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  • EU probing film, pay-TV licence deals

    Watching films through pay-TV services broadcast by satellite or streaming is becoming increasingly common. The system of pay-TV services in the world of movies operates via licensing arrangements entered into between US film studios and...

  • Why should we subsidise public transport?

    In one of its technical reports, the European Environment Agency estimates that, across the EU, road transport receives €125 billion in annual subsidies, most of which takes the form of infrastructure subsidies. For many this may not come as a...

  • The wheels on the bus go round and round…

    Far from the familiar nursery rhyme, the short-lived and unsuccessful Arriva story raises many questions and, hopefully, expert analysis can one day enlighten us on the matter. The large number of cars circulating on Malta’s roads is a clear...

  • Tackling cash flow problems: Prevention is better than cure

    Clichés describing the importance of cash flow in managing a business are numerous. A cash flow problem can easily lead to business failure and a poor cash flow situation can happen to a business with sales bursting through its roof. In Malta, we...

  • Great expectations for our healthcare

    Most of us take our good health for granted and rarely worry about how to deal with illnesses that sooner or later will affect us all. But when things go wrong with our health, we become very vociferous on our right to good, free healthcare. In...

  • Free healthcare from politics

    The conference on healthcare reform to be held tomorrow by the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry is an important initiative in the process of consultation on the sector. It will not lead to any definite development in the near future.

  • Member states’ discretion in issuing Schengen visas

    An EU member state may only refuse to issue a Schengen visa on one of the grounds expressly provided for in the EU Visa Code, the Court of Justice of the European Union has recently affirmed. Nonetheless, national authorities enjoy wide discretion...

  • Advertising by lawyers: is ban still relevant?

    As a rule, a lawyer, by virtue of him being a lawyer, is not allowed to advertise or other-wise publicise his practice. This rule is reflected in the Code of Ethics for Advocates in Rule 2 which even goes as far as imposing upon lawyers the duty...

  • Minding our business language

    Business should be about serving customers and hopefully making a profit in the process. But there are other aspects to business life that some find amusing, while others consider upsetting. As a new debate starts on whether we should be teaching...

  • Strait Street via Skadarska Street

    Efforts to rehabilitate the city of Valletta have been going on for years. Initially they tended to concentrate on restoring the grandeur of the baroque churches. More recently, external embellishments were made. St George’s Square, oppositethe...

  • Commission gets its head in the cloud

    Cloud computing is a new model of computing involving a large number of computers connected through a real-time communication network. Instead of using a local server or a personal computer, this network of remote servers hosted on the internet is...

  • Keep it simple: the permanent portfolio

    There are few portfolio management approaches that have the simplicity and excellent risk-adjusted returns of the Permanent Portfolio (PP). The PP was developed and championed by Harry Browne, an American investment analyst, author and the...

  • The downstream competitive advantage

    The latest ‘big idea’ in strategy is ‘downstream competitive advantage’, and to the interested reader, may I recommend the excellent article, Mind Over Marketing by Niraj Dawar? In a nutshell, the theory proposes that competition has today shifted...

  • Surveying the 2014 economic landscape

    2013 was undoubtedly a good year for financial markets, thanks mainly to the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank continuing to adopt a benign low-interest regime, as well as administering varying doses of quantitative easing to provide...

  • Uncertainty after Arriva nightmare

    The Arriva experiment is no more. It ended ignominously, all the more so given the fanfare and hype with which it was announced, devised and implemented. It was ill-starred from the start. At first it was fair to say that all projects, especially...

  • Your rights when shopping online

    The deadline has now expired for EU member states to transpose into national law the EU’s Consumer Rights Directive. Consumers have been endowed with reinforced rights particularly when they go shopping online. Following the adoption of this...

  • The struggle for economic freedom

    The death of my childhood hero Nelson Mandela was followed by massive media appreciation of this great politician and freedom fighter. There is no doubt that Mandela was one of the most influential and charismatic political leaders of the last...

  • Shopping trends stress competition

    These are the peak selling days of the year for the commercial community. Retailers have been stocking up for them for weeks, even months. Their outturn for the year depends to a considerable extent on the level of sales they achieve in the final...

  • Non-material damages in traffic accidents

    The principle that an offender must be punished for causing personal injury and must compensate the victim or his family for such injury knows its origin in the ancient world. Historically, Babylonian law contained extensive provisions on...

  • The psychology of investing

    It’s no secret that learning to manage one’s emotions is instrumental to both personal and business success. Some of the world’s top investors have cited emotional control as a major contributor to attaining great wealth. Behavioural finance is a...

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