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Fireworks police escorts might be paid by IIP citizenship sale funds

Fireworks police escorts might be paid by IIP citizenship sale funds

The government will use funds from the sale of IIP citizenship to set police escort fees for fireworks factories.

Sources said the government will allocate € 100,000 to cover expenses related to the police escort.

In order for festival enthusiasts to set off fireworks during their annual celebrations, they must pay for a police escort to transport the explosives from their factory to the location where they are to be set off.

Band clubs are also required to pay for an insurance policy and a fire truck during the fireworks spectacle.

Enthusiasts speaking to MaltaToday said that over two days of celebrations, the cost of fire trucks is around € 350, while a site permit and police escort is over € 200.

The enthusiasts said a 15-minute fireworks display could cost more than 300 euros.

Now that police officers have been paid for their overtime, the national security minister announced on Tuesday the government’s intention to help band clubs with their expenses.

Officials who transport fireworks are now hired for at least three hours and receive additional compensation on Sundays and public holidays.

Sources confirmed the funds will be drawn from the new Komunità Malta program and withheld after the pandemic ends. All costs, not just the increase in costs, are covered by the scheme.

Changes to the sale of citizenship have been made due to violations by the European Commission of the Maltese system of citizenship after investment.

Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Alex Muscat had insisted the country was unwilling to give up its right to decide who should be granted Maltese citizenship, which was the source of a lucrative contribution to the National Fund for Social Development.

On Tuesday afternoon, the National Security Minister announced some details about the program and explained the government’s commitment to cover part of the costs borne by the festival enthusiasts.

Nationalist MP Edwin Vassallo also said in a Facebook post that he was the first to shed light on the issue and that Camilleri had made a parliamentary question about the additional costs back in October. “Well done Minister for the performance of your duties, but if you had been attentive from day one you would not have found yourself in this situation,” said Vassallo.

He also said a number of festival enthusiasts have come to him with concerns about the issue.