In just one week, we had two main headlines illustrating the state of meritocracy in the Maltese islands. While our University or MCAST students need to study, do master degrees, engage in several experiences and traineeships to possibly land a government consultancy 10 years down the line, the like of disgraced Minister Konrad Mizzi get an 80,000 consultancy for no other merit than the demerit of shaming Malta’s reputation abroad. How’s that for an ambassador of Malta’s Tourism Authority?
Another illustrative case, from the few that come to the fore, is ex-Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s involvement in lobbying the case of Steward for a renegotiation of terms. It seems that the wholesale deal of 5 hospitals for 1 euro is turning out to be too onerous. Now if you have your own business, built over sweat and risk over years of commitment and in many cases generations of family dedication, you will not have your case lobbied by Muscat. On the contrary, you will be facing the bureaucracy on your own in a world of stiff competition. It comes as no surprise that the Chamber of Commerce issued a statement about this, demanding clarification by the government on Muscat’s involvement and the implication of this on ethical business.
Malta need not be like this. Competition and free-market need little to thrive really. They just need politics to refrain from meddling its fingers into business dealings of all sort, something which has become a habit for this labour government. Instead of troubling itself with giving an unfair advantage to this or the other business, the government should focus on delivering on the next EU funding package which would benefit all the sectors of our economy. Now that is something that would help the public good, an objective which seems to be relegated to forgotten priorities right now.
Dr Peter Agius, European Official and PN candidate for the European Elections