Showing posts from May, 2006

Euro Adoption - Fears of property prices spike as new funds surface

Very interesting article on the Business Times 11th. May 2006 by Massimo Farrugia entitled as above. The first few articles are below:

"A surge of undeclared funds that would surface as Malta adopts the euro is likely to be laundered into the property market or leave the country, Vince Farrugia, director general of the GRTU - the Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises has warned.

There could be a spike in property prices as banknotes hidden beneath mattresses saw the light of day in the run up to euro day, he said."

The easiest way will be for people to invest their cash in property so that they may get their return in euros. Since Malta has a record amount of cash in circulation per capita, this will create an artificial demand for property, pushing up prices and making it even more prohibitive for business start-ups and those enterprises wanting to expand their premises to buy property," he said.

He said schemes encouraging undeclared money to come upstream would limit s…

New Land for Building O.D.Z.

Image which is affiliated with the Malta Labour Party (in the opposition) published this article, today 10th. May 2006 under the above title. The article can be read in full here and the opening paragraphs are below.

"In a controversial move, the government has decided to extend building permits to schemes lying outside the development zones that are currently available. According to data published in its annual reports by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA), the supply of land available for development under current arrangements is enough to service demand for the next twenty years or so.

Minister issues definite instructions

All MEPA policies have emphasised the need not to open up further land for building development. Government’s decision has not been welcomed by MEPA’s top guns or some of them. According to sources, Minister George Pullicino has written in strong terms, definite instructions to the MEPA board to enforce government’s decision.
A “cons…

Property Maintenance

On today's Times of Malta 10th. May 2006, veteran realtor Frank Salt weighs in on the lack of property maintenance procedures in maltese apartment blocks. The article under the heading "Deteriorating in front of our eyes" can be read in full here (will be archived by the newspaper in a month from today), and an excerpt from the article follows below.

"Maintaining a block of apartments is not like maintaining your own house as there are others to consult and consider, and each individual owner has to pay their fair share. At present, the normal annual maintenance fee for even a good quality block of apartments is usually quite low, never taking into consideration the eventual need to spend large amounts of money on structural maintenance.
In places like London, there are rules imposed by local councils, that blocks of apartments and houses have to be painted and maintained on the outside and the inside every so many years. This is why in the better areas the properties…

Maltese Houses of Character

An article written by Edwin P. Borg and giving very precise descriptions as to the general characteristics of the original maltese dwellings, their interiors and layouts, as recollected from his childhood days. It also covers a lot of the original maltese terms for certain features, with their english translation. Following are the opening paragraphs:

Maltese Houses of Character

A good number of houses that I knew during my childhood have today disappeared. This happened for various reasons such as demolition to make way for bigger projects; alterations to serve different purposes other than those for which they were built, etc. Those that survived, however, are finally beginning to be appreciated and are now being referred to as 'Maltese Houses of Character'.

Most of these houses are now also being restored or refurbished in a way that the alterations being carried out are compatible with the original plan. I therefore would like to make some references to some of the most commo…

Requests for information from Mepa

Audit notes shortcomings

On today's Times of Malta front page, we find an article by journalist Mark Micallef with the above title.

The first four paragraphs read:

"Mepa officials admitted to an internal audit they were unaware that the Aarhus convention, giving citizens greater access to information, had been transposed to Maltese law a year ago.

The issue was raised after Qui-Si-Sana residents complained with the Malta Environment and Planning Authority's audit office that the authority had refused to say officially why it had opted not to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment on the proposed car park complex.

The case officer responsible for the project and the Major Projects Unit manager said they were not aware Malta was party to the Aarhus convention, which gives citizens the right to such information.

The audit report notes that Legal Notice 116/2005 transposed the Aarhus Conventioninto Maltese law and has been in force since May 17 last year, as established by Le…