The Malta Independent 28 January 2023, Saturday
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Tourism flourishes

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 5 December 2022, 07:57 Last update: about 3 months ago

It’s not been happening just in Malta. Everywhere travel has continued to develop and flourish, despite the anxieties still being triggered by the high inflation and the Ukraine war. What’s going on?

It seems as if Covid with the threat it still holds of putting us back into a situation where people must lock down in their homes, has fired a strong  urge among them to roam for as long as they can. And truly, while the airports I go through used to be practically empty up to some months ago, they are now packed full.

According to forecasts this is a trend that shall persist in coming months,  unless some unexpected event occurs to once again freeze all movements.

Otherwise, this chapter of tourist travel will surely end when the money that people have saved during the Covid experience will be spent. Inflation is chipping away at the value of savings. But it seems as if quite enough is still left for this travel bonanza to keep rolling. Let’s hope it lasts.   

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KULTURKAMPF

The debates in Parliament and beyond about the amendment that the government wishes to introduce to the law about how a clinical abortion can and should be done in the interests of the life and health of the mother have given rise to predictable controversies. As such, they go beyond the whole issue of abortion and relate to the more fundamental questions regarding the kind of society we would like to live in.

The arguments presented by all sides are phrased in a language that is tied to the implementation of values. These get described in ways that allow minor scope for compromise. One side must twin, the other lose.

The claim made by the government that it is simply correcting the defects in the law that would give doctors a free rein to decide whether they need to save a mother’s life by proceeding to an abortion has not been given much credence by those who are against all legalisation of abortion. Indeed, we are in the middle of a cultural and moral crusade relating to social power and of the same nature as that which took place in Germany in the century before last which came to be called a kulturkampf – it’s a “cultural” war.

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PLASTIC OR PAPER?

They used to tell us: with modern technology, we can now produce plastic containers superior in quality to glass, and cheaper. They can carry and package for sale edible oils, wines, any of the liquids that that are in popular everyday use. So, plastic replaced glass.

They used to tell us that with the “excessive” use of paper, we are destroying millions of trees. We should economize on this consumption in order to save forests.

Now they’re telling us: “Excessive” use of plastic is generating an incredible  amount of pollution in the seas and on land. We need to eliminte this pollution. Plastic bags should no longer be used. Instead we must go to paper for packaging the things we buy.

It’s no wonder that we are still failing to control the environmental damage that the planet is being subjected to. The same contradictory claims made for plastic and paper, have been  similarly deployed about coal, iron, water, sale, rare minerals, natural gas...

                        Human existence depends on the best use of the resources that our world is endowed with. Are we managing this usage effectively?    

                       

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