19 DECEMBER 2001

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Xmas card weathers email

By Kurt Sansone

With Maltapost handling a whopping 4.5 million postal items during the Christmas period, Public Relations Officer Tony Barbaro Sant has no doubt that the Christmas card has retained its special place despite the extensive use of emails and electronic cards.

Speaking to The Malta Financial and Business Times Mr Barbaro Sant said that Maltapost has not witnessed any appreciable shift in the amount of mail despite the advent of new technologies.

"The Christmas card conveys a personal message that an email cannot convey," Mr Barbaro Sant said.

For the postal company the Christmas period starts on 9 December and fizzles off around the 23 December. This is Maltapost’s busiest period when almost 300,000 items are handled every day. The average number of items handled during normal days ranges between 85,000 and 100,000 per day. The threefold increase during the Christmas period works out to almost 4.5 million postal items in a space of 15 days. Mr Barbaro Sant explained that the amounts include all incoming and outgoing mail whether they are postcards, letters or parcels.

Mr Barbaro Sant said that the company decided to issue all Christmas stamps with a surcharge contrary to the practice adopted in previous years. "The money collected from the surcharge goes to philanthropic organisations and this year the company decided to issue all Christmas stamps with a surcharge of two cents. I am pleased to say that most people have asked for stamps with the surcharge," he added.

Asked whether the anthrax scares witnessed during the months of October and November had any affect on the postal service, Mr Barbaro Sant confirmed that the situation has returned to normal.

"At first there was some apprehension but the situation has returned to normal now. From our first assessments the amount of mail being handled is the same as previous years. People still want to send their personal greetings to friends and family," Mr Barbaro Sant concluded.


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