I was delighted to read Frank Salt’s Talking Point “Wear and tear success” (April 11). I’ve alluded to this in the past: that boasting how well Malta is doing and giving the impression that money is in abundance (even if it’s EU money not self-generated) means nothing if the infrastructure on the island has hardly improved in most areas. One of these areas is, as Salt mentioned, not maintaining improvements or letting them deteriorate to their original state.
The other is (Salt said Malta is not a Third World country) some pensioners have to pay for their medicinal prescriptions (repeat or otherwise), women don’t receive state pension (my friend’s wife doesn’t), roads are in a state of urgent disrepair, high power electrical cables hang over people’s heads over balconies within touching distance of the residents. Yet university students, most of whom come from middle class or affluent families, get free tuition, a stipend, free travel, and they blow it all on cars which exacerbates the parking/traffic problems that are already intolerable. According to an earlier Times of Malta article, some of these students live within walking distance of university and still drive there!
And all this because government wins (or buys) a few extra student votes by denying free prescriptions and pensions to those who have worked hard all their lives in the hope of a half decent retirement. Why do you think the voting age is now going down to 16?
And of course you then have MPs voting themselves generous increases in salaries.
Strangely enough I was chatting to a former Pakistani Minister of State and barrister a few days ago, and I was quite amazed at the similarities in some aspects of governance between the two countries. He called it corruption.
I left Malta 48 years ago, and the most comforting thing when I visit is that it feels like I’ve travelled back in time – not much has changed, except there are more reckless drivers on the road and the word ‘corruption’ seems to be banded about in the media and on the streets as if it were a compliment.