Young people are heading towards a crisis. Our fundamental right to enjoy property is in danger.
Does it even remain a right if you have to pay for it? What happens if you can’t afford it? Will you have one less constitutional right than another Maltese person? So, the crisis isn’t just about property. It becomes a question of basic equality and justice in society.
This is the situation. Grant Thornton and Dhalia published a study on the property situation in Malta and the results were bleak. Since 2013, the prices of property have doubled with the lowest asking price for property being about €200,000. With that amount, one may own a property of 115m².
For reference, this is the same as seven parking spaces or a quarter of a basketball court, in which you are expected to live a happy, healthy life. To break it down even more, the average person must pay €1,739 per square metre.
The sum of €200,000 is apparently the price of four kidneys on the black market. And even though in the article the amount was estimated in dollars, it doesn’t matter. A few days ago the dollar had the same price as a euro.
How is this relevant? Crazy inflation. The European Central Bank is trying to control said inflation by raising interest rates on loans and, naturally, the Maltese banks raise interest too.
Now, Thornton and Dhalia’s study said that the loan required for the seven-parking-space house would take 35 years to pay off but, evidently, it’s going to take more.
All the while, the minimum wage, though increased by one per cent, has been made redundant by this inflation. This is the situation of young, hopeful, new homeowners: to buy a hole in the wall and remain in debt for the rest of their lives.
This all became infuriating when shady dealings were revealed with Jordanian investors, the same ones of the failed American University of Malta. The Jordanians are buying premium land from the government at 0.47c per m². They are expected to make huge profits, ironically from real estate in SmartCity.
Ironically, some are blaming youth for this, that we’re in this mess because of ‘bad’ voting during elections.
The irony is, they don’t realise that your vote is the weakest way you can express what you think. It’s basically a marking on cheap paper saying that you have good intentions.
A property of 115m² is the same as seven parking spaces, in which you are expected to live a happy, healthy life.- Andrea Caruana
Secondly, we never gave direct instructions for the government to be like this, so why should we be responsible?
Some suggested we should become “ungovernable” and why not? The government right now doesn’t govern and or even respect us.
MEP and former PM Alfred Sant had a Facebook post the other day claiming youth won’t leave home because we’re selfish. He insolently said we enjoy the free parental accommodation, bizarrely blaming parents for more leniency to sex under their roof and that we prefer to spend our pennies on a new car or travels. Sant is a direct representative of the government and it is clearly mocking us.
What if we look at it in another way? What if we were the government? Wouldn’t we want to be good and just, at the very least to be respected by our people so we can be proud of what we do? And if we, as government, were to screw up badly, wouldn’t we want our citizens to smack us in the face and say: “Get it together”?
Now we can easily see what our duty is: to smack the government in the face. To force it to get it together.
Having adult conversations simply isn’t working; maybe that’s why they always harp on about “dialogue” as a solution because they know it goes nowhere. They need a smack. Previously, it was written: “The time is ripe for civil disobedience.” Let’s harvest it, then.
All the harvest takes is a little imagination. What if a group of people were to stand in the middle of Bombi one day, stopping cars and buses from passing at 8 on a Monday morning? People and buses would be late, daily schedules would be turned upside down and work would halt. Every minute that passes is literal money and a watch suddenly shows financial losses apart from time.
When a government puts so much effort into money, kick it where it hurts. If all they understand is profit and loss, then talk their language; put ideas forward on a big fat loss.
Youth unity and education have been thrown around a lot, this is what they mean. Education is truth, not grades.
Youths think they are in a minority but that is not true. Every young person hopes to gain self-independence someday and the youths are everywhere: students and in the workforce.
With that truth, we find unity. We all have one thing in common, why not achieve it together?
An even more important truth is that there are more of us than parliamentary members. They may be richer but what is a wad of €50 bills compared to a country of angry young people?
The fight is for survival; our future is on the line. So, when it comes to the showdown, where will you be?
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