The Malta Independent 25 May 2024, Saturday
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Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 18 April 2024, 08:00 Last update: about 2 months ago

European leaders not least in the European Parliament, are outspoken about how in Europe, appointments to public positions need to be carried out diligently and how this should also apply to member states. So the scandal about how the EU representative for smes has been chosen made waves.

The man selected was the German EPP MEP Pieper. He has been a constant critic of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen although he is a member of her political “family”. Complaints (which in my view are justified) were raised about how the procedures followed by the Commission to choose him were manipulated for him to get the job, although other candidates were better suited. Von der Leyen did not want him to be around to create problems for her European election campaign. Socialist members of the European Commission even protested regarding what has been happening.

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An obvious comment needs to be made: Those who manipulate European governance rules in this way, have for quite a while been preaching to us about how to run our country properly. And they would want us to take them seriously.

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HOTELS

Some days ago I read a short, interesting report about how the Preluna Hotel was built and run during the last fifty years, even more. It gave rise to the following train of thought: The hotels of Malta and Hozo were a leading feature in the development of the island’s tourism. Their story has rarely (never?) been told. But it is a story from which much can be learnt.

In addition to the Preluna, there were today’s Hilton and its predecessors, the old Sheraton, the Excelsior in Floriana, the Mellieħa Bay Hotel, and in Gozo the Duke of Edinburgh and the Ta’ Ċenċ hotel. These were among the best known names, but there were others. I doubt whether the story of tourism in Malta has ever been seen from their perspective. If someone does take the matter up, he/she would be facing a truly worthwhile challenge. Likely, it could given us new ideas about what makes tourism in Malta the success that it has been and still is.

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ATTACK ON ISRAEL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

The “huge” attack launched by Iran against Israel does not seem to have been so successful, by way of causing significant damage. To the contrary it showed that Israel has an effective defence against air attacks.

What I cannot understand is the discourse about retaliation. Who is retaliating against who?

As we all know, Iran and Israel detest each other and have been like so for a long time.  Both seek continually to undermine each other and do not keep back at all when the opportunity arises to inflict as much pain as possible on each other, even as they indulge all round in mutual accusations of terrorism.

Immediately after the Iranian attack, Israel made clear that it would retaliate. On their side the Iranians presented their attack as itself an act of retaliation. Recently, their consolate in Damascus was destroyed by air attack and senior officials of their security services were killed. The two sides are caught in a tit-fot-tat of retaliation and response... Prospects are dim that this vicious destructive game will end sometime soon.

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