The Malta Independent 22 October 2020, Thursday

Independence

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 21 September 2020, 06:36 Last update: about 30 days ago

Fortunately, the rather sterile political controversies about which is the greater public holiday – Independence or Freedom Day – are finally dead and buried. The Independence with which the Maltese islands became a sovereign state can be commemorated by all even if we all then can exercise the right according to our values, to pass judgement about the way by which it was won.

I said it on other occasions and will say it again: For me, the best benefits of Independence have accrued from the economic achievements of this country since when it came into force. If one compares economic growth from Independence to the present day with what was achieved during the same length of time in previous years, one only discovers how performance during the first period was much superior to that in the pre-Independence one. Especially up to the years when Malta joined the EU and then during the past six/seven years, the rate of economic growth sustained a really remarkable momentum.

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The progress achieved during a relatively few years surpassed that attained in almost a century and a half. Curiously, the exception were the first years of Malta’s EU membership. Yes, this is something that is never acknowledged about the membership option.

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THE SECOND WAVE

The second wave of the corona virus pandemic is being more perverse than the first one. It is spreading fast, attacking young and old, while evading many of the barriers we have been trained to put in its way... even if the suspicion is that it has found help from many citizens who fail to be cautious in how they behave and are creating huge problems for the rest of their community...

One consolation seems to lie in the fact that the mortality rate is less than during the first wave. On the other hand, it is to be noted that today more swab tests are being carried out than at the peak of the first wave.

All those who like me are not specialists of epidemiology but are very worried by the economic, educational, sanitary and social damage that Covid 19 is causing, realize the extreme pressures which apply to all those in the public sector who must take delicate decisions while still not having complete information about the real impact of the pandemic.

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DOG HATERS

We’re accustomed to what people owning a dog or who are close to dogs say as they enthuse about their pets.

Recently I was in the company of people who to the contrary, without hating all animals (how could they be like so?), still detest dogs. It was an unusual experience, comic at points, to listen to what they had to say about a creature which we are used to consider as man’s best friend.

They described dogs as dirty since with their nose they probe the filthiest areas of the street and leave their liquid deposit at corners and lamposts. They complained about how dogs are left to run freely in streets and allowed to brush against the legs of passers-by. They got angry as they recalled how dogs are allowed to splash around in the sea wherever people are enjoying a swim, while those around are expected to find them cute doing so.

Once again I realized how in real life, that trite saying holds: one person’s meat is another person’s poison.

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