The Malta Independent 22 October 2020, Thursday

Joseph Muscat not under investigation - Prime Minister Robert Abela

Giulia Magri Wednesday, 2 September 2020, 14:22 Last update: about 3 months ago

Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is not under any police investigation, according to his successor Prime Minister Robert Abela.

Journalists asked Abela whether Muscat’s position as MP remains tenable after he was questioned by police in connection with statements about him being in connection with Yorgen Fenech.

“I will be closely following court proceedings and take decisions accordingly if there are further developments,” said Abela. He said that he will continue to follow the proceedings and if necessary will take “tough decisions”.

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Whilst Muscat resigned from office in January, he has since advised government on its COVID-19 strategy, but Abela informed journalists that Muscat is not a consult for Abela or the government. “He is simply an MP.”

Construction reform to be tabled in parliament next month

Earlier on Wednesday, Carmel Pace, the husband of Miriam Pace, who passed away in her home when the building collapsed six months ago highlighted that his wife’s death “meant nothing” and that the authorities had done nothing. When asked regarding this, Abela said that a legal reform of the construction industry is set to be tabled in parliament next month.

“I have kept in touch with Carmel, and the family are to contact me directly whenever they are in need of anything.”

He said that  the report of the Commissioner Quintano is closed and that it will be taken up to be translated in the form of a bill. He said that the draft has been presented to the Chamber of the Architects yesterday by Minister of Infrastructure Ian Borg, who will later be meeting the industry stakeholders with the aim to have the bill approved by cabinet by the end of the month.

The bill will then be taken up in Parliament following the summer recess.

School protocols to be announced soon as last discussions have been held - Abela

Discussions between education ministry and Public Health Authorities are being wrapped up and protocols are to be announced soon, Prime Minister Robert Abela said.

Abela was asked regarding when school protocols will be announced, Abela said that the last meeting between the Public Health Authorities and Education Minister has taken place and that the final decision is in the hands of the Health Authorities. “The Health Authorities are in discussion and the Superintendent of Public Health (Charmaine Gauci) will announce whether schools will open or not, as the final decision is in their hands.” He highlighted that the public need to understand the psychological and educational negative impact on children if they do not go back to school. “The impact will be irreversible; the priority here is for the health of our children.”

When asked whether mass events will be allowed once more if numbers continue to keep decreasing,  Abela once again highlighted that the final decisions is in the hands of the Health Authorities. “The government will continue to follow the recommendations of the Health Authorities. Therefore the decision for bigger events to take place all depends on the recommendations of the Health Authorities and what the medical situation will be as time goes by.”

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