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What happened on... August 20

On this day 10, 25 and 50 years ago...

10 years ago - The Times

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Malta third for ease of access to hard drugs

Maltese youngsters consider heroin and cocaine to be relatively easy to obtain compared to most other EU member states, according to a recent Eurobarometer survey about young people’s attitudes towards drugs.

Only 44 per cent of Maltese respondents said that cocaine is difficult to obtain, while 33 per cent said it is easy and 13 per cent said they do not know.

A slim majority (53 per cent) of Maltese respondents said it would be difficult to acquire heroin, with 33 per cent saying it would be fairly or very easy, and 15 per cent saying they do not know.

Access to heroin seems to be easier in only two other EU countries – Lithuania and Bulgaria, and more difficult in all other states, especially Finland and France.

The study, which was carried out in May with 15- to 24-year-olds, places Malta in third place when it comes to ease of access to cocaine, following Ireland and Spain.

Another section of the survey dealt with the perceived health risks posed by each individual drug including alcohol and tobacco.

Malta’s young people are the least among other EU member states to think cocaine poses a serious health risk.

25 years ago - The Times

Friday, August 20, 1993

Minister gives go-ahead for inquiry into blood testing for private clinic

The government yesterday announced the terms of reference of a board of inquiry to investigate allegations by a Labour MP that blood tests for a private clinic were held at St Luke’s Hospital.

The board is also being asked to identify any persons who might be responsible for the irregularities, if they result, and to comment on existing controls against the sort of abuses being alleged.

If the system is found to be wanting, the board is also to forward its recommendations.

In his parliamentary questions last month, Evarist Bartolo asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Social Development, Louis Galea, to hold an inquiry.

He said he had received many reports from constituents saying that after going for blood and other tests at a particular private clinic, they noticed that the tests were actually being made at St Luke’s Hospital and the Medical School.  He asked the minister to see how many kits bought by the government for medical tests had actually been used for private purposes.

50 years ago - Times of Malta

Tuesday, August 20, 1968

Yacht grounded on Marsalforn beach

An English couple, who thought they had slept safely and soundly on the yacht Bella Kaze in Marsalforn Bay, on Sunday night, had a big surprise in store. They woke up yesterday at about 6.45am and found the yacht grounded on the pebbled beach.

It did not take them long to find out how the yacht had drifted ashore from her mooring in the middle of the bay.

When they checked the rope securing the anchor, they found that it was cut, probably by the gusty wind during the night.

Joseph Gatt, who came to help on his small fishing boat, was unable to tow the yacht out of the bay. But a bigger boat, a luzzu owned by J. Cordina, succeeded in towing Bella Kaze to its original mooring.

Burglary in Balzan

Burglars are believed to have made off with £1,000 and a quantity of jewellery from the residence of Fred Valentino on Sunday night.

The Magistrate on duty yesterday held an  inquiry at the residence of Mr Valentino.

Recently, another burglary was committed from a Maltese couple’s residence in Attard.

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