Robert Fico resigns. Joseph Muscat not.

2018-03-15T09:51:51+01:00Wed, 14th Mar '18, 20:13|

As others pass it, here we are every day failing the test of democracy. Robert Fico’s offer to resign as Prime Minister of Slovakia in the aftermath of the killing of journalist Jan Kuciak is the control sample in the experiment happening here in Malta testing the hypothesis that democracy here has failed. Robert Fico’s [...]

Withhold your consent

2018-03-15T09:49:43+01:00Wed, 14th Mar '18, 17:04|

Everyday your democracy dies a little. Speaker Anġlu Farrugia confirmed his ruling today. Simon Busuttil is not to allowed to ask whether Keith Schembri really owns accounts in Dubai and at Pilatus Bank. UNPRECEDENTED: The Speaker has confirmed that I cannot ask the PM if his Chief of Staff has a bank A/C in Dubai [...]

Having and eating cake

2018-03-15T09:50:59+01:00Wed, 14th Mar '18, 12:40|

The Times of Malta’s story today about Glen Bedingfield having risked his seat in Parliament during his term of contract with the government that expired last Christmas is interesting but, I would argue, incomplete. The constitution seeks to separate the executive from the legislative. To an extent, in the Westminster model we use this is [...]

Cheese omelette

2018-03-14T14:13:20+01:00Wed, 14th Mar '18, 10:36|

I found the ġbejna-froġa episode so mind numbingly bland and childish I could not bring myself to write about it. Then on RTK last Friday I had a bit of a laugh when Charles Briffa gave the linguistic history and Tonio Borg the parliamentary history of Maltese insults. Go to 0:25 to hear the relevant [...]


2018-03-13T11:51:10+01:00Tue, 13th Mar '18, 08:38|

The Speaker’s decision to block Simon Busuttil’s question to the Prime Minister whether the chief of his staff has a bank account in Dubai and another at Pilatus Bank is a scandal. But you wouldn’t know that. In a world where all pigs fly, an airborne ham is unremarkable. The Dubai bank account is mentioned [...]

G Farrugia Calleja: You couldn’t make it up

2018-03-13T07:09:41+01:00Tue, 13th Mar '18, 07:09|

By resident guest George Farrugia Calleja: If Joseph Muscat and Adrian Delia had been found to have slunk off into some obscure corner of the least salubrious bar in the most disreputable part of town to smoke a crack pipe together, they wouldn't have come anywhere near as close to sullying the reputations "enjoyed" by [...]

Has Joseph Muscat just written a cheque to his father?

2018-03-12T16:39:11+01:00Mon, 12th Mar '18, 16:39|

The 170,000 euro announced today for fireworks factories will attract those who do not approve of fireworks who will say this is a waste of tax-payers money. The point is as moot as it is predictable. I rather like fireworks -- when I'm awake. But I disapprove of the risks to life and limb and [...]

GamingCompliance: Suspect Italian Operators Abandon Malta

2018-03-12T14:49:55+01:00Mon, 12th Mar '18, 14:49|

Here's a Nicola Tani report on industry journal GamingCompliance about developments since the Malta Gaming Authority gave in to pressure from Italy after news kept popping up of Italian organised crimes using Malta-licensed firms for money laundering. After all the defence that everything was as it should have been, we now know that was not [...]

La Repubblica on Catania-Malta mafia connections

2018-03-12T14:41:07+01:00Mon, 12th Mar '18, 14:41|

Read this blog by veteran Sicilian journalist Luciano Mirone about the comings and goings between Catania and Malta of mafiosi that do not fit the stereotype of the uncouth Corleonesi but are sharp-suited smooth talkers here for business. Luciano Mirone's blog is here.

Dangerous moron

2018-03-12T14:23:46+01:00Mon, 12th Mar '18, 14:23|

Kenneth Spiteri announced on his Facebook page just last week that he started a new job at Transport Malta. Go on. Give the man a 'like'. I cannot claim to understand their recruitment rules but just as he was starting there, he wrote in another Facebook comment that should he have the chance he’d blow [...]

