With important events abound in Malta for November 2015, Malta’s government declares its addition of defence assets to support Malta’s security operation for the Valletta Summit on Migration and the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM).
According to the Maltese Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
“There are no known specific threats for these events and these measures are precautionary.”
The Ministry said the agreement signified the “enduring ties and shared interests as members of the EU” for both UK and Malta.
What Is the Valletta Summit and CHOGM 2015?
The Valletta Summit
With an unexpected number of migrants persecuted or fleeing from war in Africa and the Middle East, the EU has chosen to confront the numbers and take in the refugees with an integrated and co-operative system.
The Valletta Summit on Migration to be held on November this year will address the migration flow challenges, urging governments of the world to collaborate and create efforts to overcome the challenges mass migration, religious persecution and even climate change brings.”
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Before the Paris Summit would be the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The CHOGM would discuss issues on democracy, human rights, good governance, free trade, global development and world peace. The CHOGM is held every two years.
UK and Malta Relations
Malta was once a British colony in history. In the 50s and 60s, Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom and occasionally, the two countries are not economically linked or collaborating.
With the upcoming international events to be held in Malta, the United Kingdom steps up its support for security for its own personnel.
In the wake of the hacking of dating service provider Ashley Madison, a data dump revealed ex-Tory MP Damian Green registering himself in the service provider’s website. The former Minister for Police and Criminal Justice denied ever using the website. He denied the AOL address he used to create the account.
The MP, married, said: “I don’t know anything about this. It’s nothing to do with me.” He added, “I have never registered for an account with Ashley Madison.”
“I don’t know who has used this account. I’ve had so many email accounts over the years. I may have had an aol address many years ago,” said Green.
Investigators found the birth date used in the Ashley Madison account is three years after the MP was born. However, the security question contradicted the earlier evidence as it uses Green’s mother’s maiden name Lyons as a security question.
The Impact Team, which breached Ashley Madison’s servers and website in July, had dumped the details of 36 million fling-seeker, where 1.2 million are British nationals. The database contains 100 people using .gov.uk and .police.uk addresses to sign up for Ashley Madison accounts. Some related to the US government and military had also signed up for the service.
Private sector addresses from IBM, HP, Cisco, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Samsung and Qualcomm were also found in the hacking database.
According to Malta Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis, effort is needed to elevate Malta’s reputation as an affordable key holiday destination to attract more travellers. Along with Corinthia Group Chairman Alfred Pisani in the Business Insider conference, Malta is a unique Mediterranean destination.
He said Malta should have better rates should its quality improve.
“If we believe in our capability and maintain values in what we do, we will eventually and slowly improve,” he said.
Pisani said that Malta’s move to high-end tourism was possible if a change in enforcement and high-end establishments come to fruition.
“Many owners of entertainment establishments are now shifting to investments in accommodation and as such, cleaning up the area would be in their interest.”
He was also pretty confident that Malta had no troubles with its economy or development, but he sees that there is room to grow for tourism improvement. Lewis believes the country hasn’t reached its full potential during the summer months with just a 2% growth capacity.
Lewis also encouraged increasing the number of tourists outside Malta. Currently it only has 12% accounted for. He pointed out the government is trying to secure a direct flight deal with China. However, Malta President For Tourism Hospitality and Leisure Philip Fenech said culture must be improved else the quality of tourism in Malta, and tourists, can suffer.
Malta’s economy is built on services, its construction industry and a small part of it made by its financial industry.
It has performed well for many years as it has improved its banking system to international standards and offer very amicable tax arrangements for foreign companies.
Read more about Malta’s progress with this infographic!
Ireland donates its recently-decommissioned LE Aoife to the Maltese armed forces. Its role will be to assist in the Mediterranean refugee rescues. In exchange, the Maltese armed forces must cooperate with Ireland in military exercises and handling defence matters.
The transfer of LE Aoife from the Irish Naval Service would also include personnel training. Maltese military personnel will be sent to Ireland to attend a joint training mission
Ireland Minister for Defence Simon Coveney and Malta Minister For Home Affairs and National Security Carmelo Abela attended a meeting of EU defence ministers in Riga. They agreed to cooperate more closely with each other.
Coveney explained that Malta needed a new ship to assist in the patrolling of the Mediterranean Sea.
“Recent tragic events in that part of the Mediterranean have underlined the significant challenges which need to be addressed by the international community and Ireland is very keen to play an active part in this regard,” Mr Coveney said.
“The refugee crisis represents a significant challenge for the EU and that while Ireland was not in the front line of the response to the crisis we were pleased to be in a position to support the response in this manner,” he added.
The European Commission’s EU Operational Programme for the SME Initiative for the period of 2014-2020 allowed Maltese authorities to secure €15 million in funding for the private sector.
The programme will also guarantee local Maltese businesses an estimated range between €50-70 million worth of credit capital investment to support SME competitiveness. This support package will be funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) using uncapped guarantees.
The Maltese Business Bureau gleamingly commends the Maltese authorities for heeding the European Council’s call to participate in the SME Initiative. The Initiative was developed by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to help member states during financial crises.
