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Opinion • 11 July 2007

Sense and sensitivity

Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando

Oil and water
Hats off to whoever came up with the brilliant idea of allowing an oil platform to anchor at St Paul’s Bay, one of Malta’s prime tourist spots. I first saw this massive eyesore when I was coming back home from abroad and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It even stuck out like a sore thumb when seen from a plane. The tourism ministry should insist that it is removed immediately. While we’re at it let’s try to make an effort and do something about the blessed fish pens that are still mucking up the waters in St Paul’s Bay and Mistra.

Prosit Attard LC
I really enjoyed the ‘Lejl Ghat-Tard’ organised by the Attard Local Council. I feel it is safe to say that this picturesque village has never been as alive as it was last Friday. Impeccably organised and well attended, it is definitely a feather in the cap of the organisers and all those who participated.

Speeding in Attard
While on the subject of the Attard Local Council, as hard working a group of people as one would wish for, I’d like to make an observation about the Mdina Road speed camera. It seems that the council might actually be considering removing it. I hope they reconsider and keep in mind that if they do so and even only one life is lost or ruined due to a traffic accident, and this site used to be a black spot before the camera was installed, it will surely weigh heavily on their conscience.

Mater Dei and working mothers
This state of the art hospital is surely a source of justifiable pride for our islands. The fact that it does not have a child care centre is nothing short of amazing. The fact that the relevant authorities are refusing to adapt to the situation and at least facilitate the continued use of the facilities at St Luke’s is nothing short of shameful. It also does not make any sense. On the one hand we are trying to recruit sorely needed staff for the hospital and trying to encourage women to return to work notwithstanding the fact that they may be raising a family. On the other hand we make next to impossible for them to do so. A bit of common sense is in order.

I’ve just received an insulting and anonymous e-mail simply because I chose to publicly condemn those politicians who try to gain a few cheap points by making racist remarks. I fully understand that people may be concerned due to the immigration problems we’ve had lately. I delivered a strongly worded speech at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe a few days ago condemning the laissez-faire attitude being displayed by our neighbours to the south and to the north when it comes to shouldering their responsibility. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was present for this sitting and I also appealed for his help. As big a problem as it is, and it is a big problem for a country as small as ours, fanning the flames of racism will do nothing to alleviate the problem. It will only exacerbate it.

The Religion
I find that a good book is an essential travel companion when one is abroad and alone. I picked up a book written by Tim Willocks from the bookshop at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg quite by chance. Entitled ‘The Religion’, it is story based on the Great Siege of Malta. I strongly recommend it. Not only is it very well written but the story is spun in such a way as to make it hard to put down before the final page. It would make an excellent film. In fact I feel that encouraging the production of such a film would give our tourist industry a much needed boost.


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