The Malta Independent 16 October 2018, Tuesday

Influenza

Alfred Sant Thursday, 18 January 2018, 08:11 Last update: about 10 months ago

The influenza epidemic now still spreading has raised questions, not just in Malta but Europe-wide, about whether public health systems are sufficiently equipped to counter infectious diseases that roll muchquicker than ever before. Maltese hospitals were not the only ones to suffer from congestion as influenza patients were brought in. The same happened in Great Britain and elsewhere.

Faster modes of travel, with tourism constantly on the rise, have created a global “market” for infectious diseases. A tourist destination like Malta cannot avoid the consequences.

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To make matters worse, in such a situation, the possibilities increase for infectious diseases to mutate giving rise to variants that become more complex and that find it easier to multiply. This makes preventive measures less effective. They end up offering protection against known strains of the relevant diseases when these are mutating towards “new” lines of attack.

Even so, preventive measures in their most up to date format, cannot but remain the best available defence against the “post-modern” infections.

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Not credible

They discussed issues that are important for the country, though they had been raised before by other analysts and spokespersons from diverse sectors on the island, on both left and right.

Their report as expected, and as they expected, created waves in the print and social media of the nation.

Yet the exercise conducted by the European Parliament to “investigate” the rule of law in Malta was from beginning to end not credible. That there exist problems in the governance of the country and in the control of corruption is clear. That they are to be taken into account by following the procedures of the European Parliament as laid out during the December visit of its delegation to Malta is risible.

The members of that delegation simply assumed the role of investigator, witness, prosecutor, jury and judge. A number of them had for quite a while functioned already as protagonists in Malta-bashing. The presence among them of David Casa was typical of the occult methods used in organizing the work of the delegation. All this, without mentioning the quality of the people they met to discuss the Malta scene, like for instance when covering “civil society”.

The effort carried out by the members of the EP delegation fell foul of all the criteria that make similar exercises credible wherever the rule of law truly prevails – criteria that would determine what is usually called due process. For this reason, the work the delegation carried out is not credible.

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Chabrol

I know best Chabrol’s films made during the second half of his career. LesBonnesFemmes (“GoodWomen”) which was his first movie surprised me, although I knew that when it was first shown in 1960, it was hugely successful and had opened doors for the French cinema’s “nouvelle vague”.

The film follows the adventures of four young women friends who are employed as shopgirls – the monotony of their workday selling clothes, the pastimes and outings they share in their spare time, the mediocre men they have to associate with, the dreams they dream. Everything is shown in a realistic, very lively mode, with no sentimentalism.

The acting isbrilliant, withtop of thelist, Stephane Audran and Bernadette Lafont (still very young) giving subtle and most convincing performances.

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