The Malta Independent 27 September 2023, Wednesday
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Keep trying

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 22 May 2023, 08:00 Last update: about 5 months ago

My interest in the Eurovision Song Festival is minimal. But naturally, others like it and hugely – as an audience, and from the perspective of artists in the musical, dance and performance categories.

However, I heard too many people recently exclaim “Why do we have to enter such competitions where we always end up doing badly?” You sometimes hear the same thing being said about participation in sports competitions, such as football – though less than in the past. These activities just do not suit us, it is said. We can never be good enough for them.

I disagree totally. I am one of those who time after time, insisted that given our small size, we should be careful not to assume obligations that make sense for larger entities. I still believe like so.

On the other hand, this does not mean that we had to, or should, cut ourselves off from all international competitions, especially in sports and culture. While participating, we surely should always stay in realistic mode about our potential to achieve good results. And always as well we should do our best to learn new approaches from every experience that would thereby improve the Maltese performance.



A project is launched, plus another and then another one, all tagged with their date of completion. Everybody knows the latter will not be respected. But that causes little to no concern, even if time after time, as if we are being supplied with breaking and sensational news, we get told how the project is progressing very fast but that its termination is being simply postponed for another few months.

On this matter, I find no consolation in the fact that the same happens elsewhere, as in Belgium, where by my estimates, projects trail as much as they do in Malta, perhaps more. What is certain is that citizens are not being well served. The funding for many projects is sourced from the taxes citizens pay.

Nothing or too little is said about the reasons that actually cause the recurrent postponements. Was work done badly? Was there a shortfall in the available labour, the funding, the input materials (did these arrive late?)? Was it a question of incompetence, of corruption, of accidents, of erroneous site maps??? Who knows!



Next year’s European elections will be done with almost a month’s delay over those of 2019. I do not know whether the resulting outgo will be different from that of last time. Then, the fear was about the impact of “extreme” populists, which served to somehow mobilise the left and right centre. I would doubt whether the same will happen again.

On the other hand, if the populists have not themselves been totally tranquillised, they have allowed themselves to snooze here and there. They were always liable to be penalised by a big abstention rate in European voting since their core support tends to  vote largely in national elections. This time round, their abstentionists are likely to be more numerous than in 2019.

Anyway, parties will be doing their best to bolster the support of their hard core.

Personally, I will not be affected by such calculations as I will not be contesting this coming election. It is time to make way for someone else. I will still be interested in the outcome of the elections though.   

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