The Malta Independent 17 July 2019, Wednesday


Alfred Sant Thursday, 11 April 2019, 07:52 Last update: about 4 months ago

There’s no other adjective to describe the first speech with which the President of Malta Dr George Vella opened his presidential mandate: it was most dignified. Beyond that, it reflected a philosophy and a concern about issues of statecraft that are based on a profound experience of Maltese political realities.

The President set the aim of fostering national unity as his idea – and it is not an easy goal to attain. Or: in words, yes.  Not so, in concrete factual terms.


Given the tugs of partisan, personal and professional interests that come into play whenever issues of national importance arise, many values end up sidelined. Among which is that which would have all of us behaving in respect of national unity. There never will be a final resolution of this problem. I suspect that in future, we will continue to swing between decisions that come to some form of compromise in favour of good governance, to other occasions when we let matters slide.

President Vella is one of those personalities in our society who have the greatest personal potential to bring the ongoing swing closer to what is right and proper, for that is how his conduct has always been.



In the editorial of an English language newspaper (not this one) the claim was made that my comrades and I in the Labour delegation to the European Parliament had stated that the attacks made on Malta with regard to the rule of law and the rest, were motivated by envy at the economic success which the island is achieving. That we made such a claim is a lie.

But we did say yes, that the accusations are exaggerated; that they are powered by a partisan reading as to how the country’s political situation develops; that a way has been found by which this reading was to be merged into a narrative that endorses the harmonisation of the tax structures of all the EU’s members. And we have also argued that European political lobbies find it convenient when trying to reach their aims, to hit at Malta because it is one of the smaller countries.

Actually, I have come to expect everything from this newspaper which is always preaching the holiness of transparency but is not prepared to practise it whenever the prejudices and interests of whoever runs the paper are being contradicted.


Late spring

Winter this time round has overstayed. Not by way of shivers and cold, but in terms of rain and storms. I agree that it hardly makes sense when in an island like this one, we complain if we get “too much” rain.

However it is natural to expect that shifts in the weather follow as much as possible the needs that arise from season to season. On a personal note, this time round I needed fine weather in order to fully carry out a programme of house visits in the short time available for campaigning. Indeed, it’s been quite a long while since because of the rainy weather, I have had to cancel so many visits, day after day.

To make matters worse, the delayed springcontinued to project strong wet shadows all over the garden where I had sown newly acquired flower and vegetable seeds. Most of them have simply turned to rot as the soil became like soup.

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