The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

The Cospicua tunnel

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 2 August 2021, 07:07 Last update: about 3 months ago

That the Cospicua tunnel is going to be repaired and upgraded makes for good news. On this project, contrary to its apparent delight in launching flyovers, Infrastructure Malta deserves total praise.

This is the kind of work it should promote. As a project, it has been overlooked and sidelined; yet in no way does it encourage more driving or promote more cars in our streets.

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For many years I would drive down the tunnel, sometimes daily on my way to the Maċina, then the HQ of the Labour Party. And I used to say to myself: How come there seems to be no care being given to clean up and do some maintenance here? A lot of traffic goes through it on a daily basis. It serves as a communications artery for the whole of Cottonera; in its absence, the whole district would jam up.

True, the photos that have been published about the bastions that were destroyed in order to ensure that it could be built trigger a clutch of disturbing queries...

Just one wish has to be emphasized: could the project now being launched by Infrastructure Malta, take less to get done than is being proposed?

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POWER

I can only smile at the claims that got to be made recently about why the Labour Party is so upfront in the public opinion polls... this apart from the last election outcomes...

The claims are made by people who pin the blame on the influence enjoyed by the party which happens to be in government, the so-called “power of incumbency”. According to these gurus, that is how Labour brought the PN to its knees – it uses this power to dole out favours, create jobs etc. etc. and so scoop up votes.

I smile because as far as I know, the first time this explanation featured in Maltese politics was right after the 2008 elections. I was the one to put it forward just after the Labour Party lost that election by the slightest of margins.

And I was lampooned quite hard by the same people who are now reverting to it.

What they have failed to understand is that the power of incumbency argument holds when a minimal distance exists electorally between government and opposition. It has little bearing on what happens when what separates the PL government and the Opposition PN is so huge a difference as the opinion polls now indicate it is.

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A VALID INITIATIVE

The deployment of mobile clinics to inoculate persons who still have not been vaccinated is an excellent idea. The more such clinics are located centrally, as they have been, the better it will be.

In a country like ours, where foreign residents constitute a substantial part of the population, one certainly cannot leave them to the side. Such a facility should demonstrate a concrete commitment to ensure that all those living in these islands will have the required protection to guard against infection.

Following more than a year and a half during which Covid 19 has been dominating our lives, all that can get done to destroy should be done “whatever it takes” – to echo the expression that Mario Draghi now Italian PM, then governor of the European Central Bank drummed up to explain the initiatives being taken to counter the 2008 – 2012 financial crisis.

 

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