The Malta Independent 15 October 2021, Friday

Construction and speculation

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 11 October 2021, 08:00 Last update: about 5 days ago

It is clear that in a small island like ours, where land is scarse, land and construction will stand out as sectors that quite naturally make for the most profitable investments. Such investments appear to also be the most secure since unlike shares in a corporation, they will always maintain a concrete presence. Even when buildings are destroyed in some war, they can be rebuilt.

Investors will also have at the back of their minds that in  time, the value of their land and buildings will increase, without their having to do anythng about that. The scarcer land becomes, the higher the price of what is already in place.

So the query arises: what would happen if eventually all land that is fit for building gets used up? One would imagine that in the later stages that bring to this outcome,  prices and values will increase astronomically. For by then, only land that’s already built up will be available on the market.

One could imagine that eventually developments will cease being solely of a social or economic nature. Quite likely a radical revolution would break out.

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PEDOPHILIA

What is also shocking about the pedophilia scandal in the French Catholic church is the wide spread of reported abuses, the number of people involved in child abuse (coming from all ranks of the Church hierarchy) and the long period during which abusive acts continued to be indulged in with impunity.

The scale of the incidents which have been reported makes one suspect that the “phenomenon” actually exists also outside the Church and in some way is prevalent in French society as a whole. Either there is or was a lack of awareness regarding how children could be sexually exploited, or there existed some hidden tolerance for what was happening in and outside families.

However on further reflection, one would have to extrapolate the problem to outside French society to cover as well European society as a whole, including Malta.

For is it possible to claim that in Malta such abuse has not happened or does not happen? The practice of omertà is not a monopoly of the French Catholic hierarchy. As we know, it also exists here.

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TREES

To stay in France, a very interesting plan has been announced in Paris to plant over the next five years some 170,000 trees on the pavements of that city. This is going to link up with plans to increase the number of pedestrian zones intended to improve the day to day living environment in the metropolis, which will thus be making its own contribution to ecological targets.

Such an approach has been developing there for quite a while. Another plan is being implemented to convert the Champs Elysees, perhaps the best known of Parisian boulevards into a garden for pedestrians. All this in a city which already has half a million trees. I would be curious to see how the approach will develop in future. There hardly seem to have been too many complaints about what is being proposed.

For, though ambitious, the project to plant so many new trees is feasible and makes sense. If it does in Paris, why not in Malta?

                       

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