The Exploit Nation

The plush beaches, the emerald waters, the luscious untarnished landscapes and the unblemished scenarios. The arrival of number two in our household in June has meant that the most travelling we do this summer is with our imagination.

So the images of idyllic holiday destinations posted by friends online are the farthest we get to go between nappy changing and rocking Margot to sleep to the music of Shostakovich’s Nightmare.

Interestingly though, bar the odd photo of Riviera Martinique or Xwejni, most of the photos I appreciate tend to be of places other than Malta. Not without reason. The situation is not getting better for the Maltese islands.

We have a burgeoning population – now confirmed through official statistics. Satisfying the needs of the increasing number of residents has meant that we developed a policy of extreme, unconditional and unrepentant exploitation.

The already scant resources of the islands were already chronicled by the time the Knights came along in the mid-16th century. Not one of the Knights, French or British, since then contributed to the depletion of sustainability of the islands.

No sir. We have ourselves to thank for that. The Exploit Nation is a Maltese trademark, and boy, are we good at it.

Start from the obvious. Uglification is no longer a hypothesis but a concrete (sic) fact. The policy of exploitation begat more people who begat more vehicles, who begat more roads and more houses who begat the desertification of the land that begat the greed for more, more, more.

Apologies for the apocalyptic biblical language, but we are at that point. Our beaches are a mess exploited by short-sighted hyenas. The building spree is not only unbridled but blessed by the visionaries of 22nd-century Malta. The empty brays of a disgraced politician promising a Dubai in the Mediterranean still echo along the concrete bollards.

As the land and its people inch toward collective doom by choking, the desperate merchants try to scrounge out the last pennies. They who would set up a hot dog stand with a prime view of the end of the world. There is no dignity and no humanity in this process. The illusionary comforts that this kind of progress brings also have side effects.

I read this week of the exploited Bolt workers who went on strike. Their story is tantamount to modern slavery. Enticed to a Malta described as a worker’s paradise where a quick buck could be earned, they find themselves in a vicious circle of debts while scootering around the traffic engorged roads of the island to deliver food to the ungenerous residents who fail to give them a tip.

In the Exploit Nation, you do not earn your keep through sweat and honest work. You earn your way to success by exploiting. Exploiting the corrupt networks that hive off public monies into private purses. Exploiting the public land (and destroying it) for the greater good of your pocket.

The Exploit Nation does not consider the honest competition. We knew that already – we have a saying for that too: min ħexa mexa (he who cheated succeeded).

The Exploit Nation takes it to new highs. What we just don’t seem to realise (or maybe do not care about) is that we are the victims of the general downgrading of the quality of life.

There is always an excuse that allows us to morally justify the unacceptable. There is the balance between business and public needs. There is the need to let everybody ‘earn their bread’. Not once is an effort made to reflect on whether we should put the brakes on the exploitation. Not once. And it is probably too late for that too.

We are a living cliché, a petri dish in the middle of the Mediterranean that is proof of what happens when greed is unleashed without control. When the last square metre of the archipelago has been exploited to oblivion, it will be too late to turn back.

The sad, tragic truth is that Maltese now need to book their holidays to unexploited islands in the sun to get a glimpse of what once was and what could have been, were it not for business as usual.

Wear sunscreen.

                           
                               
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Francis Said
Francis Said
3 days ago

Hear hear. An excellent opinion piece that clearly depicts the state of our beloved Country.
It all boils down to greed and blatant corruption.

Alexander
Alexander
2 days ago

Malta’s educational level is so low that people are convinced that they are living the dream when they own a second-hand BMW imported from the UK and an apartment equipped with a splash pool.

So sad!

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
2 days ago

Robert Abela promised us to be the best in the world. That was before the general election. Now he didn’t mention it again. He knew he was lying through his teeth and got away with. Now it seems all the problems are uncontrollable. The national debt kept rising and there is no plan or action to stop it. We seem to be best at making things worse.

John Borg
John Borg
12 hours ago
Reply to  saviour mamo

Yes, they are sending VAT inspectors now to make up for their abominations

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
1 day ago

The quality of life in this country has gone down drastically. High prices, unaffordable housing, loads of people everywhere, downgrade in private services, roads full of cars, commercial trucks, big trucks full of rubble, closed roads, cranes, pollution, scooters, dangerous bolt and wolt bikes, crime, immigration, you name it. This has become CHAOTIC ISLAND, and the choice to remain at home (indoors) is perhaps the most logic and intelligent move that one can make in such circumstances.

Michael Borg
8 hours ago

”the most logical and intelligent move that one is FORCED RELUCTANTLY TO make in such circumstances.”
The three words in upper case are mine.

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