The Malta Independent 7 August 2020, Friday

The state

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 6 July 2020, 07:08 Last update: about 1 month ago

There are some who fear that because of the current pandemic, many countries will end up almost totally dominated by the state. In order to counter the financial crisis which has affected practically whole private sectors, governments have been busy pumping billions as direct aid to thousands of companies. They will not be prepared to get nothing in return for the monies they fork out; or if they feel easy about this, their electors will surely not. So they will be insisting to get representation and controls over the management of enterprises.

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Those who envisage this development consider that it will bring in its wake another disaster. During the last decades, privately owned companies the world over managed to acquire a wideranging freedom in the ways by which they could run their business. If now this freedom is to be lost, and private sector decisions will follow on the diktat of governments, the economic efficiencies that the free market allows will dissipate.

It is hardly clear though that governments want to take over and control private enterprises. More than anything else, it would seem like they will be doing everything they can to recover the monies they will have advanced.  

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IS TRUMP IN RETREAT?

There is much delight at news from the US that describes how according to opinion polls, President Trump is falling well behind in the presidential race. His leadership during the corona virus pandemic and the economic crisis that followed have been of great damage to him. More and more people began to acknowledge the gap between what he says and promises, and what he actually delivers.

There is little doubt that Trump has all the qualities which should alienate a majority of American voters. His best card was going to be the economic success about which he could freely boast not so long ago. The crisis has destroyed this option and it is difficult to believe that in the short while left before elections are held, the economic situation could improve.

However for the Democrats, Trump’s adversary Joe Biden can be rather laid back. He could easily fall into the temptation of believing that a favourable election result is already secure. That would offer Trump the opportunity he needs to show that “only” he has the dynamisn required to lead America out of the crisis which engulfed the country – not because of any fault of his, he will keep on saying, but because of “the Chinese”.

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MONUMENTS

It’s a good thing that a controversy has surfaced regarding the worth and meaning of monuments in this country. Such a controversy should serve to alert citizens about an important subject that they might not have yet been aware of. Whether we want to or not, the monuments that we maintain in streets and squares give witness to who we are, where we came from and what we went through.

At all times, all societies have their own explanation for what makes them whole – an explanation that could have changed from what previous generations stood for.

Whether this should lead to a total change in how a society projects itself and in how it should consider the heritage of previous generations is a valid debate. It will likely lead to varied and contradictory conclusions.

 

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