Did we need to be told?

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2018-01-11T21:56:44+02:00Thu, 11th Jan '18, 21:56|

The European Parliament's mission's interim report, available here (1143312EN), and summarised painstakingly by  The Times here is not a victory for anyone. It is a formalised humiliation; a collective indictment charging us for not knowing how to run our own affairs, for needing outsiders like those nasty royal commissions the British used to send here to [...]

Traitors and artful dodgers

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2018-01-11T16:58:33+02:00Thu, 11th Jan '18, 16:58|

This is such a weird country. Within the same news cycle when the civil rights minister waxes melodramatic in parliament about a junior ombudsman stepping out of line, Tony Zarb warns international journalists to look away from Malta and brands anyone speaking to them – yours truly included – traitors. And to top it all [...]

Meryl Streep pays tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia

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2018-01-10T22:13:42+02:00Wed, 10th Jan '18, 22:13|

American actor Meryl Streep paid tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia and other journalists around the world who lost their life in the line of duty. She was speaking at the yearly award ceremony of the Committee to Protect Journalists where she was introduced by Christiane Amanpour of CNN. https://youtu.be/o6Hgqim4Dwo Go to 11:09 for the reference [...]

Flying conflicts

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2018-01-10T20:49:48+02:00Wed, 10th Jan '18, 20:48|

Yannick Pace was quick to report on Malta Today in much greater detail the very dry statement of the government on the stripping of Air Malta's ownership of its airport slots, particularly Heathrow's morning slots. His report is fleshed out with the government spiel we can expect over the next several weeks: that the government [...]

Air Malta being stripped of its value

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2018-01-10T19:19:56+02:00Wed, 10th Jan '18, 19:19|

In a short statement the government today announced it has set up a new company named Malta Air Travel Limited. The new company will own the airport slots that Air Malta currently holds. Most of these are close to worthless. But the slots for the early morning flights that Air Malta flies into Heathrow are [...]

Beam in the eye

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2018-01-10T12:58:06+02:00Wed, 10th Jan '18, 12:58|

Labour has been persecuting Jason Azzopardi for having authorised the sale of government property in Balluta for a price set by law when leasing it out would have made the government more money. This happened eight years ago when Azzopardi was vice-minister responsible for the lands department. He approved a recommendation from the department officials [...]

STAR COMMENT: I stumble from one shock to the next

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2018-01-10T12:59:36+02:00Wed, 10th Jan '18, 12:43|

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 [...]

Locus standi

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2018-01-09T18:15:57+02:00Tue, 9th Jan '18, 16:46|

Joseph Muscat's lawyers said in court today Simon Busuttil has no interest in whether money-laundering and corruption suspects exposed by the Panama papers should be investigated by the police. I confess that is an inaccurate statement. Strictly speaking they said Simon Busuttil has no place asking the constitutional court to force the recusal of a [...]

INSIDE HIGHER ED: Fired far from home

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2018-01-09T14:03:24+02:00Tue, 9th Jan '18, 14:03|

Read this report in specialist industry online publication Inside Higher Ed about the mass dismissal of all but one academics employed by the so-called American University of Malta. The perspective of the cheated employees is interesting of course. But it is representative of how an entire country has been hoodwinked by what in all accounts [...]

GUEST POST: Neither left nor right

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2018-01-09T13:24:40+02:00Tue, 9th Jan '18, 13:24|

Sent in by someone known to me: There is nothing right about the Left in Malta and hardly anything left of the Right. I say this with a heavy heart. I saw a new Malta emerge from the black pits of the early 1980’s. It was not a perfect Malta but a normal one. Normal [...]

BBC: Malta ex-corruption investigator fears for life

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2018-01-09T03:12:12+02:00Tue, 9th Jan '18, 03:12|

Here's John Sweeney's commentary alongside his interview with Jonathan Ferris carried today by the BBC: "Immediately after our interview, he offered me a ride back to my hotel. We walked through the gloom of an underground car park to his car and suddenly I felt a stab of terror - that getting blown up was [...]

WATCH: “The artful dodger of Europe” (BBC Newsnight)

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2018-01-09T03:10:50+02:00Tue, 9th Jan '18, 03:04|

This John Sweeney feature was run on tonight's BBC Newsnight. Having dodged the BBC team for days when they were here in December, Joseph Muscat decided to give them an interview, presumably after the PR catastrophe with Tim Sebastian on German TV. He puts on his best, smooth operator look. But nobody outside his fan-base is [...]

G Farrugia Calleja: And we’re back

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2018-01-08T20:32:12+02:00Mon, 8th Jan '18, 20:32|

I'm back from family holidays. George Farrugia Calleja is back from his flu: Sorry about the absence over the holiday period, but lying face up in my cot trying to ward off the worst of the flu wasn’t conducive to penetrating analysis. All’s well now, thank you for asking. Thankfully, I didn’t need to go [...]

The conversation

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2018-01-08T15:46:36+02:00Mon, 8th Jan '18, 15:46|

We need to talk. We need more people to remember the significance of facts when discussing argument. More people need to think more about the importance of basic decency. We need to be reminded of the proper order of things: that politics is a service not a call to faith. More of us need to [...]

Guest Post: Starting 2018

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2018-01-08T15:24:40+02:00Mon, 8th Jan '18, 15:24|

The guest author is known to me. It is surreal to think that as we enter 2018 we should be on the verge of a general election after the Labour Government's first term of 5 years in office.... a general election in which in a normal democracy the Government of the day and the Opposition [...]

We need to talk

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2018-01-08T12:52:27+02:00Mon, 8th Jan '18, 12:52|

The milestone of a new year is an excuse for turning a fresh page. It is an odd superstition of our times that we spend the last week of December expressing anger at the ending year for killing elderly rock-stars or inflicting some other perceived injury to us. And we do so as we raise [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Person of the Year

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2017-12-24T10:28:44+02:00Sun, 24th Dec '17, 10:28|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "The day after tomorrow, Malta will go in its yearly orgy of self-congratulation, translating our capacity for human compassion into millions and other such record numbers. But for all those compassionate givers, a political killing has been suffered by a family that cries mercury and sleeps on [...]

Single digits

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2017-12-24T10:26:01+02:00Sun, 24th Dec '17, 10:21|

Malta Today's measure of Adrian Delia's trust-rating is now at 7.2%. You do not kick a man when he's down. But you crouch down and whisper in his ear whether he should be wondering now if he is really in a fight he can win. He may be completely confident in his abilities in ways [...]

Where’s the left?

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2017-12-23T21:06:22+02:00Sat, 23rd Dec '17, 19:58|

I’m all for the withdrawal of government from economic activity. I accept that the motivation of profit drives innovation and that competition ensures the fittest and the leanest provide the market with the best and the cheapest. There’s no reason why government should run the phone company or a transhipment harbour. I disagreed with those [...]