The Malta Independent 30 March 2023, Thursday
View E-Paper


Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 26 January 2023, 07:59 Last update: about 2 months ago

A friend made an interesting remark: Greed has penetrated too deeply into the Maltese economy. The dictionary defines greed as an “intense and selfish desire for something”: surely money in this context.

I thought about what he said: but hasn’t the urge to become rich always been part of us and what we do? Neither heaven nor hell have started to develop just now, here or elsewhere.


My friend’s meaning seemed to be that today, greed has reached phenomenal levels. The quest for money has become extremely (not to say excessively) wideranging. The natural environment and the national heritage are being incessantly put at risk.

I guess though that he actually meant more than this. Today’s greed is placing first priority on  grabbing money at the expense of correct behaviour towards competitors, consumers and the country as a whole. The slogan that “I come first” prevails. Its implementation requires that everything is permitted. Including corruption?                   



With time, all that we say, decide and do is coming to depend on digitial processes. Similarly what we produce, how and where we travel, how we pay and get paid. European governments, the EU as well as the leaders of regions outside aim to continue pursuing the objective of making digital space part of the minds, education and popular customs of people.

On that basis, better levels of living can be reached, life will become better and be lived for longer, while needed goods will be produced more efficiently.

There will be a price to pay for all this. The fact that we will be relying so much on digital systems means that they will attract the attention of those out to see how they could profit by launching projects that should be out of bounds. To the same extent that digital processes  can be of benefit, they can open possibiltiies for criminal activity of a new sort.

It has therefore become a leading priority to run and develop cyber security routines and procedures  in order to contain such criminal activity. Efforts being mobilised to ensure that cyber security is the best possible are increasing at a rate that is perhaps even bigger than the growth rate of the digital sector as a whole.



More than forty years ago the amount of pesticides in the Maltese countryside was causing alarm. I remember that as the editor of a monthly magazine, I would receive for publication articles about the problem. They would describe how in order to get rid of the worms, bugs, snails and insects that were destroying their harvests, farmers had gotten used to spraying chemical solutions on their fields to safeguard their produce.

However the island’s soils ended up polluted with pesticide residues. The resulting contamination could seep into the underlying rock formations and down into the water aquifers. The fear was that diseases would spread among the population, especially cancers.

Since then, controls on the use of pesticides have been introduced. Still was the threat lifted of the Maltese countryside becoming generally contaminated? And in the meantime, what results have been registered by attempts to push back those beasts that specialised in devouring farm harvests?                 



  • don't miss