A report published yesterday in the Cyprus Mail quotes a Cypriot Opposition MP claiming that Chinese investors are eyeing Malta for a €600 million project after being put off by an 18-month delay from the Cypriot government which is yet to finalise its proposals. The initial agreement was signed between the Chinese company Far Eastern Phoenix (FEP) and Hermes Airports, which was granted the concession of Larnaca’s old airport by the government. The project aims to transform the site into a commercial centre with a showroom and bonded facilities for Chinese factories to display products for a 50-year period. The initial agreement was for a 19-year period, but the Chinese company sought to extend the deal for a further 31 years, on the grounds that this is a large investment. However, the finalisation of the 50-year agreement has hit a number of snags, with the Cypriot government still mulling over its final proposals to FEP. Despite government assurances that the deal will be clinched by the end of this month, Opposition MP Tasos Mitsopoulos echoed the concerns of Hermes Airports’ spokesperson who claimed that it is already too late as FEP are already in talks with Malta as an alternative location for their investment. “I am in a position to know that the Chinese are in contact with Malta in the event that this investment sinks to transfer it to a competitive country and economy,” said Mitsopoulos. He added, “two weeks ago I was in Brussels and had a conversation with an Irish colleague, who said they had a similar Chinese investment in Ireland, which under the orders of the prime minister of the country, was completed in three months. The entire procedure to examine, assess the terms, survey and sign the contract took three months, and this is because this country, like Malta and others, wants to show it is ready to host foreign investments and contribute to growth during this difficult crisis period.”(independent.com.mt) What investors would be bad?
Briton given recourse to Constitutional Court
Magistrate Saviour Demicoli yesterday accepted a request by a Briton, jailed over drug importation, to have the Constitutional Court decide if his human rights had been violated when he was interrogated by the police without legal counsel. Gregory Robert Eyre, 43, was handed a 15-year jail sentence after pleading guilty in October 2004, that in August 2003 he had imported into Malta some three kilograms of cocaine and 7,100 ecstasy pills. He was also fined Lm25,000. Mr Eyre was also charged with giving false testimony on 17 March 2006 and 3 November 2008, and in the trial by jury of Mark Stephens, who in November 2008 was handed a 25-year sentence and a heavy fine in connection with the importation of the cocaine.(independent.com.mt) The law is the law, however, it also frees thugs
Migrants destined for Malta arrive in Pozzallo - Italian media
Two boats with 130 Somalis and Eritreans were intercepted in Italian waters last night, their destination being Malta, Italian media has reported. The Italian media said that when navy officials became aware of the presence of immigrants in their territory, they helped them to the port of Pozzallo. The migrants, who were on a dinghy, included two babies and eight children. There were 42 women, two of them in the late stages of pregnancy and 80 men. The pregnant women were transported to a hospital in Modica as a precaution but have since discharged.(timesofmalta.com) It must still take care of these people.