Malta does have laws criminalising the corruption of officials. And though we have the right laws on paper, the real issue is failure of the institutions to act on them.

So signing a European convention does not solve the problem at hand.

But there’s something odd for a government to have come to power in 2013 on the back of an anti-corruption platform to have refused for 5 years to ratify a convention specifically designed to commit European governments to prevent the corruption of public officials.

It is bitterly hilarious to remember now that in 2013 Joseph Muscat led a campaign promising to clean up politics and introduce meritocratic principles in the appointment of public officials. They were doing this even as they were hatching their Panama plan and all the dark ramifications, some of which have come to light since then.

The ratification of the European Convention against corruption involving officials cannot be on the top of the list of demands for reforms in this country. It is the easiest thing for the government to sign a scrap of paper and have the rest of us wave it in relief pronouncing ‘peace in our time’.

But really, if it’s so easy, why don’t they do it?