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    Notre Dame in our backyard

    The burning down of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris just before Easter has provoked an outpouring of public emotion worldwide. The images of the famous Gothic cathedral engulfed in flames are hugely powerful, and people all over the world have united in dismay. In her reaction, German Chancellor Angela Merkel described Notre Dame […] More

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    Circus without nets

    A unfortunate misunderstanding is haunting Europe. It just doesn’t understand Malta. A mental block has afflicted some of its prestigious bodies – like the Venice Commission; GRECO, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body; and of course the European Parliament. Time after time, over the past weeks, they have asserted that Malta has grave problems with […] More

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    Too many errors of judgment

    We’ve heard this line before: as long as nothing manifestly illegal occurred, it is business as usual. Konrad Mizzi had used that argument on his Panama dealings as government minister, and we have heard it many times since. We are on a slippery slope, as it is the dominant mentality in everything. In the granting […] More

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    A darkening horizon

    Liberal critics of the current state of Maltese politics spend a lot of time finding similarities between populism here and elsewhere. It’s time we focus on a key difference, since it could shape the future. Finding similarities is no trivial matter. It pays to know that populists can emerge from the left as well as […] More

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    Politics of angry triumphalism

    Should you today pay brief attention (I’d recommend it) to the State celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Freedom Day, remember to be surprised. It’s not what you’ll hear or see that will surprise you. It’s what lies in the background. Today’s rhetoric of gravitas, forward-looking sense of destiny, of prosperity with freedom-lovin’ purpose rides […] More

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    Throwing your vote away

    The European parliamentary elections are fast approaching. Compared to national elections, they are given secondary importance. But still the results do count, and quite a bit. The polls suggest that the Nationalist Party may lose one seat to the Labour Party, with a 2-4 outcome. As elsewhere in Europe, the choices that voters make reflect […] More

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    Dangerous liaisons and the news

    A new Reformation is underway in Europe and North America, promising liberation from the stranglehold of corrupt traditional churches and offering every man and woman the prospect of being their own priest and preaching their own good news. As always, however, there’s a catch. In the 20th century, the press in liberal democractic societies functioned […] More

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    Theatre of the absurd

    Patrick Dalli didn’t get the result he wanted in court, so now he’s attacking the judicial system for breaching his human rights. That’s a lot like not studying for an exam and then blaming the teacher for your crappy grade. I wish I’d thought of this tactic in high school. I might have done better […] More

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    Why all the flowers go

    Another vigil, another clean sweep of the flowers and candles. Seventeen months after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, we’re used to it. It would be astonishing if, sooner or later, the flowers and candles left at the Great Siege memorial after last night’s vigil are not removed on government orders. But why does it […] More

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    A Tale of Two Maltas

    We’ve never had it so good. We’ve never had it so bad. And it all depends on who you ask. According to the 2018 Eurobarometer survey, 96% of respondents in Malta are very satisfied with the life they lead, and 39% of them expect their lives to keep getting better over the next 12 months. […] More

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    Nothing to see here

    According to Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, Malta’s financial services aren’t being damaged by shady practices and the complete failure to investigate and prosecute them. No, the damage is caused by these annoying people who keep talking about it — especially in front of foreigners. If only they’d shut up about it, he seems to think, […] More

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