pay as MP. Commentators noted the conflict of interest raised in his roles occupying both Parliament and the OPM. Bedingfield, who has close personal ties to the Prime Minister, has not replied to questions put forward by the Times of Malta.