GUEST POST: A question or six for you

2020-03-30T14:28:03+02:00Mon, 30th Mar '20, 14:28|

Far be it from me to distract Minister Fearne from his duties at this time. He can answer for his part in all of this in the future, and his part was anyway relatively minimal, in the circumstances, he was just another minister nodding when Joseph Muscat said jump. There are plenty of ministers who [...]

Steward Health Care threatens to close Pennsylvania hospital if it does not get more government money

2020-03-30T11:18:10+02:00Mon, 30th Mar '20, 11:18|

The worldwide coronavirus crisis did not moderate Steward Health Care’s tough bargaining as it threatened the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania last Friday with the “immediate” shut down of its Easton Hospital in the state’s Lehigh Valley if the government did not agree to pay them $40 million in emergency funds. The closure of Easton Hospital which [...]

A hundred million self-inflicted lashes

2020-03-30T23:09:19+02:00Mon, 30th Mar '20, 10:41|

I was sincerely hoping someone would deny yesterday’s MaltaToday story that the government would have to fork out a €100 million penalty if the Steward contract is terminated for any reason including Steward’s fault. It should, by any standard, be absurd to have this in a contract. It is more stupid than giving a pound [...]

Why so silent? (2)

2020-03-30T09:52:02+02:00Mon, 30th Mar '20, 09:50|

You'd be forgiven if you forgot that it was the PN who first asked the auditor general to investigate alleged irregularities in the award of the prime site in St George's Bay to the dB group. When Simon Busuttil, then PN leader, asked for that report, the irregularities were still "alleged". Now they've been established [...]

Why so silent?

2020-03-30T09:37:34+02:00Mon, 30th Mar '20, 09:35|

Have you noticed? The government had no reaction to the national auditor’s report into the transfer of the ITS site in St George’s Bay to the dB group. That’s even though as the dB group pointed out in its facetious comment, the NAO criticised the government not the dB group. First a word to the [...]


GUEST POST: Of lockdowns and social distancing

2020-03-30T08:53:30+02:00Mon, 30th Mar '20, 08:53|

When COVID-19 first surfaced in China, we were told not to worry unduly, as seasonal flu and pollution killed more people, so everybody went about their business as usual. People kept socialising, eating out, and attending football matches and other events without a care in the world. By the time that governments and people started [...]


THE SUNDAY TIMES: The right to be informed

2020-03-29T09:11:07+02:00Sun, 29th Mar '20, 09:11|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "If you’re tempted to consider (the independent press) a business past its time like riverside tanners or shipbuilders, consider that the courts do not need to look for advertising to continue to serve justice and preserve your rights. "Protecting democracy should not be a servant to market [...]

Hardly a peace time don either

2020-03-28T10:23:07+01:00Sat, 28th Mar '20, 10:20|

In an earlier piece I wrote on why I think Robert Abela shows he does not have what it takes to manage the present crisis. He’s showing signs of being just as inadequate for what comes later. Consider the statement he made after meeting the construction lobby yesterday. "Construction industry has to elevate the country [...]

GUEST POST: The message is not getting through

2020-03-28T09:43:26+01:00Sat, 28th Mar '20, 09:43|

Yesterday, I ventured out to buy a take-away treat to support a favourite restaurant we used to frequent until some three weeks ago. On the way there the car had a puncture and a towing service was called (no spare wheels nowadays). While waiting for the tow truck an elderly man who had observed the [...]

Not a war time don

2020-03-28T10:59:37+01:00Sat, 28th Mar '20, 09:23|

Robert Abela’s nerves are seriously frayed. For all his Robocop gestures of whirring self-confidence, his inner Edvard Munch is shrieking over the collective anxiety of the human condition. Not out of empathy. Nor out of fear for his people and his country. His vanity has already taken over and he is horrified of having to [...]

GUEST POST: The man, measured

2020-03-28T08:49:19+01:00Sat, 28th Mar '20, 08:47|

So there you have it, a doctor, flanked by experts, is undermined by his political master, a lawyer, flanked by - well, if Peanuts Scicluna and the Boy Schembri are anything to go by - buffoons. Just in case cabin fever has got you, I’m talking about Minister Dr Chris Fearne and Prime Minister Dr [...]

Scrutiny cannot stop

2020-03-27T14:58:12+01:00Fri, 27th Mar '20, 14:58|

The present situation is a state of emergency. Several basic freedoms need to be suspended in order to keep us safe. Licensed and legitimate businesses have been ordered to close down. Congregating in groups outside has been banned. Calling gatherings has been criminalised. Movement has been heavily restricted, even banned for some. The police have [...]

Repubblika insists government must act after NAO report on St George’s Bay development

2020-03-27T14:49:20+01:00Fri, 27th Mar '20, 14:49|

Statement by Repubblika Why has the Prime Minister remained silent and done nothing about the scandal concerning the handing over of public land in Pembroke to the DB Group? Repubblika will not allow Robert Abela to avoid shouldering his responsibility with regard to this filthy corruption. We are going to continue insisting that this land [...]

You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

2020-03-26T14:39:10+01:00Thu, 26th Mar '20, 14:39|

The economic chain reaction will do more than reduce the quality of life you have come to expect. Sectors of the economy that we all depend on are being dealt an enormous blow by the shutdown intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. They suffered first. The rest of us will feel the consequential [...]

European Press Freedom NGO supporting Times and in Satabank case

2020-03-26T10:01:36+01:00Thu, 26th Mar '20, 10:01|

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is giving legal support to the Times of Malta and this website. Both have been sued for defamation by Christo Georgiev, Bulgarian co-owner of the Maltese bank “Satabank.” Georgiev filed the lawsuits in Bulgaria before the Regional Court in Varna. The Satabank co-owner is demanding that the [...]

What the NAO report into the dB project really means

2020-03-26T09:30:58+01:00Thu, 26th Mar '20, 09:30|

The NAO made a number of observations written in civil service code that need translating. The authors dedicate entire chunks of the report to the explanation on how line departments were left out of the discussion and the decision making on disposing such a huge chunk of public land for commercial development. At the time [...]

If you’re enjoying it, it’s not an interview

2020-03-26T14:24:13+01:00Wed, 25th Mar '20, 16:37|

Julia Farrugia dismissed calls for her resignation saying she never meant to give Chetcuti Cauchi any advantage when months ago she gave an “interview” on the passports sales scheme. We saw that “interview” in obviously advertising material published by Chetcuti Cauchi and left there even as the firm’s senior partner Jean Philippe Chetcuti was caught [...]

WATCH: The Silent Islands

2020-03-25T15:13:15+01:00Wed, 25th Mar '20, 15:13|

If you've seen Vanilla Sky you will remember the scene of David Aames driving through a deserted New York and running through an empty Time Square. He was running through a nightmare which in that film was called a lucid dream. Watch this short by Eric Bartolo about our own lucid dream: the streets of [...]

Too big to fail

2020-03-25T14:14:55+01:00Wed, 25th Mar '20, 14:14|

The biggest lesson from the 2008 financial crisis was to act big as early as possible. The hesitation of regulators, governments and central banks had an enormous economic cost that led to hardship that more timely action could have at least in part prevented. That’s the biggest lesson from the world stage borne out of [...]