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Josef Cutajar

Brussels, Belgium
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About Josef
Josef Cutajar is a freelance journalist based in Brussels, Malta, South Tyrol Italy.
Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Feature Stories Content Writing
Politics Current Affairs Science & Environment

Let’s have a discussion

01 Oct 2023  |  www.timesofmalta.com
The article discusses the ongoing debate about constructing a permanent tunnel link between Malta and Gozo. It highlights the economic and logistical benefits of better connectivity but also raises concerns about the potential negative impact on Gozo's unique characteristics. The author calls for a mature and balanced public discussion on the matter, emphasizing the need to consider public opinion, especially from Gozitans, and to explore alternative transport solutions like upgrading the Gozo Channel ferry services.

Malta's new 'black gold' is water. Climate and human activities put water resources at risk

06 Apr 2023  |  it.euronews.com
Malta faces a potential shortage of potable water due to climate crisis and human activities. The country, lacking lakes and rivers, relies on aquifers and reverse osmosis plants for desalination. Research indicates a 16% loss of groundwater in the next 80 years due to climate change and sea level rise. Illegal over-extraction, particularly for agriculture, and the pressures of tourism and intensive construction exacerbate the issue. A recent discovery of a significant offshore freshwater reserve could support Malta for 75 years, but extraction would be difficult and costly. Efforts to improve water distribution and desalination efficiency are ongoing, alongside campaigns to reduce water consumption.

Malta's Drinking Water in Danger

06 Apr 2023  |  es.euronews.com
Malta's drinking water supply is under threat due to climate change and human activities. The country relies on groundwater and reverse osmosis plants, but climate change is expected to reduce groundwater by 16% in the next 80 years. Illegal over-extraction and tourism also strain the water supply. Recent findings suggest there is enough freshwater under the seabed to last 75 years, but extraction would be costly and logistically challenging. Despite improvements in the water distribution system, nearly 40% of water is still lost, double the EU and UK average.

Malta: Coronavirus and the media

09 Apr 2020  |  en.ejo.ch
The Maltese government's promise of state aid for media companies facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic has sparked mixed reactions. Malta's small media market, comprising government-funded and politically affiliated broadcasters, has been significantly impacted. The media's focus shifted from a political crisis involving the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia to the pandemic as Covid-19 cases rose. Privacy concerns emerged as infected individuals were sometimes identifiable through media reports. Efforts to combat misinformation have been a joint endeavor between health authorities and the media. Financial pressures have led to salary cuts and reduced shifts in newsrooms, with some cautioning that government aid may threaten media freedom.

Erosion, subsidence, laying siege on Fort Chambray

13 Jan 2019  |  www.timesofmalta.com
Fort Chambray in Gozo, a historical military fortification, is suffering from erosion and subsidence, with significant parts in need of restoration. Despite an application for restoration filed in 2014 by Michael Caruana, no substantial intervention has been made. The fort, transformed into a residential area in 2005, shows visible signs of deterioration, including fissures and vegetation damage. Experts and local heritage organizations express disappointment over the lack of action to preserve the fort's historical value. Historical context highlights the fort's significance and past restoration efforts.

Gozo beauty spot turned into a stink, again

09 Dec 2018  |  timesofmalta.com
A significant sewage leak at Ras il-Ħobż in Gozo has caused environmental concerns for the second time in a month. Resident Nigel Donavan reported sewage overflowing from land drains into the sea near a popular diving spot. Despite the Water Services Corporations' claims of a functioning sewage treatment facility, recent overflows have been reported. The Environment and Resources Authority is investigating the issue, which has negatively impacted the area's reputation among foreign divers. The WSC urges the public to report any sewer system misuse.

Watch: Pollution havoc at Gozo diving spot, but WSC says its network is working perfectly

12 Oct 2018  |  www.timesofmalta.com
A significant underwater sewage leak at the popular Gozo diving spot Ras il-Ħobż has caused severe pollution, with eyewitnesses describing a massive brown plume affecting visibility and marine life. The Water Services Corporation (WSC) denies responsibility, stating their network is functioning correctly and attributing the issue to illegal discharges. The facility, funded by the EU and inaugurated in 2008, was intended to prevent raw sewage from entering the sea. Despite WSC's claims, the environmental impact remains a concern, with divers reporting dangerous conditions and damage to the marine ecosystem.

Toxic fumes on Gozo Channel?

12 Aug 2018  |  timesofmalta.com
During the Santa Marija holiday, passengers on Gozo Channel ferries have been exposed to potentially toxic fumes, with crew members seen wearing air-purifying masks. Concerns have been raised about the levels of carbon monoxide accumulating in the car decks, and the inadequacy of the ships' extractors to handle exhaust emissions. Regular commuters have expressed alarm, with some suggesting that drivers who keep their engines running should be fined. Despite unanswered questions to Gozo Channel, the consensus is that an upgrade of the extractors and stricter enforcement of existing rules are needed to ensure passenger safety.

Swimmers and divers appalled by Xatt l-Aħmar sewage

30 Jul 2018  |  www.timesofmalta.com
Sewage leakage at Xatt l-Aħmar in Gozo has caused significant distress among swimmers and divers, with the contamination affecting the bay's water quality and marine life. Despite repeated reports to authorities, the issue persists, with local councils and the Water Services Corporation being criticized for their handling of the situation. The sewage problem, originating from nearby fields, poses health risks and undermines Gozo's reputation as a prime diving destination.

Death trap: Gozo’s main artery

17 Jun 2018  |  timesofmalta.com
Mġarr Road, the main artery to Gozo, is a hotspot for traffic accidents, with 86 reported incidents and three fatalities from 2008 to 2017. Residents describe the road as a racetrack and express fear and frustration over the frequent accidents and lack of action from authorities. Suggestions include installing speed cameras and stronger law enforcement. The Għajnsielem mayor acknowledges the issue but notes it's beyond the council's competence, advocating for a comprehensive traffic management plan. A source close to Gozo's police force highlights the lack of equipment to control speeding. The article underscores the urgent need for a traffic plan in light of Gozo's economic progress.

Ramping on the ferry

23 Apr 2018  |  www.timesofmalta.com
Josef Cutajar reflects on the Gozo Channel ferry ramp malfunction on Maundy Thursday, drawing parallels with a similar incident in 1992 when the ferry Xlendi ran aground. The recent hydraulic failure led to transportation delays, with a long queue of cars waiting at Ċirkewwa. The article discusses the importance of the ferry service between Malta and Gozo, the need for sustainable investment, and the challenges faced by Gozo Channel, including increased passenger numbers and the pressure of construction companies on Gozo's tranquility.

Checking banks’ health

29 Jul 2016  |  timesofmalta.com
The European Banking Authority published the results of its third stress test on European banks on July 29, 2016, covering 51 credit institutions from 14 EU member states and Norway. The tests aimed to identify risks and vulnerabilities in the banking sector. Maltese banks were not included due to their small size. The results showed improvement from 2014, with banks better prepared to withstand economic turmoil. Criticisms of the tests included the omission of Brexit and negative interest rate scenarios. The article also discusses the adoption of IFRS 9, which will require banks to impose higher provisions for non-performing loans, and its implications for local and international banks.

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