20 FEBRUARY 2002
The name of the game for the PN is to win the Zebbug district at all
costs, Zebbug has traditionally represented a very fragile duopoly.
The PN cannot afford to lose Zebbug again.
The PNs giving flak to Charles Buhagiar a Labour deputy and consultant at Zebbug - is misguided as most political councils look to employing their party faithful when it comes to the choice of people.
Just look at the way tenders are given out for the cleaning of streets, the choice of legal officers and many other situations.
The local councils are a great idea but they have also uplifted nepotism and institutionalised it on a local level.
The party faithful continue to believe that the local councils are the only solution to running the localities we live in. This is only partly true and the local councils can only attain their goals if they have the funds to operate.
As things stand, the local councils continue to depend on state funds to carry out their mini electoral pledges.
The state funds are restricted and fail to cover many of the projects envisaged for the locality. Some localities, such as Rabat and Naxxar, also have a rather extensive rural area to cater for.
The solution is very simple: one has to think of new ways of raising revenue from the locality.
Unfortunately, on this point there is an impasse since the Labour party obliges its councillors to desist from proposing any new local taxes.
This utopian, or better still electoral, gimmick denotes a complete disregard for the economic realities required for managing a local council.
To take one example, several localities have a large number of private housing units that cover exaggerated surface areas and are valued at hundreds of thousands and yet the proprietors of these households give nothing in terms of extra revenue for the locality.
Once again, everyone enjoys a free meal. But no one seems to be willing to pay for it.
To sustain the full brunt of the crisis faced by the airline industry.
We need to seek an alliance that could serve as a helpline for the future of the airline and its employees. As things stand, the airline appears to continue to survive at the expense of the Maltese taxpayer.