22 AUGUST 2001

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BT cartoon: "Levies, levies, oleeheio"

A future in hand

The future of the world economy is not very bright, and Malta is no exception. It is a worldwide phenomenon.

So depressed is the spending in Europe and the US, that the EU is considering relaxing the deficit thresholds to incentivize market economies to encourage more spending.

The public is so anxious about the future, that it is holding back on spending. One can see this in the sale of computers and cars.

What is happening around the world is also happening locally.

The trend can be seen from the sale of cars and the sale of consumables which is on a down turn.

A look at the stock exchanges also proves that there is nothing close to a resurgence in the markets.

The drop in dot.com and tech stocks has led to a worldwide crisis in equities.

The one light on the horizon is the future of the eurozone compared to the US.

After three straight months of declines, industrial output in the eurozone showed surprisingly strong growth in June. Eurostat, the European Commission's statistical agency, announced that eurozone industrial production climbed 0.6% in June, giving an annual growth rate of 1.4%.

June's figures were considerably below the buoyant growth seen at the beginning of the year, when output was rising at an annual 4% or more.

But they were still some way ahead of expectations, which had been pointing towards another monthly decline.

A malicious attack

We do not expect support, but when we do get it we are happy to accept it.

We are referring to the secret services act and the inquiry into the Police Commissioner.

As we were uncovering the implications of the secret services, two commentaries came up, one from Il-Mument, through a fellow journalist, Karl Stagno Navarra, and then from an intrepid editor of a daily newspaper.

The first attack was not only vile and stupid but malicious. Mr Stagno Navarra, well known in the press for his panache for ties and suits and sounding like a disenchanted CNN reporter, attributed links between drug traffickers and the editor of this newspaper.

The article was aimed at creating confusion and putting people on different sides of the border.

The public is on our side on this one, and if we have to hang our credibility on the line, then hang it we shall.

Not only was Stagno Navarra atrocious in his comments and a blatant liar, but completely unethical.

Is he telling us that we should remain mum in the face of such evidence?

Mr Navarra is not acting alone, he has the support of others and this is what spin is all about.
The second commentary in a daily newspaper praises the secret services, a trend that is reflected in the editorial policy espoused by its editor who has made it his mission to stab his fellow colleagues in the back.

And again we turn to him and ask him, are you in favour of illicit tapping of phones, break-ins and tampering with post without proper warrants?

If you are, then you are in the wrong seat.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt