The Malta Independent 23 February 2024, Friday
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An exemption for what?

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 6 October 2022, 07:36 Last update: about 2 years ago

I understand why the government considers it has made a good job when it obtained an exemption for Malta with regard to the measure being adopted at a European level for electricity consumption to be reduced by 5 percent nationally when it is at its peak.

On the other hand, I do not understand fully why we wanted such an exemption. As of now, with how events are shaping up, there is a significant probability that the crisis in the provision of energy Europe-wide and beyond will persist. Among the precautions that any government should adopt, must feature measures that seek to curtail the consumption of energy without undermining the country’s economic and social situation.

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Would a reduction of 5 per cent have affected the island so badly? The signal being given that it’s like there’s no crisis, has every likelihood of serving to encourage even greater consumption.

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NOT HATE SPEECH

Well past his youth, an individual with anti-clerical views had his contempt for priests of all religions reinforced when newstories emerged about scandalous sexual abuses especially committed against children. Most involved priests, high and low, in institutions run by religous people. So this person wrote on facebook about how there is a big probability for  priests to end up possessed by the devil. Moreover he warned, wearing a clerical collar or a priest’s soutane is worse than actually being possessed by the devil.

In another comment, posted under the photo of some cardinal or bishop exiting from a court of law where he had just been found guilty of sexual offences, this anti-clerical citizen wrote that the guilty cleric was fittingly dressed up as if he had just left a consistory of cardinals.

In Malta, no complaint can be made about such statements. They cannot be considered as hate speech, even if they lack a certain sense of prudence. They certainly cannot be considered as malicious.   

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NATIONAL PROTEST

What follows is a technical – not a political – reflection. A (political) party – and for that matter, any trade union or any NGO – cannot expect a national protest that is launched from the hip to gather momentum by itself. Unless, as can be understood, the issue is explosive and will have blazed up all of a sudden while mobilizing popular anxieties and anger. Such issues rarely emerge.

Even with regard to inflation – an issue that evokes widespread anxieties – popular mobilisation needs to be cultivated in numerous ways, through many channels. Expectations must be fed by calls for support that are made forcefully and spread over different sectors. I did not see that this was happening during the PN exercise to organize last Sunday, a national protest again inflation.

This is nost strange. During the years when I used to closely follow what the PN did, the parfty had developed very intelligently, many social and political mechanisms by which to mobilise citizens. Not least when protests or demonstrations needed to be mounted on a national scale. Could it be that the PN has lost all the organizational skills it enjoyed in the past?

                       

 

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