The Malta Independent 22 July 2024, Monday
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Too much wailing

Alfred Sant Monday, 4 December 2023, 08:00 Last update: about 9 months ago

I doubt whether they’re noticing what is happening. However those who regularly write to lament about how in their view Malta under a Labour administration has become Sodom and Gomorrah, are probably damaging the very cause they believe they’re promoting. The arguments, the instances, the criticisms and the rhetoric of scandal and protest that they deploy are so repetitive and so predicatable that they have become monotonous. One can perceive this in the articles they publish in The Times and the Independent.

Meanwhile, two other factors serve to weaken their position. When one reads what they write one must conclude that for them, the rot began since the Labour administration came into office. Now, any reasonable person will accept that previously rampant abuses were allowed full  space. And where were they in those days?

Secondly, the economy has been -- still is -- performing quite well, even if that is triggering social problems. But it still is allowing people to feel a sense of security, which makes them less than receptive to excessive wailing.                 

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WHAT PRIVACY WILL REMAIN?

From everywhere the privacy of every individual is being subjected to increasing and expanding pressures. Every bank card transaction leaves behind it a trace of where we were and who we made the payment to. The mobiles we carry store in their “minds” information, which they can then transmit, about where one has been moving through and with whom one has spoken. Cameras are placed in public places which record all that is happening in their location.

At the same time, the electronic capacity to register and bring together billions and billions of pieces of data has been growing exponentially. On this basis, scenarios and forecasts can be projected about the future conduct of people. These follow from the picture that is becoming increasingly detailed about how you and I are behaving in public and in private.

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CAPITAL MARKETS UNION

The capital markets union in Europe (cmu for short) can easily be considered as the Cindirella of ongoing programmes to achieve economic and financial union in the EU. Some would think of giving such a title to the banking union. Actually, this project can better be seen as an orphan: the final and most significant development that it needed -- namely the establishment of a limitless guarantee on the deposits citizens hold in banks -- has failed to materialise.

On the other hand, cmu -- though it is always touted as being extremely important if European financial unity is going to be achieved -- has been allowed to slip back and further back. As recently as last week, the European Central Bank President Lagarde stated in the European Parliament that if the EU’s digital and green objectives are going to be reached, a functioning cmu will be crucial to mobilise the enormous volumes of investment funds that will be required.

And yet, progress on the cmu project remains abysmal. Most proposals that come to discussion cover initiatives which amount to retouches of the little that has already been done.

 

 

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