Sandro won’t have it

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2020-01-27T09:45:36+01:00Mon, 27th Jan '20, 09:45|

I think it’s wrong to let comments made by Sandro Chetcuti of the developers’ association a few days ago go past without remark. He was receiving Robert Abela in a formal setting when he said his developers’ association supports civil society’s campaign to ban private funding of political parties. Civil society is almost always on [...]

The ‘good clean up’ stunt

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2020-01-27T09:04:57+01:00Mon, 27th Jan '20, 09:04|

Robert Abela’s office is making a big song and dance about a “clean up” in the government ranks. In a story in yesterday The Sunday Times they made a claim about removing an unquantified and unspecified number of former OPM staffers representing this as some sort of cull. Of course, this is a load of [...]

New sports director of Malta’s Italian football team had been charged and acquitted for illegal betting

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2020-01-27T08:26:58+01:00Mon, 27th Jan '20, 08:26|

Gaetano Farruggio (right) Gaetano Farruggio, ex Ħamrun Spartans coach, has been handpicked by MFA President Bjorn Vassallo to work as “sports director” of the new Maltese club “Malta SA” that will be competing from next year in the Italian third division. The news was given by Gaetano Farruggio himself in an interview with [...]

AL JAZEERA: Daphne’s legacy

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2020-01-27T07:54:20+01:00Mon, 27th Jan '20, 07:54|

If you haven't yet, watch this short shown on Al Jazeera's 'The Listening Post' which is their regular program on worldwide journalism. There's an interesting interview with Xarabank's Mark Laurence Zammit who speaks with remarkable candour about the realisation that many of us were too small to realise just how big the corruption was and [...]

Leave the children out of it

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2020-01-22T14:08:46+01:00Wed, 22nd Jan '20, 14:07|

I let some time pass before I commented on Robert Abela’s appearance on TVM with his family. The first reason was to avoid even the impression this was some “attack moqżież u faħxi fuq it-tifla tal-prim ministru”. This is not what this post is about at all. Why do politicians present themselves in photos and [...]

That city on the hill

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2020-01-22T09:13:08+01:00Wed, 22nd Jan '20, 09:13|

We have converted a reality into a dream, reversed the realisation of our ambitions, stepped further from our own home. We allowed the golden calf of money to distract us from the truth we used to long for until we forgot to care anymore. The Economist Intelligence Unit no longer thinks we are a democracy [...]

You give us too much credit

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2020-01-21T18:01:08+01:00Tue, 21st Jan '20, 18:01|

State-funded dinosaur Mario Azzopardi is calling for street protests to reverse Justyne Caruana’s resignation. He’s angry because his idols fell like flies. He remembers a time when he could call protesters bitches and whores. He remembers a time when the heroes of the mythology in his head were immortal and unbeatable. He remembers a time [...]

Bent cops and straight shooters

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2020-01-21T15:28:48+01:00Tue, 21st Jan '20, 15:28|

The independent inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia is proving to be a very important public service. Daphne’s sons were accused of all sorts of things as the government sought reasons not to have the inquiry. The more time passes the more we can see why. As Daphne did through her journalism, the [...]

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The incentive to be corrupt

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2020-01-20T18:36:51+01:00Mon, 20th Jan '20, 18:36|

Look at this tweet by minister Byron Camilleri. It is the same logic on the back of which Chris Fearne, in the run-up to Labour’s leadership election, said the PN was only really interested in abolishing partisan TV stations because it can’t afford its own. That may very well be the case but it’s all [...]

GUEST POST: Joseph Muscat did not betray me

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2020-01-20T18:03:16+01:00Mon, 20th Jan '20, 18:03|

By someone known to me. One consequence of climate change is the melting of ice that might have been frozen for countless years. This inevitably uncovers many things that had lain there undisturbed, shielded by the protecting ice, amongst which there are many skeletons. The dimensions of such revelations are much larger than that of [...]

LONG READ: The PN wants to catch them young

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2020-01-20T18:25:06+01:00Mon, 20th Jan '20, 17:57|

The Nationalist Party has started a recruitment drive for young people to sign up for a life in politics. It’s going to be a tough sell. And it really shouldn’t be. I don’t mean to suggest with what I’m about to say that it would not be desirable for us voters to have multiple political [...]

GUEST POST: No honeymoon, Robert

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2020-01-19T18:17:13+01:00Sun, 19th Jan '20, 16:42|

If you needed confirmation that Robert Abela’s premiership wasn’t going to get - or deserve - a honeymoon, Sunday’s papers provided it. On Malta Today, its owner Saviour Balzan wrote about how a bunch of craven cowards vomited their thoughts about the disgraced Joseph Muscat into his lap. These revolting turds weren’t named, but according [...]

Look like the innocent flower

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2020-01-19T18:16:19+01:00Sun, 19th Jan '20, 15:15|

In a normal country where we would have assumed the prime minister of the land would be committed to half-way decent governance, Silvio Valletta’s statement in his own defence today would be the last nail in his wife’s political coffin. Justyne Caruana should not last the day as government minister. We now know that in [...]

A little bit of honesty would have gone a long way

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2020-01-19T14:38:50+01:00Sun, 19th Jan '20, 14:35|

The Bank of Valletta did not take criticism very well. It took an indignant view of anyone interpreting its position as problematic and replied angrily to any warning that emerging signs put its future in doubt. Its new CEO gave an interview to Times of Malta’s Jacob Borg and departed from his predecessor’s fudging. He [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Unbearable lightness of normality in Malta

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2020-01-19T08:35:21+01:00Sun, 19th Jan '20, 08:35|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "Robert Abela is not Joseph Muscat. 2020 is not 2019. And we are encouraged, particularly by those with plenty to hide including the embarrassment of having belonged to the corrupt regime we saw out over Christmas, “to look ahead and not dwell in the past”, to “return [...]

Mafia infiltration

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2020-01-19T08:32:22+01:00Sun, 19th Jan '20, 08:32|

Silvio Valletta went on a trip to watch football with Yorgen Fenech and that’s when the police Silvio Valletta was deputy chief of, suspected Yorgen Fenech was the mastermind behind Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination. The Maltese government lost a human rights case filed by Daphne’s family saying Silvio Valletta’s involvement was a breach of their [...]

Joseph Muscat met MFA in last weeks in office. MFA told government will “help” Italy football club project.

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2020-01-17T17:38:09+01:00Fri, 17th Jan '20, 17:05|

In his last weeks as prime minister, Joseph Muscat met the Malta Football Association to discuss their major projects and ways the government can help them fulfil those plans. One major project the MFA is currently focused on is owning an Italian third-division football club which Joseph Muscat intends to manage. In a briefing to [...]

Repubblika on Lawrence Cutajar’s dismissal

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2020-01-17T13:25:43+01:00Fri, 17th Jan '20, 13:25|

Statement by Repubblika The Police Commissioner’s Resignation The Police Commissioner’s resignation offers the opportunity to launch a process of reform and development that is sorely needed within the Police Corps. Civil society has been asking for this for the past two years three months. During all this time, Robert Abela was a member of Parliament [...]

Is Mario Cutajar going to recommend himself as a best practice model for good governance?

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2020-01-17T12:44:47+01:00Fri, 17th Jan '20, 12:44|

Mario Cutajar, Joseph Muscat’s pick as chief civil servant, has been appointed by Robert Abela on the cabinet committee on governance. That’s when Mario Cutajar is as terrible an example of good governance as anyone could possibly be. He is principal permanent secretary which makes him the boss of bosses in the civil service. He [...]