The Malta Independent 17 August 2019, Saturday

The decision in the coming elections

Alfred Sant Thursday, 18 April 2019, 07:58 Last update: about 5 months ago

The decision that the Maltese will have to take in the coming European elections relates quite closely to the question: What kind of representatives do they wish to have in the European Parliament? Do they wish to have MEPs who focus on generating as much resistance as possible within EU institutitons to the government of their country? Or do they prefer MEPs who even if critical of the government of the day, exercise prudence when talking and behaving negatively about their country?

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Such a question would have been deemed peculiar if during the past EP mandate, we had not witnessed the manoeuverings of Nationalist MEPs. They went beyond criticism and even got to the point of lobbying for a Maltese candidate to the European Court of Auditors, like Leo Brincat, to be declined the endorsement of the European Parliament.

I believe that a big majority of the Maltese people disagrees with such behaviour and will ask: Who of the candidates on offer will be adopting it? Those who propose to adopt it or continue to adopt it do not deserve to be elected.

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The Libyan problem

The mayhem in Libya has gone on for far too long. A country that has much to offer its citizens and neighbouring peoples remains divided and paralysed. Worse, no national direction exists to truly safeguard the people’s security, while acts of violence and war are still part of everyday life.

Foreigners – among whom the Europeans – are also responsible for this state of affairs. Unfortunately, up to now, apart from the deep divisions among the Libyan people, the intentions of foreign powers regarding Libya still require clarification. They seem to simply want that a Libyan government is established which would be in line with their wishes and interests.

Such an aim is neither legitimate nor worthwhile. For if say, the Europeans, in their relations with Libya, have a strong interest that rightly outweighs all other considerations, this would be to prevent Libya from becoming a terrorist haven.

For the rest, Europe needs to understand that in very first place, Libya has to reacquire stability. Without it, no peace, no democracy can be possible.

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Patients abroad

A priceless benefit extended through the health services of our country is one by which patients who require treatment or an operation that cannot be carried out locally, are sent abroad at government expense. I guess that by now, thousands of patients have benefitted from this procedure.

Recently I talked to one of them who spent long months in the UK after undergoing an important operation. He was most grateful that the Maltese state had, effectively, saved his life.

However, he told me, a person with a medical condition like his, would find him/herself totally lost when hospitalised alone and abroad. I was not in this situation, he explained, for my wife and daughter came along and supported me right through. We paid for their travel and living expenses during their stay. But patients from families which cannot afford the expense will not have such support. The government does not pay for the expenses of those who accompany a patient sent abroad.  

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