The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

Facts

Alfred Sant Monday, 11 February 2019, 07:35 Last update: about 7 months ago

In past weeks, international institutions have opened their guns on “investment migration” schemes, as they are now being called – schemes that is, similar to the one being run from Malta. A person “buys” into a country’s citizenship while observing certain conditions that ensure he/she is of good repute, and also promising to invest a substantial amount of funds in its economy.

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The US was among the first to promote such schemes, with its green visa programme. Today in the EU, Malta and Cyprus among others have introduced the practice.

The OECD, the European Commission through Commissioner Jurova, responsible for legal affairs, the European Parliament, as well as the International Monetary Fund now, have expressed dissatisfaction with the schemes. The first three especially have stressed the “dangers” of abuse which the schemes carry.

I was never one to feel any special appreciation for “investment migration”. I understand that if badly administered, it can open up threats to security. But I also believe it is a legitimate tool for governments to use, assuming they take care to put into place the necessary safeguards.

Above all,I feel that it is not enough to list the “dangers” that could arise. One needs a facts based approach that tracks such threats as they actually take shape. Up to now, nobody has presented facts to show that any have materialised.

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Party lists

While in the majority of EU member states the coming European elections are being held according to a proportional representation system, the choice of candidates to stand for election will be determined by a party list.

On its basis, parties choose candidates and draft them into a list which grades their standing from first up the list down. The number of MEPs parties get from the national tally will reflect the percentage of total votes cast that they secure as parties. Elected candidates will be named according to their place down the party list, till they reach the number of seats gained by the party.

In a representative democracy, a “better” system could hardly have been devised by which to maintain a good distance between the parties plus their MEPs, and the citizens who will have voted for them. 

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Fascinating

There’s hardly anything more fascinating than new archaeological discoveries that unexpectedly seem to open a new window on how people lived in the past. They do so by highlighting concrete objects that were commonly used by people who though forgotten, didoccupy a physical space as they lived their lives to the full, like we try to do today.

Such an impression was left by the recent finds in Malta of objects used in householdsthat date from the beginning of the Middle Ages. They bear witness to a communal life in these islands which must have been much more complex than was believed up to now.

And there were reports from Egypt that close to the Valley of the Kings at Luxor, a chain of tombs was found which this time did not belong to the Pharaohs but to middle class people of some three thousand years ago. The remains they contain illustrate their living conditions, side by side with the glorious way of life “enjoyed” by the Kings.

 

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