The Malta Independent 17 October 2019, Thursday

Limbo

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 12 September 2019, 08:00 Last update: about 2 months ago

Those families which in recent months had their homes demolished while a developer was knocking down houses adjacent to theirs, have ended up in limbo. What’s going to happen to them?

The government did all it could by providing accomodation till a decision is taken about what happens next. Court inquiries were set up and are still proceeding. When will they come to an end? And what happens after that?

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The government is correct in keeping back from trying to “do everything” itself as this could help the developers to evade having to assume their responsibilities for what happened.

Meanwhile time has passed and the families cannot be blamed for feeling that they have been abandoned.

How can judicial inquiries that deal with such cases be put on the very fast track?

How can the responsibilities of those who create such situations be nailed down without hesitation and in the best interests of the victims?

These cannot any longer be considered as academic questions. Decisive replies should be given through the introduction of a procedure that allows for immediate implementation. Surely among other measures, construction and development projects should be subject to an insurance guarantee by which persons who suffer damages like the ones at issue are given swift compensation. It’s absolutely unfair that such victims are left in limbo.

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Negative interest rates

In the eurozone, when putting one’s money in the bank, one either has to make do with derisory interest payments or even accept negative rates – which means one has to pay for the bank to accept one’s deposits. It seems as if demand is not sufficiently high for funds that allow entrepreneurs to operate, invest and employ till eventually their efforts translate into profits.

To encourage economic activity, the lowering of interest rates has been considered as the major tool, in the hope that yes, as soon as economies attain a good momentum, the appetite for funds that are available for lending will grow, pushing interest rates up.

As of now, this has not happened.

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To where? 

It’s curious how over the years a number of MEPs  resign to take up some other post. The last one in line was the socialist MEP Gualtieri who became Italy’s finance minister.

In past years, others who did like he did included: the socialist Pittella who contested the Italian general elections; the socialist Ferreira, who became deputy governor of the Portuguese central bank (and has now been nominated European Commissioner); Balz from the EPP who also became a director of the Bundesbank in Germany; the Liberal Goulard who became French defence minister, moved to her country’s central bank and has now been nominated Commissioner; the socialist Kofod who became Danish minister of foreign affairs; the socialist Dancila who was appointed Rumania’s prime minister; the Lega MEP Salvini, who transfered to his country’s Parliament; the FN leader Le Pen who too migrated to the French Parliament...

Naturally I know more about transfers which happen in the socialist group but I am sure that in other political “families” similar moves occur. What is significant in many of them is that those who give up their European function do so in exchange for a national posting.

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