Editorial in the Times of Malta, 25. January 2002
What is going on?
How can one begin to explain, rationally, what is going on in Malta today? For instance, how can one come to understand the barbaric shooting, in full view of the people, of swans flying over this Mediterranean outpost for a rest after such a rigorous journey from the bitter cold of the continent?
Is not the MLP's boycott of Where's Everybody preposterous?
Why is the government taking so long to come to grips with the privatisation programme when it figured so prominently in all its plans?
How can one explain the fact that when so many countries are so eager to join the European Union in a bid to step into the new millennium, better armed to make it in today's world, Malta's opposition party feels that we can survive on our own?
How can one accept a band of people illegally occupying prime land in summer threatening to boycott the referendum on the EU if the government does not come to an agreement with them?
How is it at all possible in an island the size of Malta that the two main parties do not even agree among themselves on the growth rate of the island's economy?
When it took the social partners 10 years to knock into shape proposals for the amendment of the island's industrial relations laws, how would one begin to explain that, judging by what they have been saying over the past few days, we seem to be just starting, not concluding, the exercise?
More to the point, who exactly drafted the clause on the definition of an industrial dispute? Were not the trade unions aware of the clause submitted to the social policy minister? And if not, why?
How on earth can one exclude the island's major exporter in an analysis of the island's export trade, as government spokesmen often do in order to back their contention that the island is doing well?
Why is there so much travelling around by government people? Why are key recommendations by the auditor ignored by successive governments, Nationalist and Labour, when these so often preach discipline in financial management?
When there is so much need for work at the Drydocks, how can one stick to outdated political theories?
When so much is being spent on the building of a new hospital, how can one explain the fact that we have not yet solved manning problems at health centres?
How can the Labour Party ever succeed in promoting a 'social coalition' when its leader has been acting so divisively, going to the extent of personally refusing to take part in an annual charity programme on national television?
Is it not incredible that after so many years the Nationalists are still incapable of halting the degradation of the environment? Do we want to save what we have left or do we not?
How can the Labour Party be taken seriously when it says that its decision on whether or not it would retain VAT if they were to be returned to power would be made known only close to the elections? Has it not had enough time to decide on such an important matter?
Can there be a more frustrating situation than this?