this week: Sants STUKA vision
The daunting task ahead of us
Eddie Fenech Adami has suggested that European owned companies in Malta
could relocate if we do not take up the offer of EU membership. A group
of Maltese businesspeople visiting Brussels recently returned with the
The truth is that companies may leave even if Malta joins.
According to the Malta Development Corporation Exports by foreign controlled
companies during 2001 are estimated to have been in the region of Lm
700 million, of which something like 93 or 94% would have been generated
by European companies.
It has also been calculated that the number of persons employed by foreign-owned
or controlled firms in manufacturing is in the region of 13,000 - European
firms account for some 11,000 jobs.
Whether Malta joins the EU or not, many companies, but especially ones
from EU states, are looking to Eastern Europe as possible new homes.
It makes good business sense. Countries like the Czech republic, Poland
and Hungary offer an educated workforce at relatively low wages, large
domestic markets and are near enough to the large European Cities to
make them attractive as business centres.
If we choose not to join the EU family the Malta based foreign companies
face an even more daunting future as they will not at least for
several years be operating within the Mediterranean Free Trade
Alfred Sants hysterics
Eddie Fenech Adami was once compared to a village lawyer and only history
will tell us which of Maltas politicians will be remembered as
Alfred Sants ridiculous jibe at Guenter Verheugen on Sunday put
Sant in the village idiot status.
Sant is reported to have said of Veheugens statistics about financial
aid that: "He can produce as many illustrations as he wants. We
can always show him pictures of the bombs dropped on Malta during the
Second World War."
The remark was uncalled for, besides being out of point. The world has
changed tremendously since 1945 and Sants intention to offend
the EU Commissioner by picking on historical events related to his country
was a hit way below the belt. Remarks of that sort will not earn Alfred
Sant a place in the statesmans hall of fame.
Malta expects its leaders to make us proud, but Sants statement
can only make us hang our head in shame.
It would be interesting to know what other leading Labour politicians
think of Sants attitude.
His stupidity in this case beggars belief. If Alfred Sant is elected
Prime Minister one day he will probably have to deal with Verheugen,
and their relationship cannot be said to have developed into one that
could be a basis for good co-operation.
The partnership option is not one to be dismissed offhand, as some political
commentators do, but Sant may turn out to be his own worst enemy, if
he continues with his U-turns and insults.