The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

Ambitious targets

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 7 June 2021, 07:37 Last update: about 12 days ago

I am with those who agree that environmental goals should be ambitious. Not least on two fronts – that of the environmental damage that is being done in this country with the construction overload we are experiencing of infrastructural “roads” and of residential and commercial projects – and that of the policies which need to be implemented in order to rein back the unsustainable rush by which climate change is occuring.

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I agree that burdens, difficult obligations and expenses will need to be assumed in order to reach targets that have been set. All states need to assume their own responsibilities for what must be done.

On the other hand, it should be recognised that different countries face challenges which arise from their particular conditions. A country endowed with many mountains with waterfalls laid from which much “clean” energy can be generated do not face the same challenges as a small island that cannot simply rely on sunshine to generate energy that is similarly acceptable. Such an island therefore needs – at least as of now, given the current state of technology – to turn to other sources.

It does not make sense to apply a one size fits all approach across the board.

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A NEW ISRAELI GOVERNMENT

If the departure from office of Netanyahu as Prime Minister of Israel really proceeds till the bitter end, I hope that this will benefit the country as a whole. Unfortunately under Netanyahu’s long watch, for reasons that seemed based more on opportunism than principle, Israel departed far from all directions that could lead to a lasting peace between the communities which constitute its population.

The right of way given to instransigent interests on the extreme right... the increasing pressures piled on the Palestinian population... the progressive undermining of the only solution that could have been viable in coping with the endemic crisis in the region, that is the “two state” option... all these aspects defined the policies followed by the Natanyahu administrations.

Will his successors be able to reverse any one of these approaches? Will they want to do so?

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ARE THE MALTESE RACISTS?

Recently a report was published in the UK about whether British society and the institutions which keep it going are racist. The report concluded they are not.

A query: if the same investigation had been done in Malta, what would the conclusion be?

I believe it is difficult to claim that a racist sentiment does not exist in this country. The problem would be to estimate how big it is and how widespread. The probability that even those who hold racist views will deny that they do so, will create difficulties – but the same happens elsewhere.

To be sure, here too there are mechanisms designed to prohibit racist sentiments from being displayed and acted upon, in social life, as well in the public decisions of the private sector and the government. Still, how certain can we be that such mechanisms are being effective in everyday life?

The quickest way by which to settle matters would be to consult directly those among us who are not considered as ones of us (!). What would they have to say?

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