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Editorial

  • To be or not to be unionised

    A suggestion by the General Workers’ Union for compulsory trade union membership may come as sweet music to the hundreds, if not thousands, of workers being paid low wages by unscrupulous employers taking advantage of the economic boom. Many have...

  • Seeing beyond GDP growth

    Economic growth is often considered by many economists and politicians as the gold standard for development and, by implication, of people’s well-being. However, those who put the interest of ordinary people at the centre of their measurement of...

  • Threats to independent media

    The report by six of the world’s leading media freedom organisations published on October 19, on freedom of expression in Malta, makes grim reading. Unrelated events since then, particularly the court’s gag on the popular programme Xarabank a week...

  • A ‘shanty town’ in Comino

    There is an official campsite at Santa Marija, in Comino. It forms a part of the Comino Natura 2000 zone, a former marshland and reed bed, scheduled as such because of its scientific and ecological importance. The Natura 2000 management plan calls...

  • So truth may never die

    Today is International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists and Unesco will be launching a campaign themed Truth Never Dies. The campaign reminds us that a journalist is murdered every four days, often because s/he denounced...

  • Road to sustainable mobility

    Three local councils – those of Pietà, Safi and Għarb – were allocated €90,000 between them to launch schemes encouraging people in their areas to abandon the use of their cars for certain activities. They were the winners of the Permanent...

  • Declining investment attractiveness

    Investors use strict criteria before deciding where to set up shop. One critical issue is political stability and the institutions’ reputation in the countries on their shortlist. Malta has suffered a significant drop in how foreign investors...

  • Tax collection ineptitude

    When wage earners have the tax due to the government deducted down to the lowest cent without fail, it is only justifiable to expect a deep sense of outrage when the National Audit Office regularly reports of serious shortcomings in tax collection.

  • The costs of selling passports

    Malta’s Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) and Residence and Visa Programme (MRVP) have contributed almost €600 million to the government’s income since 2014, according to Identity Malta that administers these schemes. What has still not been...

  • Strong economy, weak vision

    The Budget for 2019 presented by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna last Monday is a reflection of a robust economy and sound public finances.  Malta remains one of the best performing economies in Europe: the economy grew by 6.7 per cent in real...

  • Mystery of vanishing vehicles

    Some mysteries relate to the belief in the supernatural. Others may be just cases of mismanagement and the attempt to shroud it with arcane arguments. The National Statistics Office indicates that in recent years cars have been “disappearing” from...

  • Spending more, achieving less

    The European Commission Education and Training Monitor 2018 report provides a depressing reading to those who earnestly believe productive investment in education is the key to long-term economic and social sustainability. It demonstrates how the...

  • Great expectations dashed

    A rise in pension over and above the annual cost-of-living allowance, just announced in the Budget for 2019, is most welcome by the thousands of pensioners struggling to make ends meet, but does it meet their expectations? Are the amounts paid in...

  • ‘Good governance’ record in tatters

    It is doubtful if the National Audit Office has ever been as busy as it is today. Over and above the annual audit of government finances and those of its agencies, it has on its plate three requests for a specific investigation of highly...

  • Success is not just about money

    Money does not create success; the freedom to make it will, the great Nelson Mandela once said. Regretfully, judging by the manner in which he opened and concluded his Budget speech yesterday, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna seems to think...

  • Go for the ‘caution’ button

    When prime Minister Joseph Muscat spoke to trade unionists at a General Workers’ Union conference a few days ago, he posed a question to which the answer was self-evident, except, it seems, to him. After promising – not for the first time – a...

  • What are the best of times?

    A major anniversary of a national milestone, such as Independence or EU membership, often presents an occasion to reflect on how far the country has come. The first anniversary of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia last week brought home,...

  • Fight against clerical sex abuse

    Over the last two decades, the Catholic Church has been rocked to its foundations by accusations of sex abuse of children by the clergy. Pope Francis apologised unreservedly to victims for the extent of the abuse and the cover-ups committed by...

  • A stable rental housing market

    The failure of the rental housing market to meet the demand for affordable units is behind the government’s initiative to introduce a legal framework that aims at protecting the interests of both landlords and tenants. The White Paper ‘Renting as...

  • Sad and troubling times

    Malta is passing through sad and troubling times. Sad because, within only a few years, it has seen, and is still seeing, social and political values nose dive to an extent undreamt of before, except during the Mintoff administrations. Troubling...