10 years ago - The Sunday Times

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rush for shipyard retirement schemes

Scores of dockyard workers have applied for early retirement schemes after an EU Commissioner said last week that the government’s intention to write off about €100m in debts before selling Malta Shipyards violated EU rules.

The Sunday Times has learnt that over 650 shipyard workers have now applied for the schemes – 250 in just two days – after European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes’s comments during her visit to Malta. The international call for expressions of interest in Malta Shipyards closes tomorrow.

When contacted, Finance Minister Tonio Fenech said that the Commissioner was merely reflecting the delicate process associated with the shipyards’ privatisation.

“We were never threatening anybody... we were merely echoing what the Commission was saying. There isn’t much room for manoeuvre and we’re really at the 11th hour,” Mr Fenech said.

In line with the EU treaty, the government cannot continue to subsidise the shipyards after December. The minister said he had no doubt that the agreement reached with the General Workers’ Union last week erased some of its doubts over the schemes. The government and the GWU agreed to top up the retirement scheme fund on offer by a further €9 million.

25 years ago - The Times

Tuesday, September 14, 1993

Birżebbuġa man dies in Libya

A Maltese oil worker and his Egyptian companion who died in the desert in Libya must have lost their way after taking a wrong turning, a spokesman for their employers said when contacted on the telephone yesterday.

Father of three Nazzareno Polidano, 41, of Birżebbuġa, and Ibrahim Jamel, who both worked for the Challenger Oil Company of Benghazi, died two weeks ago. Their bodies were found last weekend.

The company spokesman said yesterday: “An autopsy on the two bodies was carried out on Monday and the results are expected in a few days.”

Arrangements are now being made to bring Mr Polidano’s body over to Malta. Company investigations into the tragedy are continuing.

Mr Polidano had been working on a Challenger rig in the desert as a driller for just over three weeks. He had worked with other companies in Libya for the past 12 years.

Mr Polidano was travelling to another company rig some miles away in a Landrover with Mr Jamel, the company’s catering manager.

“However, at one point they must have taken a wrong turning somewhere and got lost. The desert is like the ocean. If you got lost you don’t know about it immediately because all you see is sand,” the spokesman said.

Half a century ago - Times of Malta

Saturday, September 14, 1968

Boys find home-made bombs at Gżira

Five home-made anti-personnel bombs have been found by boys playing in the grounds of a disused villa in Gżira behind Parisio Street. An explosives expert described them as being similar to those used in Cyprus during the troubled days of some years ago.

The boys, not realising that the bombs were dangerous to handle, took them to the police station at Sliema. The Fleet Clearance Diving Team at Manoel Island was immediately contacted. Lt Cdr J. Parry collected the bombs which he took to the centre at Manoel Island where they were disposed of yesterday.

Tampering with parked cars: soldier charged

Private William G. Emerson, stationed at St Andrew’s Barracks, was yesterday arraigned before Magistrate Dr F. Mizzi and charged with having, in Old College Street, St Julian’s, on September 12 at about 1.20am, driven a car without the consent of its owner Guido Calì and with driving the car without a driving licence and without being covered by a policy of insurance.