Editorial | The road ahead

Recent news has led many of the associated bodies to express serious concern that this will dent business confidence and have a deleterious effect on purchasing power


The political situation in the country cannot be ignored.

This is not a minor issue which will go away. At the heart of government we have a serious situation which is unprecedented in our recent history. We are not talking here of allegations related only to corruption but of those closest to the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat embroiled in investigations related to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The PM’s chief of staff Keith Schembri, that is, who has since resigned. A resignation that should have taken place when in 2016 it was revealed that he was the owner of a Panamanian account.

The situation has put the prime minister in a very difficult position. His position has been described as untenable by many. But there is a flip side to this argument.

There is a very serious problem when it comes to stability and transition of power for a new prime minister. No one has the gravitas of the present prime minister who is still liked and supported by the majority of the electorate and it could very well be that the country is unwilling to experience more shockwaves.

We are primarily concerned about the state of the economy, the good-feel factor that is.

In spite of the gravity of the situation, there is little doubt that the work of the Maltese police has reaped results and this can be attested by the number of interrogations, arrests and police bail issued in the last days.

Surely accusations that this institution is not functioning are not entirely correct.

Recent news has led many of the associated bodies to express serious concern that this will dent business confidence and have a deleterious effect on purchasing power.

There is also a paralysis in Government in a country where the administration of the day has a direct impact on what is happening and does not happen.

That normality can only materialise if the police arraign those suspected of masterminding the murder of Caruana Galizia and more importantly contribute to final closure.

Closure is essential if we are to move on as a country.

A government with a mandate of five years, elected with an overwhelming majority of 40,000 is not facing a confidence crisis in parliament, but it is surely facing a confidence crisis within the business community and financial sector.

There is also the reputational damage abroad. And the Prime Minister alone can address this.

He must plan his exit carefully. Ensure that the transition of leadership is carried out in the interest of the country.

It is a great pity that a man who fuelled this economy to new heights, introduced social measures which were not thought possible of in such a conservative country, and opened up to all strata of businesses creating a pro-business environment unparalleled in the whole EU, now finds himself having to worry about making sure this administration leaves behind a sound legacy.

This is the challenge that lies ahead.

We cannot see this being carried out by the present Prime Minister, unless his fortunes and the outcome in the prosecution change dramatically.

There used to be a time when people would say that the Prime Minister was a lucky man.

Well, that luck seems to have run out.

Only time will tell how things will pan out. Although - somehow - Muscat always seems to return when most people think he will not.

More in People