02 December 2003

Search all issues

powered by FreeFind

Send Your Feedback!

Toon this week: Bridging the gap works both ways

In the midst of a brain drain

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 trend.
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 one’s 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.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
Tel: (356) 21382741-3, 21382745-6 | Fax: (356) 21385075 | E-mail