The Malta Independent 19 April 2024, Friday
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NATO

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 19 February 2024, 08:02 Last update: about 3 months ago

In this country we have had direct experience of working with NATO. Most Maltese do not remember how this went. For apart from the very questionable Maltese  ongoing participation in the NATO “Partnership for Peace” programme, another major Maltese input occurred in the 1960’s and continued till the first half of the year 1971.

NATO used to run here a regional military headquarters with offices in Floriana from where extensive military manoeuvres in widespread Mediterranean areas would be overseen. The airport at Luqa served as a nerve centre for surveillance and espionage flights. NATO ships posted to the Mediterranean would  gather in Grand Harbour and from there leave for Med-wide manoeuvres.

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The government requested NATO membership for Malta. The request was never taken seriously. Instead, NATO conceded that the Maltese ambassador in Brussels would be meeting once a month with NATO’s secretary general for an exchange of views.

I just cannot understand how there are people who would like to revert to the situation prevailing in those days!

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A TRUMP VICTORY

A Donald Trump win in the coming US presidential elections is not impossible. The main problem would not be his policies. Among his predecessors, there were other American presidents who proposed extreme right policies that  almost matched his.

However the American political and administrative system functions like a super tanker -- it is not easy to turn it overnight from running north  to running south. One could say this is just  not possible. In some way, brakes and side motors start to apply and affect hugely which direction is taken, so that what is proclaimed as being the chosen target ends up having little relationship to the  actual outcome.

What could be worst in a Trump victory would be the fact of the US again being led by a person who lives in a world of lies. These get concoted in such a manner that they absolutely underwrite the self-impression cultivated by that same person: a story of a man endowed with the greatest available intelligence, wisdom and ability.

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AIRLINES

Remarks passed by Ryan Air representatives recently about Air Malta were misplaced. Indulgence in loose talk is not the least of the weaknesses that characterise Ryan Air executives.

So in their view, Air Malta remains just good enough to service the needs of elite passengers while at Ryan, thank God, they are there to sustain and develop inbound Malta tourism. As if the basis of their tourism endeavours was not laid on the air connections with Europe that were built by Air Malta as of its inception, when nobody else before it had managed to do this. On such a groundwork, Ryan Air could proceed to develop their airline business set on a different model. And they also succeeded in this because they could benefit from government subsidies which were not available to Air Malta.

Over the years, many mistakes were made in the management of Air Malta. Still in no way should the contribution given by that company to the economic, and yes, the touristic development of the island, be badmouthed.  

                       

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