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Letters • January 11 2004

Returning to Malta

Ian Campbell
St Julians

Malta this year has been the quietist we have known. We have been reading accounts of the predictable debate on tourism. The exchange rate has put off many long stay elderly people who keep your hotels open during the winter and give continuing employment to the workers at these hotels. It is very expensive to live in Malta as a visitor.
You have too many hotels and are building more. The hotels being built are to attract higher spending tourists, but no one is daring to face the reasons why tourists may come to Malta, but never return. They ignore the fact that each of these people share their experiences with friends and neighbours when they return home.
In the UK almost half the nestling birds are killed by pampered well-fed cats. This killing is out of sight and so can be overlooked by cat owners.
On Malta the killing is in the open and the methods used despoil the landscape and create danger to anyone who walks in your countryside.
Unless and until there is political will in both parties to curb these excesses by the few, an end to the shameful bribery of the electorate by the Nationalist Party, with their change of the law to allow shooting by 18 year olds, and their blatant misuse of government land for electoral advantage, it will get worse. The Labour Party must face their responsibility to protect and improve the environment.
We have introduced three generations of our family to Malta, all have been shot at or screamed at with long streams of abuse in your delightful countryside. We have never trespassed, never caused damage.
Not one will return despite the wonderful friendliness by most of the people they have met.
Being shot at once is enough.
The police shrug and say do not walk in the countryside.


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