Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday that ‘a balance has been struck’ on the island of Comino, seemingly between the operators of facilities on the island and perhaps the activists who turned up one fine day and removed the deck chairs and umbrellas waiting for customers.
Coming from the head of government, that is, an interested player, this is gross. Only someone who is ‘super partes‘ (impartial) can put himself in a position to judge the outcome, and this someone cannot be the head of government when the chaos on Comino can be ascribed to authorities and ministries all under his remit.
It’s like you have the head of the family who has been asked to mediate between his squabbling children, blatantly awards one over and above the others and claims ‘a balance has been found’.
Let’s enter into the specifics. If there’s a stakeholder in this issue, it’s the public, and visitors have to pay to spend a day in the idyllic surroundings of the Blue Lagoon only to find the bay chock-a-block with diesel-spouting big yachts.
You can hardly rest on your deck chair without bumping into your neighbour and you are meant to endure a whole day listening to the beat from the small kiosks. None of this complies with the aim of offering the visitors a relaxing day at sea. So where’s the balance, prime minister?
Then it’s discovered that all services to and in Comino are run by individuals who share militancy in the governing party, people who have gained a licence to print money without any call for applications but only on the strength of their friendship with people at the top. Again, where’s the balance, prime minister?
It’s all a question of helping key contributors to maximise profits in the shortest time possible. Looking at it from a different perspective, all this concentration of special interests will have one and only one outcome – the destruction of any attractiveness that the Blue Lagoon, Comino itself and by extension Malta might have.
The country would have expected Abela to strike out and defend the sustainability of the attractions of the Maltese Islands rather than to hear him declaim in favour of a balance that is nowhere. The attractions of the Maltese Islands continue to lose out.