The Malta Independent 19 December 2018, Wednesday

Blocks and chains

Alfred Sant Thursday, 8 March 2018, 08:00 Last update: about 11 months ago

Initiatives meant to put the country in line with ongoing economic, social and cultural innovation merit full support. For instance, projects being launched in the blockchain and experimental medicine sectors are most welcome. They showthe way forward.

But this on one condition: That precautions are taken to ensure in all which is done, that we fully watch out to maintain a total transparency in the way by which rules are designed for the management of the “new” sectors. In no way should anything be allowed in their operation that would trigger suspicions about the integrity of the country. We should not allow to occur what I too much fear, has happened in the internet gaming sector.


The success obtained very fast in the development of the sector led to the creation of opportunities for occult initiatives. To be honest, in the past decade, we have not demonstrated a due ability – perhaps also the willingness – to curtail them immediately. The reputation of the island has suffered thereby. Which strengthened the hand of those whose interest it was to put spokes in our wheel. 



I did not follow closely the different phases of the process by which in recent years, a plan for agricultural policy up to the year 2028 was drawn up. Now that the plan has been published, it still is not too easy to find it online... at least as of now that I write.

The plan is impressive in the way it presents the detailed information put together and the numerous proposals it advances.

Nevertheless, it might be that the overall approach is flawed prceisely because so many details and so many measures are provided.

One feels detached from the critical problems – not to say crisis –that farmers and livestock breeders face. At least that is the sense of the situation I get when discussing with some of them in Malta and Gozo.

Then, it is likely that the measures being proposed need to be placed in some kind of order by priority. I understand the intention has been to prepare a “holistic” strategy. However, experience in this area has taught us how the implementation of reform policies gets delayed.

Better less, if it is truly carried out – than much, if it remains on paper.



In the united Europe that is now taking shape between twenty seven members – where wide economic and social diversity is a fact of life – where the acute problem of a leading country that wants to leave the Union must be resolved – where electoral calculations and timetables of the different member states have to be taken into account whenever the time comes for strategic decisions – where an agreed solution still needs to be found to counter the tensions caused by immigration from outside the Union – where...

In this Europe, that stability should be guaranteed as much as possible has come to be considered a most important objective. The optimal situation is when the governments of member states can interact with each other from a position of strength back home. Only in this way can feasible policies for the European Union be launched and carried out.

Is this a realistic aim? For a limited number of years, perhaps yes. After all, no policy can be crafted in ways that make it last for ever. But then, what happens afterwards...?

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