The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

They disapprove

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 11 January 2021, 08:00 Last update: about 10 days ago

The following is not such a happy point to make but the truth is that as an argument, it does hold water!

This country and its government have for some time now been at the receiving end – with honourable people from among us actively supporting this – of disapproval from outside on questions of governance. Comparisons are odious, true, but it is fair to ask if those who cast their stones do not themselves live in glasshouses.

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We all have witnessed the mob violence engineered by President Trump in the US because he could not accept his election defeat. I never saw arguments like his used up to now in Malta except after the 1981 election, when the PN remained in Opposition. But then, though everything had been done according to the Constitution as it stood at the time, it was true that the PN had obtained the absolute majority of the votes cast. That’s hardly the case for Trump.

In Spain, the former King was found to have squirrelled away huge amounts of money secretly obtained from the Arab Gulf. In France, former President Sarkozy is facing charges of having ten years or so ago, received also in secret, huge amounts of cash from Ghaddafi in Libya. In Germany for almost ten years, the Wirecard finance company was allowed to bamboozle people and fraudulently siphon off to private pockets more than a billion and a half euros.

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PLASTIC

I must admit I do not always understand precisely the difference between single use and other types of plastics.

I totally agree with the decision to ban single use.

Yet, one cannot help but note how over the years, in the name of European unification and the creation of a single European market, member countries and others which were acceding to the EU were obligated to fully promote the use of plastics instead of glass. In those days, glass products were already being recycled. Still, the insistence was on creating a single market ... according to common rules shared by all... and so plastic items had to be given full access to markets.

Rules that would have greatly facilitated the collection of glass bottles for reuse by consumers had to be toned down. Campaigns were mounted against my colleagues and I when we contested this development.

Today the EU itself is advocating the opposite of what it then promoted.

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ANTI-ISRAEL?

Recently the fundamental difference between disagreeing with the policies of the state of Israel and being anti-Jews – an anti-semite – has been forgotten or made to disappear.

It is a difference that must be again made clear. One could be ... as I am... against Israeli policies regarding Gaza and totally against the policies of the current Israeli administration to support to the fullest extent possible, those settlers who are occupying and building on so-called empty land. But that this position makes me and those who hold it “anti”-Jews – antisemites – is a total fabrication even if it seems to make sense to the Netanyahu government as a propaganda ploy.

This is not the right way for Israel to make friends who truly will remain friends and not just come close for opportunist reasons.

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