MRB President Mario Spiteri said “We are pleased with this development as it shows Government’s commitment towards private enterprise. With the backdrop of a declining investment by the private sector in the past years, particularly due to the uncertainty that surrounded and is still surrounding the euro area and the European economy, the allocation of €15 million for the SME Initiative will encourage and incentivize SMEs to reverse this trend.”
“In a report we published last year on the allocation of EU Structural and Investment Funds in aid of private enterprise, the MBB noted how boosting private investment when the economy is in distress is likely to have a significant and permanent positive impact on the country’s potential growth. For this reason, we have welcomed past initiatives such as JEREMIE, and encouraged Government to invest in similar financial instruments, with the SME Initiative being a case in point,” Mr Spiteri continued.
Kate Middleton’s second pregnancy announcement leaves preparations for her Malta tour hanging in the balance.
Her second pregnancy impeding her Malta tour raised alarms when she announced her absence at a scheduled local UK event because of extreme morning sickness, having medical experts say that the Duchess of Cambridge may not be able to go on her first solo travel following possible health weaknesses during childbearing.
She cancelled her appearance at the opening ceremony of Invictus Games, headed by brother-in-law Prince Harry.
An official statement from Kensington Palace confirmed her absence and also mentioned that her tour to Malta is still under review.
Meanwhile, the official baby announcement had the Royal Family of the United Kingdom delighted. Prince Charles had announced his joy for having a second grandchild and preferred that the child be a girl this time.
However, his preference had a self-proclaimed feminist and British journalist named Angela Neustatter condemn him for his preference, namely his choice of words in the announcement because his remarks are never taken lightly by the world.
Duchess Kate Middleton had been sufferering Hyperemesis Gravidarum with severe vomiting and headaches during the morning. She is currently attended by hospital staff inside the Kensington Palace.
Analysts said that Malta’s nationwide power outage could prove costly to its economy as restaurants, entertainment venues and other amenities and facilities in Malta had lost great revenue during the great blackout of the year.
For many households, it was a matter of thawed out and spoiled food and shorted appliances and other electronic items.
Despite efforts by restaurants to make best of the situation by endorsing their services for a candle lit dinner, many consumers and tourists decided to wait it out by the sea with its cooler breeze. As summer hits Malta, air-conditioning units increase the power usage of households, which should overload the system. But this is not the case.
According to the local news, faulty cable had shorted a large circuit in the grid of Malta, which blew up the Marsa Distribution Centre, which then caused a chain reaction to other power generators. As power went down and was re-routed to other centres, it became clear to the government that Malta’s electricity production outlets were not diversified enough.
Analysts conclude that Malta crucially needs the interconnector link between Malta and Sicily to handle the overload carefully.
Despite the blackout, Maltese authorities ensure the public that the construction of their newest power plant is still on track.
The Mediterranean is but a traveler’s delight because of its lush weather, its beautiful seaside and architecture, and culture. The Mediterranean is also surrounded with beautiful ships, both small and big. The architecture and environment tells a story, and all of these are attracting tourists from the United States, Europe and Asia.
Malta’s traveling potential is probably at its peak in today’s modern world. According to travel experts, the restoration of a direct flight route into Malta from the United States will attract a great number of American tourists into the country. Economic analysts said that Malta should invest in tourism marketing in the United States.
Currently, Malta’s top tourism markets are in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. The country attracts more than a million tourists per year. However, most tourists stay longer rather than travel for the beaches and spend more on the local provisions. The target of tourism is to cut the time of the tourists for Malta, as the population grows bigger every year.
The average stay of a tourist is more than 8 days, helping the total tourist expenditure to Malta to reach £1,000 on average.
Malta Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said that Malta’s tourism is booming, but the costs of tourism activities and the population of tourists may affect the growth of the industry. Economic efficiency is their prime objective to maximise Malta’s travel central potential in the world.
Economic analysts said that the move will help Malta’s tourism grow. However, tourists may get the impression that Malta is closing of its doors to ‘commoners’, as the plans may prioritise only high-yielding tourists.
I have been investing in properties for so long, and I’ve heard some of my friends talk about certain properties and which ones will definitely bring good profit. These are some of the tips I’ve heard that may put you at high risk. At one point, I followed tip #3 and almost ended up losing a great amount of what I have.
1. Buying Residential Rental Properties
Properties that allow you to let may not be the best investment for you after all. While owning a condominium unit for rent or even a house or home can get you enough personal profits, you would have to deal with tax deductions and poor growth records. This is true for all residential rental properties, including buying shares or the entire hotel or apartment itself.
2. Investing in the United States
Britain has its own problems with the inflating value of properties in London, and yet many investors look to the United States as a good property investment market. If this is true, then the reason is unclear why many US citizens are not purchasing properties in their backyard. Be careful, you may be buying not its worth.
3. High Yields
One time, a friend of mine talked me into buying into properties with high yields. I was tempted because it did promise a great amount of cash flow. But as young as I was, I did not identify the main drivers of growth the properties had. Sure, the cash was good, but today, those properties are gathering dust and not building their growth worth, which makes it troublesome for me.