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Maltese report Maltese report
by Euro Reporter
2011-12-07 07:13:39
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Malta’s October retail trade shows highest increase in EU

In October 2011, compared with September 2011, the volume of retail trade grew by 0.4% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27. In September retail trade fell by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU27. In October 20114, compared with October 2010, the retail sales index decreased by 0.4% in the euro area and remained stable in the EU27.

In October 2011, compared with September 2011, “Food, drinks and tobacco” rose by 0.2% in the euro area and by 0.1% in the EU27. The non food sector grew by 0.5% and 0.8% respectively. Among the Member States for which data are available, total retail trade rose in eleven and fell in ten. The largest increases were observed in Malta (+3.7%), Romania (+2.0%) and Poland (+1.4%), and the highest decreases in Portugal (-3.3%), Latvia (-2.9%) and Denmark (-2.0%).

In October 2011, compared with October 2010, “Food, drinks and tobacco” fell by 0.4% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU27. The non food sector decreased by 0.6% in the euro area, but rose by 0.3% in the EU27. Among the Member States for which data are available, total retail trade rose in eleven and decreased in ten. The largest increases were observed in Lithuania (+9.5%), Luxembourg (+8.9%) and Latvia (+4.9%), and the highest decreases in Portugal (-9.7%), Spain (-6.8%) and Denmark (-5.9%). Malta stood at +1.2%.


Four Heritage Malta Museums open for free on Republic Day

Heritage Malta will be opening four of its museums for free on Republic Day. These museums are, Ggantija Temples, Ta’ Kola Windmill, the Inquisitor’s Palace and St Paul’s Catacombs. Full details now announce by Heritage Malta show that several events and exhibitions will be organised for visitors throughout the day. Ggantija Temples and Ta’ Kola Windmill, located in Xaghra, Gozo, will organise a guided tour of each site. The tour of Ggantija Temples will commence at 11.00am, while that of Ta’ Kola Windmill at 12pm. Ta’ Kola Windmill is located within walking distance of Gganitja Temples and therefore visitors taking the Ggantija tour can easily proceed to Ta’ Kola.This windmill is one of the few surviving windmills on the Maltese Islands dating back to the Knights’ Period. It is a fine example of the rural economy and domestic life of Gozo in past centuries, and houses original milling mechanism, miller’s tools, as well as the blacksmith’s and carpenter’s workshop.

The Inquisitor’s Palace in Birgu will have on display an exhibition of works by Carmelo Agius (1922-2004). This exhibition entitled ‘Carmelo Agius, a tribute to a prolific artisan’ is the second in a serious of thematic temporary displays of works by this artist, who inherited the traditional skills of modeling clay figurines from his father Toni, who produced crib figures. Apart from crib figurines on display, he modelled miniatures of Good Friday sculptures, objet-d’art for church and altar models and a multitude of processional statues, being titular, secondary or pertaining to other minor brotherhoods. Carmelo Agius’ clay figurines are of remarkable ethnographic value and form part of the national collection.

General guided tours of St Paul’s Catacombs will commence at 10:30am and at 14:30pm. A tour focusing on the St Paul’s Catacombs ERDF project and related works currently being undertaken within the Catacombs system found in Rabat is scheduled to begin at 11:30am. These tours will be held in Maltese. Audio guides in foreign languages will also be available. During this event, members of the general public will also have the opportunity to join and become a member of Heritage Malta. Membership will be available at a reduced price from any of these sites. Membership benefits include the possibility of visiting Heritage Malta sites for free (Hypogeum entrance is available at half the original price), free events and discounts on other special events organized by Heritage Malta throughout the year.


Malta objects to EU oil drilling rules

Malta raised “serious concerns” over rules proposed by the European Commission obliging oil companies to increase their security to avoid an environmental disaster. Resources Minister George Pullicino told the EU’s Energy Council in Brussels that while Malta agreed with the rules’ overall aims, it had series doubts on their impact on small oil exploration companies. “Malta is concerned about the substantial financial burden the rules will impose on small- and medium-sized oil companies if they are made fully liable for any damage to any EU marine waters,” Mr Pullicino said.

“These companies have long been active in exploring EU waters and have contributed to Europe’s security of supply. The Commission should propose measures to ensure adequate financial measures are in place like risk pooling,” he added. Opposition to some of the proposals were also raised by the UK and the Netherlands, particularly on the method chosen by the Commission for their implementation.

While the UK and the Netherlands would like the rules to take the shape of a directive, meaning member states will have about two years to make them part of their laws, the EU proposed a regulation. This will enter into force immediately after agreement is reached by member states and the European Parliament. Through these rules, companies holding oil licences will be liable for any environmental damage caused by their activities while stricter precautionary rules will be put in place to minimise health and safety risks.

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