The Malta Independent 21 March 2023, Tuesday
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Financial reforms

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 13 March 2023, 08:00 Last update: about 9 days ago

The financial services framework of regulations and incentives, it has been announced, is due for an upcoming reform. It will be interesting to evaluate the thrust of the proposed changes. Clearly financial services have been on a number of  fronts, butting against how European legislation to regulate the sector is moving. The EU has been guided by the commitment to create a single capital market; but not only. Initiatives directed against money laundering and others meant to ensure that taxes due really get paid are on the runway.


Meanwhile, Malta’s positioning and that of its financial services have been  at the receiving end of much criticism, which we have hardly parried well. Since the island became an EU member, financial services progressed precisely because there were no European regulations overseeing the sector.

Perhaps it would have been a good idea if the changes that have been announced, were published and discussed in a government White Paper. The issue of a White Paper has been almost totally sidelined in today’s public administrative practice. It has been replaced by the “European” pratice of a public or professional consultation.



An asset that is brought to the market with a Maltese origin label should acquire added value as a result. This does not apply just to furniture antiques or paintings or whatever. It also covers products that are made for ongoing consumption, and they’re not just wines and cheeses.

Many such products take us back in time to when the economy was much dependent on agriculture and animal husbandry. Almost everybody today seems to wish those times could be forgotten. 

Other EU member states are not making the same mistake. They have been getting the EU’s guarantee for artisanal products that they claim, originate from their regions, so that only they can sell them under a certain label. I doubt whether this is done simply to deter others from entering their market. I rather think that in this way, they are preparing the basis from which they can competitively sell their output as the best and most authentic that is available on the market.



All groups, all communities, all parties, all religions, all countries hold in common among their members a set of narratives about what happened in the past and what is going on at present. Many of these narratives are hardly better ( if “better” is the right word here) than mythologies -- fables, beautiful or nasty, which lead those who believe in them to confirm that what he/she has always stood for, is as ok today as it was yesterday.

That is what comes to my mind as I listen to references being made about what happened in the 1970’s and 1980’s. According to the narrative still emphasized by the means of communication and newspapers like “Times of Maltaa” and “Malta Independent” there was in place during those years, a dictatorial Labour government and a holy and gentle Opposition which while keeping its hands clean, did its best to correct the situation.

That’s not what happened.

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