The Malta Independent 26 May 2019, Sunday

Gozo tunnel

Alfred Sant Monday, 7 January 2019, 08:00 Last update: about 6 months ago

Opinion polls conducted as of now show that the great majority of Gozitans believe that a tunnel between Malta and Gozo would be a marvellous development. I agree with those who claim that one must take into account the way by which questions were set in the polls conducted, since this influences replies.

The sentiment in Gozo that overall favours the construction of a tunnel has gained the support of the government which is committed to the project.

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So those who, as I do, disbelieve that such a construction will benefit Gozo but will achieve the contrary, can put forward their opinions, without disrupting a decision that is now being implemented.

It is important therefore to repeat how the studies about the tunnel that have already been made still need a lot of close analysis. The whole concept has still never been evaluated in a rigorous way, so as to consider scientifically, the pros and cons for the project as a whole.

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European Parliament

I attended a reception with people who in past years, were of great material help to me in dealing in Malta with European Parliament issues. With them, I again insisted on the need for Malta’s MEPs – no matter which party they represent – to make great efforts to promote among the citizens of this country, a better awareness of what is happening in the EU, from the perspective of how this could affect them here.

There is still too little knowledge, too much misinformation on this score.Not only among “common” citizens, but just as much among others who are considered to be better informed.

An advantage that the European Parliament has is that though its real powers are quite restricted, it still possesses powerful tools by which to obtain information and analysis about external and internal developments at all levels of the EU.

This gives MEPs from Malta and other parts of the Union some very good resources by which to show citizens of their respective countries how matters are proceeding. Such resources should be used with the strictest attention and persistence.

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Atlantic side

It is quite a curious story: irregular migrants and refugees are trying to cross in boats the “narrow” channel between Britain and France as they desperately try to “emigrate” to the UK.

The comment made by the British minister who had to deal with this occurrence was lucid and interesting. On the one hand, the British government needs to strengthen its controls over who enters and leaves the country. On the other, it has to ensure that European – actually world – rules that seek to safeguard fundamental human rights are being respected. One after the other, countries – among which Malta – have been faced with this dilemma that for a time, seemed to be  happening only in the Mediterranean.

Apparently, the same problem has now reached the Atlantic too. What measures are going to be adopted to accept or refuse entry into the UK to illegal immigrants as they arrive in their boats?

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