The Malta Independent 13 June 2024, Thursday
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Farm land

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 20 May 2024, 07:54 Last update: about 25 days ago

At present, awareness on the island regarding the need to preserve what remains of our farmland has become great. As I see it, a “total” moratorium to not allow new buildings on arable land is required, no matter what the purpose of those proposing new construction, whether public or pivate, may be. Clearly this would give rise to strong resistances.

They would come from the owners of farmland and of people with money who hardly care about where they intend  to build so long as it’s going to be a good investment.

For a number of reasons, many people have realized that the destruction of open land is a disbenefit to all. The problem still remains though that one and all remain equally open to the temptation of picking up a good sum of money when arable land that one’s family possesses is sought by developers/speculators. The damages caused by the destruction of land are in the future; the financial satisfaction one gets when pocketing the money realised from land sales is practically immediate.

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

This is likely not the first time that the subject is being raised here, which hardly matters.

Reported cases of “domestic” violence involving Maltese and foreign residents ... and which seem all to be reaching the criminal courts... have multiplied and in a big way. It could be that it is the reporting of such cases and how they get reported which give this impression.

However one understands the point made by those who insist that there has been no real change in how things used to happen in the homes of cohabitating couples. Domestic violence was formerly widespread and still is now. What is happening is that much more than previously, attitudes about and against it have hardened. At last, it is being increasingly reported and action about it is being taken. The drive behind such efforts needs to be maintained and stepped up.

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GAMING

Internet gaming was launched with great brio as a new industrial sector for Malta and has since developed very well. I always found it strange that here, this did not give rise in any way to feelings of unease or disquiet. Even the Catholic Church which often shows a commitment to the condemnation of social changes it deems unacceptable, appeared not to find anything problematic with the issue.

After all gaming as an activity, whether done from a physical venue like a casino, or over the internet, can become quite addictive or worse, and it brings in its wake, significant anti-social consequences. When gaming is being organised from a physical location, these consequences can be contained but over the internet, their same effects get multiplied across whole communities, as is happening.

Meanwhile, the gaming industry has been making a huge contribution to our economy. A substantial number of foreign people live here to keep it going. Although the economic and financial information about the sector is no longer being concealed, as used to happen during the first fifteen years of its operations, we are still quite far from knowing and understanding exactly what is the real economic and social impact of the sector as a whole.

                       

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