The Malta Independent 18 February 2020, Tuesday


Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 19 August 2019, 08:30 Last update: about 7 months ago

Europeans need to reflect deeply about what is making so many people from Africa put their lives at great risk in order to be allowed to live in Europe where possibly, the majority of the peoples there do not want to know about them.

They are refugees from civil wars or worse, from famine for there are no jobs where they come from, and now too from a climate that is becoming increasingly oven-hot.


There is a ferment caused by the lack of consensus about how to meet this challenge, the quasi-unanimous recognition that no European country can by itself come up with a solution, the distress of migrants  blocked at sea or exploited at their workplace, and the discontent among the peoples of Europe.The political and social explosion that could result would be extremely unpleasant.

Yet solutions seem to still be very distant.

That is what the current Italian political crisis demonstrates. Beyond the power games that are endemic in a democracy, a poisonous aspect of the Italian crisis is that it could serve to allow fascist forces to mobilise in a way that is perceived to be acceptable and legitimate.



I am one of those who are quite ready to criticise what is happening in our roads which are suffering from an indigestion of public works. And I have criticised.

On the other hand, the works ongoing at Marsa deserve a round of praise. True there are traffic jams at times, but honestly, they can never be ruled out completely when such a massive project is being implemented. On the whole, the fact remains that overall, the works are being skilfully organized.

Indeed, it is immaterial whether those responsible for the management of the project are Turkish or Maltese. The point that works are really progressing efficiently needs to be made. Somebody explained to me that while Turkish workers mainly are on the job, Maltese engineers are supervising and planning the project. Noted.

I still am of the opinion that the public works being conducted all over the island should have been rolled out differently; not all at one go but in a sequence.



Let’s take a step back to the issue of migrants from Africa seeking to cross the Mediterranean: it’s a main theme of “Falcon’s Claws” a Maltese language novel with an interesting plot written by Richard Attard. It uses as a platform the frequently mentioned scenario about how terrorists could join the flows of irregular migrants to Europe, including Malta, in order to infiltrate the continent or even the US. The story starts with a  murder attempt in Libya on the father of a refugee family.

Most of the time, the novel keeps the reader hooked – it links the Maltese reality with tensions created by the threat of international terrorism, while providing a good picture of Maltese society today. The action scenes, not least of immigrants on the seas – are well written, indeed very well. Also twists in the plot are carefully crafted.

However some aspects of the anti-terrorism activity shown do not convince. All in all, the text would have benefitted from some editorial pruning – at times it feels a bit padded.  

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