10 years ago - The Sunday Times

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tourists accuse Gozo hotel of foul play

Ten per cent of formal complaints submitted to the Malta Tourism Authority last year concerned the Serena Hotel in Xlendi – the vast

majority filed by tourists claiming their credit card had been used without authorisation or that they were unwittingly charged for services.

When contacted, MTA Quality Assurance director Frank Farrugia told The Sunday Times: “The complaints were very similar to each other and all related to some form of alleged fraud or payments which they felt were unfair.”

The complaints – around 50 in total – have been forwarded to the police’s Economic Crimes Unit or the Consumer and Competition Division or both, Mr Farrugia explained. Serena’s owner and manager, Joe Vella, strenuously denies any wrongdoing and maintains guests were aware of the charges he debited.

Several tourists recounted their experience to The Sunday Times, claiming Mr Vella charged them hundreds, in many cases thousands, of euros in various incidents dating back to 2003. Guests said they made formal reports to the police and the MTA, but have not been refunded or compensated.

25 years ago - The Times

Tuesday, August 10, 1993

Poor grape harvest expected

This year’s grape harvest could drop by as much as 50 per cent compared to last year and may cause problems for local wine producers, farmers said yesterday.

The poor rainfall is being blamed for the drop, which is said to be affecting most local vineyards.

But wine industry sources yesterday said that any founded scare over this year’s harvest could lead to a sharp increase in the price of grapes.

“It they say that the crop is bad, prices could go through the roof. Although most farmers try very hard to produce large quantities of quality grapes, there are a few who just leave their vines to fend for themselves,” an industry source said.

Most of the harvested fruit is bought bythe two big vintners, Emmanuel Delicata and Marsovin.

The rest is either consumed as fruit or bought to be pressed into home-made wine. Amateur vintners may have to pay steep prices.

One grower yesterday told The Times that he was expecting a 50 per cent reduction in output.

He attributed the fall to the lack of rain and said vines higher up on the hills were suffering from dry earth.

Half a century ago - Times of Malta

Saturday, August 10, 1968

Archbishop leaves for Libya

His Grace the Archbishop Mgr Michael Gonzi left yesterday for Libya to investigate the possibility of sending Maltese nuns to look after the children in Libyan institutes and schools. His Grace was invited to visit Libya by the Libyan Ambassador at the Malta International Trade Fair. Mgr Gonzi was accompanied by Mother Gioacchina Muscat, Mother Superior of the Sisters of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, and Sr Benjamina Polidano and Fr J. Bugeja.

‘Mr Novak’ arrives

Film and television actor James Franciscus, well known to Maltese viewers for his series Mr Novak, arrived to take part in the new Mirisch Films Ltd production of Hellboats.

The vital elements of the film show Malta under siege, a triangular love theme, the heroism of the Royal Navy and the tension of an island the enemy had to crush.

Mr Franciscus also starred in the TV series Youngblood Hawke. He comes from Hollywood. In Hellboats, he will play Lieutenant Commander Jefford, an American enlisting in the Royal Navy out of a sense of deep personal indignation at the spread of totalitarianism.


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