The Malta Independent 26 June 2019, Wednesday

Campaigns

Alfred Sant Monday, 20 May 2019, 08:00 Last update: about 2 months ago

During political campaigns, especially for elections, many repetitive claims are made in order to highlight topics and arguments about which citizens must decide when voting.

Still I think that the best feature of political campaigns – at least for candidates – is that they offer an opportunity for one to inquire about economic, social and cultural realities from close up, face to face with people who are experiencing them.

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After all, political discourse is framed to cover such realities. To often, we end up considering them from a certain “distance” – by means of studies and reports carried out by a third party, or in statistics assembled by officials and academics. This happens even more in the case of MEPs who must spend half of their time in Brussels.

During this European campaign, what I most appreciated was the chance to meet directly with social activists, workers, entrepreneurs, trade unionists, farmers and fishermen, young and older people, heads of families, artists and cultural activists, hoteliers and industrialists, hunters and trappers, Gozitans and Maltese, at their place of work and at home. In this way, I did learn a lot about today’s realities.

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Abortion

The hullabaloo that the PN tried to engineer about abortion was intended to sow division where none exists. For better or for worse, there is an enormous consensus against it in this country. Not one party or politician has suggested to contest such consensus.

The claim that the EU could impose abortion on a member state is a sheer delusion. And it’s me who’s saying this – one who by all those good people among us who have stars in their eyes whenever EU issues reach the agenda, am considered as totally negative about their EU paradise. The truth is that abortion falls outside the EU’s remit and that when Malta joined the Union, the treaty it signed made it clear that the whole subject will remain permanently in Malta's competence.

The fake “controversy” about abortion was purely and simply just a gimmick.

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Viani

From the back window of the house in Viani Street, Sliema, you can look down whole storeys into a huge pit where some time ago, buildings stood adjacent to the house and its surroundings. Now they have all been removed and bulldozers down below are still digging into the ground.

The inside walls of the house as well as the stairs that lead to the cellar among others, are streaked with fissures that continue to grow and widen. An architect came to inspect the house and recommended that the residents ask for another architect’s report in a short while to recheck that the fissures have not become dangerous.

The residents are two pensioners who can hardly afford every time to pay for an architect’s expertise to study the damage that somebody else is inflicting on their home.

I visited them last week when doing house visits at Viani Street.

The fear remains that despite the architect’s first report, they already are living in danger.We have already had one case of a building that collapsed in circumstances similar to this one.

The problem is that developers have become too powerful, residents are close to powerless. This state of affairs needs to be corrected.

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