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    The Jekyll and Hyde of equality

    Several times in the early part of his premiership, Joseph Muscat declared that it was his government’s ambition to create a new middle class. In some quarters he was suspected as meaning that he wanted to destroy the current middle class and replace it with another. However, his policies and messaging show that all he […] More

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    There’s a new game in town

    There’s a new game in town. Well, it’s based on an old game, actually. A game that’s as old as the European Union’s open internal borders. It’s called VAT Fraud Carousel, and it’s all about robbing European (and Maltese) taxpayers to stuff one’s own pockets by moving goods around. Now, there’s a video game that […] More

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    Keeping scrutiny at bay

    Leadership style matters. The same situation can be handled very differently depending on the approach. Some people are lenient, others are strict, some are fair and others not. The rules often don’t even need to be changed, for big changes to be felt on the ground. Good governance makes a difference. Last Monday, I attended […] More

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    It’s about injustice, not only trees

    We knew it already but the government’s actions underline it: the mass removal of trees at Santa Luċija and Attard raises important issues of justice. The government’s spin can’t help reveal the stakes. When the spin says that wider roads in Attard mean less air pollution, the aim is to paint the protesting residents as […] More

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    Divide and rule

    The streets of Malta are choked with cars, and the air is choked with construction dust. When construction dust isn’t engulfing you in an asphyxiating cloud, you’re smothered in a black fog of exhaust from the unmaintained vehicle in front of you. Shade-giving trees are being cut down at an alarming rate even as temperatures […] More

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    The shield and the bulldozer

    In the blazing summer sun, anger at the building frenzy just adds to the heat. Hot on the heels of the Central Link project, two controversial development proposals in Gozo, at Qala and Sannat, are now in line for approval. Taking note of the public mood, Adrian Delia appeared on national television last Thursday and […] More

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    Yes, the Attard protests are political

    Of all the lessons that history teaches us about successful popular movements, arguably this is the most important: people join the movement for one reason, but they stick with it for another. If a movement is pushing back against the power of politicians and commercial interests, then its project has to be long-term. Otherwise, the […] More

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    Trees are not a perception

    The Prime Minister takes perceptions seriously and has lodged the term in his vocabulary. In a talk on the national budget in October 2018, he said that poverty is ‘not a perception’. In 2014, he had also assured everyone that heavy traffic is ‘not a perception’. Everyone will agree with him on that. The proposed […] More

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    If Adrian Delia is the answer, what is the question?

    Adrian Delia obtained 67% of the confidence vote held yesterday by the Nationalist Party’s General Council. Back in 2003, after losing two general elections in a row, Alfred Sant obtained the same result in a three-way leadership race. That contest settled the leadership question within the Labour Party but not the electability question with the […] More

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    Raising the heat on the road

    A protest against the Central Link project is planned for this Sunday. The anger at the government’s mindless obliteration of the country’s natural and cultural heritage is spreading. Farmers are also protesting. The government is offering deals to compensate for the fields to be sacrificed for the project, but this ignores the fact that farmers […] More

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    Daphne under the Satanists’ Sun

    It is time to make amends. I have long been a denier, contradicting anyone claiming there’s a Daphne cult. But it was staring at me in the face all along: the icon of veneration, the formulaic creed, the litanies recited in rising emotional tones, the ecstasy and the frenzy, the bond of solidarity between worshippers. […] More

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