A hop, skip, and a jump
We are all so chuffed now that we are just a hop, skip and a jump away from the culmination of all the heavily-guarded projects entrusted to Konrad Mizzi, together with his Panama audit reaching their climax.
Rachel Borg is an independent columnist based in the tourism industry
We have waited, long, patiently. Pages of print and online content have been written on the subject of when and how these grand projects, such as the Electrogas Power Station, the conversion from Heavy Fuel Oil to gas of the BWSC power station and for the powering up of the supply from the LNG tanker sitting like an extra-terrestrial space-ship on the water in Marsaxlokk will actually be delivered. So “doable” have they been that it seems a relaxed attitude surrounded them and they took inadvertently longer, so much longer, than was intended. But, the time has come or so we are told. Well timed to coincide with Malta’s presidency of the EU and all the publicity around it.
Over at Karin Grech hospital, we are also given to believe that a transformation is taking place on a level that makes the emergency Red Cross field hospitals look like a doctor’s surgery when compared to the capacity and readiness to be found at Vitals Global Healthcare services. So nice to have such a cosy ward especially in this cold weather, all cuddled up together, sneezing on top of each other.
We waited also right to the end of 2016, expecting as we had been promised, for the PM to publish all the outstanding contracts which involved, amongst other things, an 18 year commitment to purchase electricity at a fixed rate and giving land to Sadeen for the building of a castle-property in Zonqor, the same audit report on Mizzi’s escapade in Panama, as mentioned earlier was also due on the “we shall show you” list, still, however, under his belt.
Funny though how the one report that may actually have some content – that of the FIAU – is also still kept locked away.
But time is pressing and an election begins to draw near. Other than postpone the elections to a later date, the pressure to deliver on the promised reports, contracts and projects is now upon Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi.
Instead, the year began with an anti-climax as we were told that petrol and diesel prices are to increase by 0.04c. Back to the future. Instead of the kitchen, this New year, we were given the car. Both items so important to the Maltese society.
As for any calm, serious, nontwitter, in-depth and open interviews with the Prime Minister, at such a crucial time for Malta, with so many questions that need answering, all we receive are platitudes about “fake news” which is the latest schoolyard taunt of the day and as copycat as it gets. It brings to mind the reclusive Howard Hughes, one of America’s first billionaires, who became a Hollywood movie mogul before plunging into a reclusive lifestyle prompted by obsessional fears of germs and contamination.
We are left to rely on “government” billboards and jolly blogs instead of intelligent interviews, reminiscent of a fascist past in bygone eras on the European continent.
Can anyone show us what is happening right now in Malta that is in any way innovative, avant-garde or worthwhile? The incessant bringing up of civil rights is not going to save us from the bigger picture, rapidly wearing thin and fake copies of masterpieces that go to make up the book of fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Mary had a little lamb... and everywhere that Mary went her lamb was sure to go...
Maybe the impression is that Malta is a place where north meets south, or east meets west and deals can be done over a steak dinner and bottle of red, whilst the pressure of scrutiny is taken off and a little jaunt is wholly plausible. A kind of “what happens in Malta, stays in Malta” venue, so in vogue with the lads.
The result is that more and more young and not so young citizens of Malta and Gozo are not waiting around any longer and have tipped their hat to the sunny isles and headed for other shores, where careers and a future are made not by under the table deals, Positions of Trust or cronyism and nepotism, but by fair selection and appreciation of achievements. Even those approaching retirement are looking to purchase a property overseas, longing to get away from the high prices, free for all and depreciating environment around us.
It is much better to join our EU neighbours on their own shores and enjoy the opportunities of a better developed society, however troubled their country may be than survive in the discomfort of a deluded, secluded and rotten carcass – and that’s pre-LNG tanker and risk to life percentages. It is just too unpleasant living here under this stress and democratic deficit – even the irregular migrants keep their distance. The number of institutions and organisations that have been rendered useless, the amount of jobs and money that has gone to nondescript persons, the platitudes, the lies, the abuse have changed forever the democratic face of this country.
Cutting some ribbons and unveiling of plaques and making of ceremonies will not change a thing. On the contrary, without a new perspective or a decisive accountability, the rot will only continue and make comfortable the weak and sad figures of a bad comedy.
The recent comments from the Socialist MEPs, the hugging, the back slapping, the jolly statements, the questionable approval of permits and projects by the EU commission, this buddy buddy camaraderie is not what we expected from serious politicians.
We are left with the impression that all enquiries are already set and sealed, ready for archiving, the sooner to begin the process of working through the months of Malta’s presidency and calling it a success.
Si salva chi può. Libera nos a malo.
The Malta Independent Saturday 14 January 2017