this week: Bridging the gap works both ways
In the midst of a brain
The recent spate of career vacancies that have surfaced
originating from Brussels and the two other European Union capitals
has generated the expected interest from a number of young graduates
and experienced individuals. The applicants, and prospective applicants,
are and will be attracted by the higher salaries and the chance of moving
out and running away from insularity.
This side effect of EU accession has been generally overlooked and conveniently
hidden from the general public. But it now promises to haunt us and
remind us of our vulnerability.
Malta and Gozo form a small nation state.
The very idea of seeing experienced and creative individuals skip their
home careers to move on to something that appears more exciting
at face value, should be worrying to all of us.
The end result is that Malta will be in need of able personnel to propel
its service industry and economic well being.
What can be done?
The only way to convince people to stay on is to provide a salary base
that is attractive and compares well with what is being offered in other
European countries. That is hardly likely, considering the rate of growth
in our economy.
Nevertheless, what Malta has to offer in terms of quality of life and
accessibility other countries are definitely in no position to offer.
It would be useful to look into the expected brain drain phenomena which
is expected to become worse with the opening of borders and the opportunities
that will arise in all the other members states.
What Malta stands to lose cannot be taken lightly, and we must cater
for this eventuality by looking for options to counter the expected
If there is need for the appointment of yet another Commission to examine
the prospects and propose counter measures, then this should definitely
be it. It would also be opportune if the constituted bodies spare some
of their precious time to take a closer look at a problem that may get
out of hand.
Dr Sant in good form
Alfred Sant was in excellent delivery mode on Monday. He is best when
in Opposition, and watching him deliver a tirade at government one wonders
whether the man can make it after all.
He dissected in no uncertain terms the budget and forecasts and addressed
the issue of managerial politics and competence.
Yet, in reality, the situation Maltese politicians find themselves in
is that the gargantuan decisions facing the country cannot, in all fairness,
be solved by anyone in particular but only, perhaps, by everyone together,
or at least several interest groups pulling the same ropes.
The politics of consensus is still not yet possible on our small isles,
because once again, the bitterness of having lost a general election
makes rapprochement between Labour and PN a distant hope.
Yet, it needs to happen, more so now that we are in agreement over Europe
and our tax regime.
This country needs three years of consensus politics before the expected
prior election ping-pong politics aimed at getting ones party
elected into government.
There should be no beating round the bush. This country is at a point
where it is living beyond its means. But no one seems to appreciate
or wish to cut back on the quality of life that we are presently experiencing.
Only through a common and joint effort will this small Island nation
overcome the fear of carrying out the reforms that are essential for
an ageing country with an uncontrollable urge to overspend.