12 SEPTEMBER 2001

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editorial
This crazy world of terrorism

We have all heard and seen the horrendous acts of airborne terrorism against the twin towers of the World Trade Centre the Pentagon and another in Pittsburgh.

The televised crash on one of the twin towers was relayed around the world. This was like a Hollywood film come true.

The vile acts that left (until we went to print) over tousands injured and unknown hundreds dead was an affront not only to the US but to the whole democratic world.

The US has always been a target for terrorism. But surely the Bush administration cannot be accused of any double standards or unjust policies. And even if this was the case what do innocent people have to do with all this?

The Trade Centre stands as a monument to the whole idea of the free market economy in the world. This is corporate business. It is the home to numerous big corporations. Hitting out at the Trade Centre was meant to hurt, and it did. The world came to a standstill.

The fact that the New York Stock Exchange had to close abruptly is a case in point. The drop in the stock exchanges worldwide was for all to see.

This was a horrific dream come true which left many aghast. It was a suicide attack with a taste of Kamikaze.

What has happened to this world?

Are we facing a new world order?

Are we facing a new form of terrorism?

Let us all hope that this will not escalate into something uncontrollable.

Let us pray for common sense.



The future of Maltese companies
It is more than true that the global economy is nothing to write home about and in this respect the Maltese economy has fared relatively well. This statement is guided by the fact that unemployment has gone down and deficit is being tackled.

These words are not based on fictitious ideas but on figures, though the opposition questions the veracity of these statements.

There is another reality which we cannot ignore. Maltese business practises are so inward looking and entrenched in the old way that what we see is not what we really have.

There is, for example, the question of staff complement.

If companies had to look at structures they would deduce that they simply have too many employees or too many inefficiencies. But lack of decision on the part of management has left many companies unwilling to rid themselves of dead wood.

This has left many of the companies in a state of disrepair where they simply cannot get off the ground or move along.

The other side to the story which is very much neglected in most companies, but not in all, is the idea of ownership and corporate identity. If you want people to believe in a product then one must make them part of it.

This literally means that one must consider sharing ownership and making salaries relative to the responsibilities. As things stand today, many employees see very little room for improving their position.

The differences between executive salaries and those of skilled technicians or personnel is still far too great.

If we are to win the support of those who work in the companies which require restructuring one must also make it worthwhile for employees to give all they have.

Once again companies must nuture new ideas and share profits to ensure a viable future.



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