STAR COMMENT: I stumble from one shock to the next

STAR COMMENT: I stumble from one shock to the next

This was sent in by Iris Rohmann, correspondent for the Cologne-based Westdeutscher Rundfunk, part of the national German television network, in reaction to yesterday’s post Locus standi in which I spoke on how difficult it is for international journalists even to believe how Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of a democratic country, can obstruct the course of justice with impunity:

Dear Emanuel, I have read your post today, and would like to comment:

I am one of the journalists from outside Malta, and it is true: I stumble from one shock into the next.

I would never say there is no corruption in Germany, because there is. The difference is, that IF corrupt people are caught, there is no escape – they are punished according to the law. Why? Because the government itself acts (more or less) according to the law.

Thinking of this, you can truly be unhappy with your government, and the situation has become even tougher since Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered.

On the other hand, more and more questions are coming up NOW. They are made public; they are even becoming international/European. There will be a change!

In 10 years of visits to Malta I have learned one thing: You people have a culture of trustworthiness and friendliness, which is hard to find all over Europe. These qualities will overcome the culture of lies and violence.


  • charles schembri

    This comment came certainly from the heart.

    • Iris Rohmann

      I tell you it is true. Since 10 years I come to Malta now, and I really and truly love to be here. But, you know – sometimes even journalists want to keep up their little illusions of a peaceful holiday island, and in all these years I was more on the wild sides, the cliffs, than hangin around in St. Julians or Sliema… My illusions are shattered, but I admit, my love is still there.

  • pete ross

    Iris Rohmann, thanks for your support which we Maltese need like a landed fish needs water. Thanks for the comment, which coming from a foreign journalist not only shames the many local pseudo journalists (more like lap-top key pushers who should be chasing the corrupt cabal in power out of office, but instead are brown-nosing the local Mafia who have hijacked the state’s institutions), but also gives more hope to those few but real investigative ones who are trying to pick up, in one way or another, where Daphne left off following her assassination by her enemies, our enemies.

    As you say we can do it on our own, but a helping hand from European media houses and journalists will be of great help to us.

    We did it alone way back in 1987, removing from power a despotic regime which was then left out in the cold for 25 years and which then spawned the current one, which states that it is a Labour (socialist) party, but is in fact a corrupt capitalist regime selling our state hospitals and other national assets to foreign wheeler dealers, who mostly are frontmen for these same usurpers, and who are making millions out of back handers and illegal commissions.

    Again, thank you.

    • Iris Rohmann

      Dear Pete, I saw only today that Manuel had published my comment, sorry for answering so late. I can say that today I met Georg Restle from Monitor, a german top journalist, and he is willing to have an eye on the situation in Malta. I also talked to some Radio Collegues, and they, too, are willing to support. They will soon invite me for a talk and I will tell you when it gets public.

  • elektra

    I wish I shared your optimism Ms Rohmann. I really do. However unfortunately Maltese society has changed and not for the better. Of course there will be a change one day but the way things are happening I don’t think it will happen any time soon.Short of a miracle, that is 🙂

    • A Curmi

      Let’s maintain our belief in and pray for miracles. International journalists like Iris Rohmann can do much to show to the rest of EU members – if not the world – how rotten the top echelons of Malta’s government have become.

    • Iris Rohmann

      I agree – a miracle would help in many situations, and in many countries right now…

  • AD

    Prosit Iris,well said.

    • Iris Rohmann

      Prosit back, AD

  • paul harrington

    I’m sure many abroad ask, how can a kleptocracy be so brazen? When the June result was known, jaws around Europe would have dropped in disbelief.
    What would not be tolerated elsewhere, has become normal for Malta.
    I cannot believe any other country would allow a cabinet minister caught with an undisclosed shell company in a tax haven to remain in office.

    • Iris Rohmann

      I would say, Malta is not on the radar of the german people, and, in a way, not on mine. But I hope that this is changing now.

    • Iris Rohmann

      What can I say – as a german with the past of the german people, I see nazi-like people coming back from the shadows again, flooding the streets with hostile slogans (“Lügenpresse), founding a political party, the AfD, which is in 14 of our regional parliaments now, and most of their programm is: “We hate foreigners, we hate muslims.” And would you believe it: The region where their are almost NO foreigners and NO muslims at all (Sachsen) – is the region where this party has 25 % of the votes. Dont think, Paul, that other countries compared to yours, are “normal” oder even “better” or more “democratic” or whatever you name it. We have different problems, very different maybe. But they all go back to our unbalanced human nature, and we all have to fight against greed, anger and ignorance. And this forces are strong in many people, in many countries.

    • Iris Rohmann
  • Rezistenza

    A clown who spends his time hanging up picture frames of himself in kazini (talk about being a narcissist) while the rest of us get shafted by criminals in Castille.

  • R Gatt

    Mintoff was a pussycat compared to these mafia pillagers.

  • R Gatt

    Malta is now officially a kleptocracy. And the artful dodger reigns supreme.

  • Franġiska

    Minn fommha għal fomm Alla. Mhux li kieku jasal dak iż-żmien. Ninsabu f’morsa.

  • Iris Rohmann

    I am really surprised Tom, as a journalist, that after three months there is still so much going on. Every day people take action, the T-Shirts on the Statues were brilliant! In Germany they founded a DCG Stipendium, a Press-Room is named after her – the BBC brings documentarys, so does the Bayerische Rundfunk, Deutsche Welle and now – hopefully – the WDR too, there are vigils in Valetta, in London. It is unusual, that public attention is aware for such a long time. And this gives me hope.

  • Iris Rohmann

    Maybe you see it that way. But in germany we have a quite rude and unfriendly daily-life-behaviour on the streets, in the shops, in the businesses. So I can say, even if the friendliness is superficial – and this might be true – for me it is always a soothing experience, and I say to myself: God thank, not all people in this world are running around without a smile as 24-hours-stressmakers like many of my german fellow-citizens. Of course, NOW I start to see other characteristics too. I cannot bring it together.

  • Iris Rohmann

    Thank you Mariatheresa.