The Malta Independent 13 August 2022, Saturday

Storm in a teacup

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 1 August 2022, 08:00 Last update: about 13 days ago

Some of those who came out to accuse President George Vella of an “obscenity” with regard to the alleged delay in signing the IVF bill into law, have themselves in their own professional and executive record cases about which they can hardly be proud. The clamour raised about the “delay” was in the nature of a storm in a teacup – as one could eventually perceive from the strained pseudo-analyses that were presented of what the President had said or not said.


As I know from personal experience, George Vella has always been one of the  persons active in politics who behaves with the utmost rectitude; he also lacks any machiavellian trait, which can hardly be said for all others. I have no doubt that right through the episode at reference, he conducted himself with the rectitude for which he is known. Whoever tried to impugn Vella’s personal or political integrity was firing at his own feet.

In the way the story was slanted, it reminded me of what had happened in 1990 in Belgium when the Parliament passed a law to liberalise abortion. King Baudouin, a fervent Catholic, could not sign it. The solution was to issue a proclamation that the King was unable to carry out the functions designated to him. The Belgian cabinet of ministers as per the Constitution assumed these functions. The law was signed by all the ministers. Next day a new proclamation was published which declared that King Baudouin had again acquired his full ability to reign.  In Malta we have an easier solution.



The huge heatwaves occurring in many areas of Europe and the fires which destroyed diverse well known forest zones might convince more people about the urgency to curb climate warming by launching more measures that would help achieve this aim.

However the longer Putin’s war in the Ukraine drags on, the more urgent it becomes for Europeans to have a back stop to counter the Russian threat of curtailing or shutting off completely the flow of natural gas. It will be difficult to understand how measures  designed wih this aim in mind can remain compatible at least over the medium term, with those intended to combat climate warming.



Perhaps I overlooked it, but I have yet to see a document which presents synthetically the legal procedures that should be revoked, improved or strengthened in order to allow court procedures to apply swiftly and transparently. In a number of cases of money laundering (but not only), we get bombarded with news items that mean that proceedings will continue for a very long time. Such news confirms that many “acceptable” manoeuvres exist by which one side or the other can waste time or slow processes down.

The question that arises is whether it is possible for all this to be taken care of  across the board, by a once-only change of procedures – one that reflects the same principles applied to the change without depending on successive pinches of amendments that are likely to make the whole system even more complex.

I quite fear that although such a way of doing things does exist, too many vested interests consider it as a threat. The real danger is that the Maltese legal system will no longer be taken seriously – assuming that it still is as of now – by Maltese citizens themselves as well as by foreigners.

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