Why has the Police Minister not resigned yet? Take 2

2018-03-14T10:01:22+01:00Mon, 12th Mar '18, 12:03|

I don’t want to start quoting myself like I’m some authority. But the heading of this piece is the same heading of a blog post I wrote on the 17th October, 2017. I was reminded of that when after the culture minister, the interior minister of Slovakia has now resigned. The culture minister had said [...]

I think it’s safe to assume it isn’t a zombie.

2018-03-12T10:57:01+01:00Mon, 12th Mar '18, 10:53|

The similarities between Jan Kuciak and Daphne Caruana Galizia were something to talk about for a while. Now the differences between Slovakia and Malta are a more obvious topic of discussion. The realities of the two countries are light years apart. True they are both European democracies that joined the EU on May 1st, 2004 [...]

Jeux interdits

2018-03-12T09:20:48+01:00Mon, 12th Mar '18, 09:20|

Malta needs to have a long and hard think about our relationship with Russia. Please don’t push this too far from your mind on the usual Lilliputian pretext that we’re too small for anyone to care. Dom Mintoff has really ingrained in the collective psyche of this country the notion that we can act like [...]

Five years of living the dream

2018-03-12T08:20:49+01:00Mon, 12th Mar '18, 08:20|

Konrad Mizzi was formally informed five years ago today he would be a government minister with a desk at the Auberge de Castille. This had been part of the roadmap for some time and Konrad Mizzi knew the role he would play well. But a formal handshake with a prime minister in office is a [...]

Two-thirds of not that much

2018-03-10T19:42:51+01:00Sat, 10th Mar '18, 19:42|

I hesitated from wading in into Parliament’s decision to give uncapped pension to any Parliamentarian serving even a single term. Knee jerk reactions are usually not a good idea, especially when they beg themselves. And this one does. After all it’s not that much of a debate. I have not heard anyone outside Parliament say [...]

Never forget

2018-03-09T11:03:04+01:00Fri, 9th Mar '18, 11:03|

Yesterday I wrote that the manner of the removal of the court decision against Yanica Barbara from the public record ought to be investigated. Owen Bonnici stepped up and spared the need to investigate. ‘I did it’. He ‘explained’ to the Times of Malta this was applying the legal principle of ‘the right to be [...]

The eighth task of Asterix

2018-03-09T10:36:23+01:00Fri, 9th Mar '18, 10:01|

Lawyers for Jonathan Ferris this morning filed yet another protest on his behalf giving a detailed account of the sort of runaround he is being given by the authorities whose interest lies in him remaining silent. We are supposed to have whistle-blower protection in this country. The theory is that when the bosses are corrupt, [...]

ARGUABLY KELLY: The sound of the Prime Minister’s silence

2018-03-08T17:37:13+01:00Thu, 8th Mar '18, 17:37|

From Arguably Kelly's blog post of today: "The sheer arrogance of our PM and his gang of cronies is actually astounding at this point. It’s an arrogance that became even clearer when Muscat was asked about his thoughts regarding the government’s accountability in the case of Daphne’s murder following their Slovakian counterpart’s response: "Naħseb li l-accountability tagħna hija li nsibu [...]

Legal turnstiles

2018-03-08T15:21:56+01:00Thu, 8th Mar '18, 15:21|

So Yanica Barbara got her lawyer to point out she was merely conditionally discharged when she was found guilty of stealing a credit card and using it for some shopping. Although the crime she was found guilty of committing carries a prison sentence, the court decided not to impose that penalty and let her off [...]

REPLY: Statement by lawyer for Yanica Barbara and Thomas Sant

2018-03-08T14:40:22+01:00Thu, 8th Mar '18, 14:40|

Sent in by Dr John Bonello: Sir, I write on behalf of Dr Yanica Barbara and Dr Thomas Sant and would refer to an article carried on your portal, entitled "Bending the Rules" (published on Tuesday) whereby you allege that “eight years ago Yanica Barbara and Thomas Sant were found guiltyand given suspended sentences for theft [...]

Go to Top