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Opinion

  • Muscat’s road to war

    Muscat’s road to war

    A funny thing happened at the planning authority last week: they refused a permit. The Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation, headed by former Labour president Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, wanted to put up a so-called monument right opposite Renzo...

  • Peace of mind is no gamble

    Peace of mind is no gamble

    As chairman of the Responsible Gaming Foundation, I have recently come across an array of different situations related to problem gambling. Is there enough awareness about it? Is there enough local research about it? Where can people suffering...

  • Scramble out of Africa

    The UNHCR has warned us about a coming deluge of immigrants and such statements are bound to cause unease in the hearts of many. Whether such misgivings are ethically correct or not is hardly the point; what matters is that a large proportion of...

  • Lessons from Ulrich Beck

    This year has robbed the world of one of the most influential sociologists of our times – Ulrich Beck. Famous for his risk society thesis, Beck inspired a generation of sociologists, policymakers and politicians by means of concepts such as risk,...

  • The Libya maelstrom

    The one-day of talks in Ghademis on Wednesday, which UNSMIL presided over, represented a third round of talks, this time in Libya. Still, the fact remains that this round and the two preceding rounds of one-sided talks in Geneva in January,...

  • Empowering the youth

    As a young candidate, I cannot fail to direct my attention to the young voters and their fundamental role in the respective localities. Many people seem to have adopted a disinterested attitude towards the young generation, as if all young people...

  • Is there a glimmer of hope in Ukraine?

    Is there a glimmer of hope in Ukraine?

    The ceasefire in eastern Ukraine that takes effect today offers a glimmer of hope that this conflict – which has so far claimed over 5,000 lives and plunged relations between Russia and the West to a new low – will be contained and perhaps one day...

  • Writing in the sand

    One hot summer evening three or four years ago I found myself at the Augustinian church in Valletta for a recital of Bach’s cello suites. It seems the timing coincided with what the friars call ‘il-Brevjarju’ (the Breviary), a Liturgy of the Hours...

  • Malta, Germany and Greece

    Current developments in the EU, in particular Germany’s attitude to the new Greek government, and the repercussions that a lack of agreement would have on other EU members, not least Malta, and the eurozone, reminds me of a string of personal...

  • On news and graffiti

    On news and graffiti

    An image went viral on social media last week, showing graffiti on the 17th-century coastal watch­tower at Qalet Marku in Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq. The story escalated when the picture was picked up by sections of the media and published online. Within a...

  • Begging for Mepa’s pardon

    Last Tuesday a number of environmental NGOs held a press conference in which they questioned and vehemently condemned the much-touted proposal for a Mepa amnesty regarding planning infringements that took place before 2013. The righteous...

  • Life on Amnesty Island

    Before the last general election held in Italy, Silvio Berlusconi had already become a parody of himself and the epitome of political absurdity. It wasn’t just his appearance, which was ridiculous – repeated facelifts left the former prime...

  • When a scoop is not a scoop

    Is it true that soon Malta will be hit by a shower not of hail (we have now been accustomed to that) but of missiles fired by Isis? It does not seem likely, and in fact, Isis, in the notorious and shabbily written document titled ‘The Islamic...

  • St Paul was a switcher

    St Paul was a switcher

    And so it was that St Paul, on his way to be executed in Rome in AD 60, shipwrecked on an island called Melita. Now this could have been the Melita which became our very own Malta or else the other Melita, close to Dubrovnik in the Adriatic Sea,...

  • Are they prettying up the city? Or...

    Speaking personally, I think the idea of bringing some life to the part of Valletta known as City Gate, is nothing short of inspired. We need a fresh proliferation of tat and junk stalls in the entrance to our capital, like goldfish need...

  • Reform or scrap warden system

    They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Despite the constructive principles underlying their introduction, there can be no doubt that, over the years, local wardens have caused more harm than good, instilling a deep sense of...

  • Some very funny people

    Some very funny people

    Sometimes, I can’t help but shake my head in bemusement at the antics of the media. One such occasion was last week when the Swiss Leaks story burst upon us. It’s not so much the local media that caused my handsome face to twist itself into a wry...

  • Money for local councils

    Money for local councils

    The start of a new year brought with it the launch of the Fund for Local Councils’ Capital Projects. The setting up of the fund and its operation is a very important aspect of the extensive reforms in local government that I, together with my...

  • Parliamentary encounters

    My professional relationship with the building of a Malta Parliament scheme spreads over four decades. The first encounter with the project dates back to 1974 when I was commissioned by then prime minister Dom Mintoff to design, what is still to...

  • Future of Maltese Church

    Future of Maltese Church

    I had written expressing my preoccupation with concerns raised by a number of clergymen to what they described as the Church leadership crisis. Notwithstanding my human defects, I do have a sincere and ingrained wish to see Church membership and...

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