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Opinion

  • Only-in-Malta democracy

    Only-in-Malta democracy

    During the no confidence debate on Konrad Mizzi last week, Mizzi’s colleague Deborah Schembri rose in Parliament to give us all a lecture on good proportion. She said that Mizzi has already done something unprecedented for a minister: he’s...

  • Gozo, another Comino?

    It is late Sunday afternoon. I am at a theatre in Gozo watching a local production. During the intermission I glance at my mobile phone and see that the queue for the ferry is alarmingly long. The intermission comes to an end and I try not to...

  • Relationships are forever

    Can a relationship last forever? Is it possible for a couple to stay together for a life time? Recently I met a couple from my parish who believe this is possible provided that the couple are both committed to work at it. In October 2012, Joanna...

  • Hobby of butchering trees

    Since the day when the tree protection regulations were amended in 2011, the future of trees in Malta was open to the whims and fancies of developers and so-called ‘landscapers’ who butcher them to their heart’s content. Through these years,...

  • When power is misused

    When power is misused

    The story of Icarus – who flew so high that the heat of the sun melted the wax of his wings, causing his death - is a sobering reminder of unjustified self-confidence and the abuse of power. Such behaviour is often described as ‘hubris’. Hubris...

  • Too bad to be true

    To my mind the most fundamental value is that of asserting the truth and providing every person total access to all the required information to be able to ascertain the truth. That is why freedom of expression is even more about every citizen’s...

  • Disciplined way of thinking

    Philosophy is an activity. Utterly useless at worse, according to some, mystifying at best, and in any case needless. This might be true in some cases but arguably not in all. For philosophy asks the hard questions and, though it might be...

  • To have an itching palm

    A very good friend of mine insists that most, if not all, life situations, find pre-cedents in the works of Shakespeare. A few days ago, on the 400th year anniversary of the playwright’s death, I challenged him to find me a suitable parallel for...

  • One’s freedom to vilify

    One’s freedom to vilify

    Most societies have a tradition of the sacred: that which is sublime and untouchable. If Act 113 passes as it is, God and religion will, in a real sense, no longer be sacred in Maltese law. The sacred and untouchable will, instead, largely be the...

  • Stronger in conviction

    We are often told that the position of the Catholic Church in Malta has changed rather radically during the last decades. Many people view this as something negative and are alarmed when they hear of sharply declining Sunday Mass attendances, the...

  • Is it a crime to pay for sex?

    What if the government had to introduce a law that made paying for sex illegal? After a two-year debate, French MPs have outlawed paying for sex. They have introduced fines of up to €3,750 for anyone who is caught paying a prostitute for her...

  • Europe at a crossroads

    Over the years, the EU project had its ups and downs, with euphoric moments ranging from the celebration of nations coming together through the EU integration process to other painful moments of living through an economic crisis and, more...

  • The logic of numbers

    Political parties and social movements rely on numbers for influence and support. The most obvious example of this is through votes in elections. When the Nationalist Party won a majority of votes in the 1981 general election, it did not win the...

  • The right to be different

    The right to be different

    The World Press Freedom Index published recently shows that Malta has climbed two places in the global list of Press Freedom ranking 46th out of 180 countries in a situation where more world leaders are becoming increasingly paranoid about press...

  • The greatest underdog story ever told

    The greatest underdog story ever told

    It all started with the hunchback king, Richard III. He was killed during a battle in 1485 when he was only 32 years old. We know this because his skeleton was unearthed by archaeologists in a car park in Leicester, four years ago. From his DNA we...

  • Case anything but closed

    The Panama matter is now in its tenth week. Reams have been written and two no-confidence motions in Parliament survived. There has been a bizarre reshuffle, two protests by the Nationalist Party, and a May Day show of strength and unity by Labour.

  • An eyesore of an excuse

    Wied Għomor, a valley nestled between San Ġwann and Ibraġġ/Swieqi, last Thursday made it to the headlines because of the public hearing at the Planning Authority over an application to rehabilitate a quarry. The crux of the uproar was that this...

  • This is not James Bond

    It is welcome news that the Planning Authority board has refused to grant a permit for a large development in Wied Għomor valley. It is especially positive that the board listened to many residents and NGOs. The environmental lobby can easily slip...

  • Making Europe a success

    Tomorrow, May 9, we will cele­brate Europe Day – for many years an occasion to celebrate the values of peace and unity that the EU brought to continental Europe. But today almost everywhere in Europe we see growing doubts about the EU’s capacity...

  • Power of perseverance

    These days the news cycle is short and people’s attention spans are even shorter. For many people, the Panama Papers revelations have – unfortunately – become old hat, and Ira Losco’s magic coat and her chances of bringing back Eurovision gold is...

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