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Maltese report Maltese report
by Euro Reporter
2010-01-15 08:04:34
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A woman with a knife

A young woman brandishing a knife entered DVD rentals shop demanding cash this afternoon but then apparently got frightened and ran out. The incident happened shortly before 6 p.m. at Naxxar.

The shop was empty at the time other than the shop attendant, who sternly told the woman he was not giving her anything. As he opened a drawer, it is believed that the woman thought he was about to produce a weapon and she dashed out. The police are investigating.


Measures to ease impact of power tariffs on businesses

The GRTU has made proposals to the government aimed at mitigating the impact of the new electricity and water tariffs on businesses. It said in a statement today that the rate of subsidy for investment in photovoltaics should go up to 70% for all enterprises that opt to implement such projects within 12 months. There should also be a Power Conservation Programme with a quota allocation benchmarked on usage in Year 2008. This would give credits on the bill of those who successfully reduced their usage so that small and medium enterprises could benefit from reduced tariff payment on future bills.

Furthermore, enterprises which increasing their production or employment and as a result suffered increases in electricity billing should be awarded a tax credit of 60% on the additional electricity charge when compared to the same period a year before. The GRTU said the €2.5M Electricity Support Fund for small enterprises should be put in place with immediate effect and raised to €10M. The €20M Micro-Credit Support Scheme for SMEs should also be made available for micro and small firms which encountered liquidity problems to meet their electricity billing, as long as they made a written commitment not to reduce employment levels for 12 months.

The GRTU called for a two option billing system by Enemalta. One option would be based on a guaranteed price while the other would give enterprises the option to buy a two year fixed special rate depending on the electricity used by their service or product. In other proposals, the GRTU urged Enemalta to extend the use of night meters, especially for the supermarkets, mini markets and other food retailers and wholesalers. Special rates should be given to firms where more than 65% of their output sale was of essential products sold directly to Maltese consumers.


Calls for Environment Protection Agency

The Labour Party renewed its call for the creation of an Environment Protection Agency in its first reaction to the Mepa Reform Bill. Party spokesmen Leo Brincat and Roderick Galdes said that despite the proposed reform, Malta would still remain one of the few countries which had merged development planning with environmental protection. They felt that interests would be better balanced if a separate Environment Protection Agency was created. The MPs said the reform did not address the problems of the planning system and environment protection but only made a few touch-ups.

"The people are still awaiting a reform based on transparency, efficiency and effective law enforcement," the spokesmen said. They said that the Bill did not offer any reassurance that current environment howlers were not repeated. While one note' improvement in certain aspects of the reform, the main proposals faced problems of bureaucracy and practicality, they added.

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