The Malta Independent 25 August 2019, Sunday

Constitutional changes

Alfred Sant Thursday, 27 June 2019, 14:26 Last update: about 3 months ago

Consultations seem to be happening in one way or another, about necessary changes that have long been mentioned to be made to the Constitution. Personally, I remain doubtful about how necessary these changes really are since for me, the real problem arises from the manner by which the Constitution’s requirements have been respected or otherwise over the decades.

However, well established authorities are telling us we need to implement changes. Let us therefore consider what they could be and let us discuss them.

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Even so, I hope that the process to get this moving, will remain up to the end transparent and is conducted in the open. There is no reason, as sometimes happened in the past, for discussions to follow occult procedures that reflect partisan or personal tactics.

I also hope that no exrra effort will be expended to show those who from the outside honoured us with their “advice” that we are so grateful to them, that we would like to introduce all the changes they proposed to us, without really considering whether their proposals indeed make any sense.

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In a bad light

At present, the EU is not leaving the best of impressions. European leaders have been haggling about whom to place in the highest decision-making roles. The substance of discussions does not appear to feature European policy for the future as much as who gets whose job.

The biggest calls in this auction cover the jobs of the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council, the Commission Vice President in charge of foreign affairs and the Governor of the European Central Bank. One can only hope that these dealings are wrapped up as quickly as possible, for they generate the  belief that what count most in Europe are the nominations to the highest ranking posts.

Meanwhile, another curious matter has been the nomination to the post of President of the European Parliament. Who will get it?

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In the beginning

 

The idea of having an institution to back smes that propose to launch a new business, the so-called start-ups, is excellent. If I understood correctly, a foundation underwritten by the government, will concentrate on giving timely support to whoever is seeking to enter the market with a new product or service offering.

Support can take the form of useful advice regarding how to arrange an effective financial package, the provision of working space for a newly born enterprise, access to fruitful contacts and so on.

The entrepreneurial culture has spread widely in Malta since the years when I was active at the Malta Development Corporation (now Malta Enterprise). But it still needs to become stronger. On the one hand there is a tendency to go too fast down the quickest road, in order to make the easiest profits and pocket them. On the other hand, there is insufficient awareness of how and how much a new entrepreneur needs help till the project he/she has launched takes root. It seems as if this has been accepted in the art world but not so much in economic affairs, which is a pity.

That is why the initiative to establish a foundation focussed on promoting start-ups deserves full support.

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