The Malta Independent 5 March 2024, Tuesday
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New ideas on the economy

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 27 November 2023, 07:59 Last update: about 4 months ago

We hear numerous calls for a change in the economic “model” that has been implemented up to now, as well as presumably calls for a new one that needs to be drafted. The “model” now in use (so we are told) has been generating negative outcomes by way of the quality of life in the society as a whole and in the environment, even as it powered an economic momentum that is superior to what many other European states have experienced. And it is not sustainable.

I am one of those who agree that there is a need to update the strategies by which the economy has been developed: for the reasons mentioned, plus others. However I disagree with those who portray the situation as if we are on the eve of some Armageddon. Neither do I agree with those who would relate the “model” to the Labour administrations of the past few years, as if it was during this period that it came to life. Actually it follows completely from two options that the Nationalist Party had taken up: for Malta to become an EU member; and for financial services and internet gaming to be widely promoted.

Meanwhile, even as we get to hear much rhetoric about the need to change the “model”, not much is said about new ideas regarding the kinds of different economic activity that we should be aiming for.

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DIPLOMATIC IDENTITY

Malta’s handling of a UN Security Council resolution about the war in Gaza was well managed and succeeded  in obtaining the Council’s approval. Without too much national self-praise, this achievement should be recognised for what it is, as due to the way by which Maltese diplomacy was actioned (extremely well) and as due to the political profile Malta has maintained as a neutral state.

For various reasons, this is not usually mentioned during the (partisan) political polemics that continue to rage as a matter of course. Still, Malta’s political profile ... established as it has been on the status of neutrality with the aim of never again allowing these islands to serve as a source of military threat to anybody... defines a truly valid diplomatic identity. It gives credibility to the initiatives that the island might launch or participate in.

No effort should be spared to ensure that this identity is safeguarded and enhanced.

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CHILDREN’S POLICY FRAMEWORK

The Ministry of Social Policy has done well to launch a framework for a children’s policy covering the years to 2030. It grounded this in the need to guarantee the well being of children backed by three other priorities, namely that of seeking to give families with children full support; improving the environment in which children develop; and enhancing the participative role of children in everyday life.  The report has certainly not been written in the abstract, given the “concrete” statistics that it refers to.

However it would have been nice had it provided as well more concrete descriptions of how children from different kinds of families live out their lives, perhaps too with greater emphasis on the situation among us of immigrant children coming from all backgrounds.

All things considered, this is a praiseworthy project. One hopes that it will not only achieve its objectives but will also highlight a practice by which children are placed at the centre of social policy.

On a sombre note: the publication of the report unluckily coincided with the ongoing massacre of children in Palestine.

                       

 

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