The Malta Independent 15 June 2024, Saturday
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A good country to live in

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 27 May 2024, 08:00 Last update: about 19 days ago

Foreigners who live in Malta or who are tempted to live here still consider that our country is an attractive one. What they still seem to prize are the island’s small size, the climate, plus the life style that characterizes the Maltese people. Yet outsiders who note that our living environment is deteriorating have increased in number.  Overcrowding, the lack of a civic discipline and of law enforcement as well as environmental decay cannot but fail to put people off.

Inevitably, faced with such criticism, one is tempted to retort – It is not what foreign residents believe that counts, as much as what the Maltese poeple themselves are experiencing. That is quite true. Still, if only some years back, foreigners held Malta’s life style in  high esteem and now they seem to be losing that esteem, the question must still be faced: Why is this happening?

Factors that in their view, are negative surely will be having a similar impact on Maltese citizens. The latter might conceivably be more tolerant of what is being done badly but they had better keep in mind that if too much tolerance is allowed, matters might end up affecting them as well, and very negatively. A foreigner can go back to where he/she came from. Maltese people hardly have this choice available.

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BEES

The news that tenor Joseph Calleja is a bee keeper was quite intriguing. For years, bees seemed to have completely vanished, at least from my garden.

More recently, some have reappeared... and I am not saying this must have been because Calleja is breeding them! But it does seem as if bees are making a comeback.

Still the risk that bees out in “the wild” – in contrast to those that live in a man-made hive – become extinct needs to be contained. But do “wild” bees still exist? They are actually part of our national identity.We used to be taught that the word Malta is derived from a Carthaginian (or is it Aramaic?) word that means honey.

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LABYRINTH

It had been quite a while since I last visited Swieqi though I did keep track of the complaints made by residents, especially about how they were being submerged by the flow of traffic coming from Paceville in the search for where to park. The suburb is organised in a grid, like Valletta. Theoretically with this layout it should be easier to find one’s way inside.

For me this time, the problems arose because there were so many one ways. At every crossroad, one needed to change direction. In no time at all, from going north, one ended up driving south. As one reached the next cross road and turned again to revert to the original direction, new complications would arise as other one-ways sprang up.

I guess this labyrinth was created on purpose to discourage those who drive into the area to discover parking space. Yet, on reflection, would such drivers really care about one-way blockages since all they simply need is park and go to Paceville? And now anyway, do not most of them prefer to travel with Bolt?  

                       

 

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