The Malta Independent 13 June 2024, Thursday
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Weather disrupted

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 6 June 2024, 08:00 Last update: about 7 days ago

The disruption of weather patterns in many different areas of the globe seems to be convincing more and more people that the climate change which has been highlighted for quite some time does constitute a real danger. The claim is at present subject to much less contestation and the need for effective action to contain it has been getting increasing agreement. As of now, dissent prevails mostly regarding how such action should be undertaken, who is going to have to adopt the greatest changes in lifestyle, who is going to give up resources that had been taken for granted, and who is to pay the highest charges to cover the necessary action as it is being implemented.

Many moons ago, an environmental threat similar to climate warming involved the ozone layer which is positioned all round the globe. It was getting punctured,  apparently due to the overusage of certain chemicals. This was weakening the world’s protection from the sun’s radiation provided by the layer. Slowly measures were implemented to contain the danger. I believe they must have been successful since today this problem is practically never mentioned. If really and truly the measures that were then adopted gave results,  this should encourage the belief that today as well, humanity can find an appropriate response to disruption of the world’s weather.                   

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THE EXTREME RIGHT

As the election campaign for the European Parliament reaches a close, overall the greatest concerns that were raised at European level related to the gains that the extreme right parties could achieve. Apart from the unexpected but very serious problems which snagged the AfD party  that in Germany had been expected to make a big advance but which now seems to have lost momentum, in many of the other countries – from Italy to Portugal to Denmark and Sweden – it was noted that the forces of the extreme right have consolidated their electorates and went on to increase them further.

The problem (for them) really is that they are not totally united. Almost everywhere there are two parties of the same tendency, if not more. Yet they disagree among themselves, sometimes in a major way.  There is the probability that the splits between them might widen not shrink.

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SUPERMARKETS

After Spain and Portugal had joined the EU, I somehow got to see a report (if I remember correctly by the IMF) that analysed how foreign direct investment had been placed in their economies during the first years of membership. I remember being surprised to learn that the major European investments there had not been in industrial or tourism ventures, but in supermarkets, and this in a big way.

I again remember that study whenever – as happens frequently – some news release comes up to tell us that in Malta another project has been proposed for a new supermarket (frequently too on ODZ land). As in the Iberian peninsula, here too following membership in the EU, foreign direct investment in supermarkets became a big hit, although by that time we already had The success recorded y the “new” ventures from Europe  triggered as always happens, the copycat interest of local businessmen. Today, a supermarket project is considered to be among the proposals most likely to succeed. For how long will that judgement prevail?

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