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Editorial

  • Malpractices in public procurement

    The total volume of public procurement, which is the government activity of purchasing goods, services and works, is substantial. In OECD countries it amounts to 12 per cent of GDP. Public procurement is also one of the government activities most...

  • Maltese festa in a niche

    The Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was drawn up by Unesco 15 years ago but only ratified by Malta in 2017. The document was devised with the overriding objective of preserving intangible heritage, encouraging...

  • Risks of al fresco dining

    Pavement catering facilities are a standard feature in most European cities, especially those that attract a large number of tourists. Malta is no exception as outdoor catering establishments are mushrooming in most parts of the island. But al...

  • Official edicts in print

    There may not be an ‘organic’ law regulating it but it is widely accepted that The Malta Government Gazette is the country’s official journal. It appears there is no need to define it because it is easily recognisable. Indeed, the 1980 Statute Law...

  • Pesticide overuse fears

    A controversy and, given the subject, some concern, has arisen over the use of the pesticide, chlorpyrifos, which is widely used on food crops in Malta. In 2014, a pesticide awareness group found that about a third of pregnant women living within...

  • The war against plastics

    If only people everywhere would realise the harm plastic is doing to our health and to the environment the huge amount of plastic waste lying around on land and at sea would surely be reduced considerably. As global awareness of such harm is...

  • Local neighbourhood WAGs

    In Britain, they’re called WAGs, wives and girlfriends of professional athletes. The term has caught on so well there is now even a TV series of the same title. We never had WAGs in Malta but we are getting close, with a political equivalent. The...

  • The Pope’s Letter: what’s new?

    The Letter to the People of God issued some days ago by Pope Francis in response to the latest developments in the unfolding sex abuse scandal crippling the Catholic Church in America is a remarkable document in many ways. Not surprisingly, it is...

  • Let’s not shoot horses

    The other day, a horse pulling a traditional karozzin collapsed and died in Floriana at about 1pm – the height of the summertime heat. A few days later another horse drawing a karozzin collapsed but, fortunately, did not die. Both cases have...

  • Contentious regulations

    New vacation leave regulations brought into force through legal notices a few days before the feast of Santa Marija, when most enterprises would be on their annual shut down, raised issues that need to be addressed to ensure any rigidity in...

  • Power to commissioners

    Specially appointed commissioners should have both the bark and the bite. Yet, there have been instances, even recently, that led many to conclude they really had no bite and not necessarily because of lack of will on their part. A few days ago,...

  • A shadow on the economy

    Measuring the extent of the shadow economy in any country is a notoriously tricky and controversial task. The size of the shadow economy should take into account all economic activity, including the official and unofficial production of goods and...

  • Watchdog can bite again

    Watchdogs can hardly act as a deterrent to abusers if they are incapable of baring their teeth when they see a threat by anyone determined to break the law, provided one’s rights are fully upheld. The news that the local Competition Act will be...

  • The merits of adult education

    Those who in their childhood and early youth missed out on completing their education successfully often regret this phase in their lives. Many long to be given a second chance to acquire knowledge that will help them become more productive in...

  • Setting the tone in finance

    In a parliamentary democracy, the Cabi­net assumes collective responsibility for policymaking as well as oversight over implementation of policies. Individual ministers are responsible for ensuring that Cabinet decisions are implemented...

  • The lesson from Genoa

    The collapse, during a storm, of a 200-metre stretch of a bridge in Genoa a few days ago, when about 30 vehicles plunged 45 metres to a dried riverbed, warehouses and railway tracks below, killing at least 38 people, is a major tragedy that...

  • Decline in moral values

    The Planning Authority was never renowned for the speed with which it enforces regulations on those who breach the rules. If anything, it has a reputation for making controversial compromises that often let abusers get away with a fine while...

  • Don’t shoot the messenger

    Just days after a dressing-down by the European Banking Authority, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit had the temerity to publicly declare that the publication of what it said was secret and illegally-obtained information would have an...

  • Directly, but not an order

    When a country is run like a fiefdom, literally anything goes, even a direct order of €274 million at St Vincent de Paul Residence, though the government insists it is a public-private partnership. So, all is fine, everything is above board, even...

  • Facts about recreational cannabis

    The debate on whether the use of recreational cannabis should be legalised has reached our shores after Canada recently voted to legalise the sale and use of marijuana by adults. A similar public discussion is being conducted in other advanced...