Sent in by someone known to me.
When I read the article by Adam Zarb-Cousin I could only empathise. And my reaction to his article is: ‘Do not return to Malta’.
People are being bullied out of their homes and not only, even the country.
My husband and I returned from Europe 6 years ago. I persuaded him to do so after he lost his job there due to the recession and I couldn’t bear the financial instability having, at the time, the responsibility for a young son.
Now I still have the responsibility for a 9 year old but we have only one thing in mind. After 6 years of being continually let down by the local government and the distorted priorities of locals we cannot take it any longer. We are hopeful, if all goes as planned, of leaving to another country. Our new homeland where we hope to finally set roots will not be perfect and has its own political troubles. We will encounter many difficulties but we have decided that for our mental sanity living in a larger country with more space will help us create our own little world where we can enjoy the simple lifestyle we are looking for – walking in the countryside with our dog, planting veg in our garden, putting our feet up in the evening in quiet car-free home cut off from the hustle and bustle noise and pollution.
This is a luxury today that definitely cannot be afforded here on this island. It’s just flats, flats, flats, high-rise buildings, traffic, noise and if you want to live in a quiet clean place you need to be a millionaire. Usually islands are synonymous with beauty and peace. Not Malta.
Here I list the reasons why we are leaving:
- We live in what was a beautiful quiet town. Our road has become unbearable with traffic. As far as I remember since we have been here these past six years all residents have continuously protested to the local council/Transport Malta. Nothing has been done. We can’t even open a window. We are also being surrounded by tall buildings and slowly are being buried alive. I am waiting for one of the local money thirsty contractors to approach our small block of apartments to buy us off to build his next high rise. I wish I could be strong enough to tell him to F**k off and spoil all his plans because of one idiot (me) in the block who will not sell.
- We came back thinking we could buy a house together but our dreams were bashed with the extreme price hikes on property. Plus one is never safe, even if one buys in a designated protected area one is still at risk of being bullied out of home because of high rise buildings whether legal or illegal – the illegal ones are eventually sanctioned and stay there. When estate agents used to tell me “this area is UCA” I used to laugh in their face.
- We came back thinking we were going to enjoy a beautiful crystalline sea which I always craved for whilst living on mainland Europe. That now is a rarity. The sea is often contaminated with foam and oil from the fish farms (the number of pens is on the increase not decrease). And on a day when the water is clear, we still suffer from the toxic fumes of sea traffic passing by. This island is full of motor yachts. And most sailing yachts which are more environmentally friendly are just a status symbol – most owners don’t even know how to sail and use the engine. The sea is also full of plastic, nappies, chairs, bottles… the list is endless.
- Pollution on the roads is forever increasing. In this day and age, living on such a small island, electric bikes/tricycles should be the main mode of transport seeing that the local bus system still lacks efficiency. Cars should be slowly phased out to introduce electric ones, also used with restrictions. Once the number of cars on the road ease off smaller electric buses can move more efficiently around.
- Gozo tunnel/land reclamation. I hope to run for dear life before they even start to work on it. I can’t even bear the thought of it happening. The damage to the natural environment makes me feel physically sick.
- The island is over-populated. Too many people from other countries. I will be targeted now for saying this as a racist. No I am not. My husband is mixed race. The island is small it is just a matter of common sense that overpopulation will bring more stress upon the local (badly planned) infrastructure and a poorer quality of life. Overpopulation and chaos encourage criminal activity too. I have been approached by shady looking people more than once recently asking me for a lift, money or whatever. And apartments on my once quiet road are being ransacked. Malta is no longer safe.
- Now I will talk of racism in Malta which is rampant. My husband and “foreign friends” are the ‘barranin’. My husband does not speak Maltese but understands the gist of things. And these things are not very nice. He has been through this even whilst working. However the Maltese are not kind to each other and do not respect each other. How can we expect them to respect “barranin”?
Maltese people, open your eyes, poor Malta is becoming a dump. Stop being brainwashed by local politicians, crooks, the promise of money, modernisation. There are the few who are getting richer and richer whilst you are being forced out of your pretty terraced houses to satisfy the greed of contractors who blind you with the promise of a “beautiful” penthouse with a “view”.
Once you and/or your relatives start to pop because of various types of cancer due to the dirty air and you start realising that all this is wrong, it will be too late.
Once you realise you are living like cockroaches in tiny expensive apartments with no privacy because you can hear your neighbour’s toilet, it will be too late. Once you realise that the sea cannot be enjoyed because it will eventually be contaminated by the greedy local fish farmers it will be too late. Once you realise there is nowhere where you can go for your family Sunday picnic, it will be too late. Once you realise that Malta has completely been ‘uglified’ and nothing can be done, it will be too late.
I love you Malta. I am proud to be Maltese. Out of the whole world I had the privilege to be born upon a tiny jewel in the centre of the Mediterranean. Your citizens (the true genuine ones, not the ones who have bought the right to say they are) will hopefully one day open their eyes and realise that money is not everything.
I really hope that one day you will be treated well.