The Malta Independent 5 December 2021, Sunday

TMID Editorial: Why would youths want to leave Malta?

Saturday, 23 October 2021, 08:18 Last update: about 2 months ago

This year’s annual EY conference gave us two important surveys to chew on and ponder over – one which dealt with Malta’s attractiveness to foreign investment (which has plummeted) and another which dealt with finding out what youths think of the current state of affairs in Malta.

The latter – the Generate Youth survey – found that only 28% of Gen-Z youths and 26% of millennials want to stay in Malta, with 60% of the former and 59% of the latter stating that they preferred to move elsewhere in Europe. Smaller percentages said they’d rather move to North America, Asia, or Australia over staying in Malta as well.

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That’s a rise of 12% in millennials and 3% in Gen-Z compared to last year’s survey, and it comes – ironically – right after the government launched its Budget built on the premise of leaving a Malta which is better for our children.

Faced with these statistics and the current situation in the country though, we are forced to wonder: why on earth would youths want to leave a country as great as Malta?

Why would youths want to move abroad, when in Malta we have an environment which is day-after-day going from green to grey – from grass to concrete, and from trees to tarmac?

Why would youths want to move abroad, when in Malta we have rampant overdevelopment enabled by a toothless political class and spineless regulatory authorities which do nothing to put a stop to developers and contractors who act with such impunity that they feel that it’s perfectly fine to (allegedly) leave a worker with a broken back abandoned on a pavement?

Why would youths want to move abroad, when in Malta the cost of living  has risen to such an extent that even a night out or the cost of food can start to look exorbitant  - all while salaries have remained low?

Why would youths want to move abroad, when in Malta property has become increasingly unaffordable, and where couples have to beholden themselves to a bank for the best part of 40 years in the hope of being able to afford some architect’s photo-copied template for a two-bedroom apartment in a back alley somewhere if they ever hope to own a home?

Why would youths want to move abroad, when in Malta we have a political landscape characterised by people who care more for votes than for the general wellbeing of the country, and where the most important thing seems to be passing childish remarks at their opposite number as if Parliament was a primary school playground?

Why would youths want to move abroad, when in Malta the concept of meritocracy only works when there isn’t a direct order for a canvasser’s daughter or for a political party supporter somewhere in the middle?

Why would youths want to move abroad, when in Malta the justice system is such that a starving homeless man who steals a can of tuna to have something to eat is sent to jail, while people found responsible for the collapse of a house which led to the death of a woman got off with a suspended sentence, community service, and still have their warrants?

Really, we can’t imagine why youths would want to leave Malta in their droves…

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