The Malta Independent 16 December 2017, Saturday

The parking lot model

Alfred Sant Monday, 4 December 2017, 07:54 Last update: about 11 days ago

I must admit I hardly find attractive the model currently being proposed for the future development of Malta. I fail to see how it can be considered as a stable perspective, since it makes the consolidation and prosperity of the country dependent on successive waves of foreign workers who come to spend here a limited numer of years and contribute with their skills and knowledge to activity in the island; and who after their swift departure are replaced by others.

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It is a model which resembles how a commercial garage operates, or indeed a parking lot, where people arrive to leave their car for a few hours or overnight.

There will be some to say that as a model, it is not so different from the transhipment sector which has been doing well for Malta and is contributing a lot to Maltese prosperity.

Perhaps, but I think there’s a difference: in transhipment, value is being added because those who arrive, find here an inherently Maltese base which will efficiently reorganize the incoming merchandise to direct it towards its final destination.

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Deficiencies

The question asto what development model we should adopt for the future should surely be considered as acute, when we take into account certain imbalances that have persisted and increased in the Maltese population at large. Compared to the European average, we find that:

We still have too many early school leavers who find themselves lacking adequate academic and technical knowhow.

Vocational education has declined and too few are following vocational courses right to the end.

We have too many people who are directly or indirectly employed with the public sector.

In a short while, the majority of our citizens can rightly be classified as elderly.

 In such a context, the “parking lot” model for future development could also become a dangerous one.

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The truth

I saw it from beginning to end, off and on, in a you tube version. But “The Truth” (La Verite) -- director Henri Georges Clouzot -- is a robust melodrama, cobbled together with great skill. It grips you. Issued in 1960 with a big publicity bang, it surfs forward on excellent performances by practically all actors concerned. They feature among the best French artists of the period, headed by Brigitte Bardot, and alongside her, names like Samy Frei and Marie Jose Nat.

Bardot has the star role of Dominique, who is accused of murdering her lover Gilbert; he also happens to be the fiance of her sister. We follow the court case through the disputes between the prosecution which insists that the killing has beena premeditated one, and the defence which pushes the view that the murder was an act of passion. The disputes between lawyers trigger quick flashbacks, sometimes run at breakneck speed, which follow the story of Dominique/Bardot as she leaves her father’s house for Paris and the rest of her life there.

Apparently when the film was being shot, complications between the actors helped to fuel publicity for it. At one point, Bardot tried to kill herself, just like Dominique does at the end of the film.

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