I am pretty sure that when the multi-talented painter Sandro Botticelli painted his version of Dante Alighieri’s ‘Inferno’, or the Journey to hell, I am sure he had no idea that what he was really painting was not the famed staged strata of sins on the way to the dark depths of despair, but simply the early morning traffic snarl that is Malta in the early hours of the day.
It is 9 in the morning, and I have just had the dubious pleasure of coming back from Birkirkara on a 12km round trip to take my daughter to her A level morning session examination.
Truly, it has been a hellish experience… because let’s face it, circa 12km in 2hours translates to around 6km an hour. So, instead of leaving home at 7, like we did, it would have made more sense to walk to St.Aloysius at a steady pace of six per hour, leaving home at 7.45… and probably still have made it in plenty of time.
The roads were absofuckinglutely jam-packed with cars trying to go hither and thither, but to no avail. Our worries started as soon as we saw traffic policemen near the St.Lucia roundabout, who insisted that we take the road up towards qormi though the new bypass. It was useless to haggle with the guy. This is nothing personal against the police, whom I consider awesome, but this guy was simply following orders. I wanted to go down through the Addolorata hill, but I was not allowed.
OK. Nothing to do, I had to go down through the Luqa bypass, but as soon as I saw the huge amount of cars packed like sardines in an impossibly tight sequence, I decided to pass through the back of Luqa. There again, after a brief respite, the end bit was absolutely horrifying.
A girl in tight black spandex and a green shirt flew past, and I groaned at the sight. It was sin no.1, Lust… not at the girl’s bottom, wiggling here and there just like a chipmunk… but because she was on a bicycle, flying past and blissfully oblivious to the stalled traffic.
Needless to say, the teenager in the back seat was growing more agitated by the minute. To cap it all, ‘cowboys’ began peeling out from the back, darting down wrong-way, only to plead with puppy eyes and allow another car to let them slip in. Or so they thought until they tried to slip inside my line. ‘No way Jose!’… A quick snarl from my bulldog face soon put a stop to a fading red Omni van, that was just then looking anxious as a huge truck began roaring up the hill, the van squarely in its’ path. I couldn’t have cared less if it smashed him to oblivion. Because by then my pulse was racing with the realization that we were going to cut it tight with regards to time. His sin? Greed!
I guess that with my anger, it was the sin of ‘wrath’ that we were traversing at that moment in time. Dante would have been proud of me.
Finally, finally, we arrived at the bottom of Qormi Hill, and I was torn between making two turns… right to Aldo Moro, or left to the Qormi roundabout… Aldo Moro was absolutely blocked, so we took Qormi. The road there is absolutely pulled up, so it was single lane all the way to the roundabout. I must say however that after that bit near the supermarket, the roads were now clear, and as I pulled away, feeling my little Sid surge with power, hitting a hundred k in a blink of an eye, (sin no.7 , Pride)… only to slam the brakes to bring the car to a sixty as the camera came in sight.
We got to the examination venue with about twenty minutes to spare, as a sigh of relief escaped my daughter’s lips…
I’m not going to talk about the drive back, since it was invariably another bottling up of anger as cars jostled each other in an effort to get wherever the hell they needed to… sigh…
So now, I have a few questions that I beg the minister for education, and that for transport to reply to…
1. Who the heck sets the examinations to start at 9am? WHO IN HIS RIGHT MIND, would set up examinations at the very peak of traffic? Why not start them at 10? or 10.30?
2. Why do we need to go to Birkirkara and Naxxar (from Tarxien!!!) to sit for an exam? Why, there are so many schools in the southern area that could easily double up as examination halls. Crossing the main thoroughfares of Marsa and Qormi to go for an exam at nine is absolute madness.
3. Let’s remain with the utterly idiotic notion of exams at that time. Some would ask, why not use the buses. WE did when we were young…. ah… “when we were young”… probably means ‘in the past’… Well, the fact is that back in the good old ‘hairy-chested-drivers’ days, buses were actually reliable. I can’t believe somebody would ask that question. With Arriva, despite all the advantages of dedicated bus lanes, one still isn’t sure of getting where he wants on time. IF he gets there at all.
4. A suggestion. Why doesn’t the Education Department create a pick-up point, say, Paola square,(to name just one) with a coach that heads with all the students towards the examination centre? Obviously there are too many localities, but driving from Zabbar or Cospicua to Paola is far more easy than driving to Naxxar. So make up 5 or 6 main-zones. Any difficulties can be telephoned ahead, and prospective examination students can rest their minds that they will sit for the paper, no matter what.
(Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the early Renaissance-era. He contributed to the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and painted the immortal The Birth of Venus. His depiction of the Inferno, probably tripled church attendance in those times.)
Not too many days ago, certainly not more than 4 or 5, I had the dubious pleasure of reading a piece on the Times, about teachers in a school in Sliema. These teachers were disgruntled by the fact that the local council had imposed a 2-hour parking limit on the public roads adjacent to the school.
Now I admit I am not too good of an administrator, and my first impressions were that elected members of the local council had been smoking something stronger than diesel exhaust fumes. I mean, come on… that’s absolutely ridiculous! Can you imagine a teacher rushing out every couple of hours to move his car?
Reading further on, this time to the many varied and colourful comments, the raging war of the words continued to escalate. At one point there was somebody who even suggested that the ‘toffee-nosed twits at Sliema (his words) wanted their own personal parking space in front of their homes’.
There is no need to say that I found this chap quite likeable, and agreed that the Sliema residents were the first to sell their soul (and town) to the businesses cropping up all over the place, and then wanted a slice of the same pie.
I chuckled to myself as I thought to myself…”That’s what they need next, a personalised parking space!”
Actually this little piece of brain matter floating in my head proved to be my undoing as that evening I arrived home from work. Going round the public garden where I live, I realised there simply was nowhere to park my little Daihatsu (aka Sid!).
So naturally, I had to park a little bit aways from our house. Once on my street, I realised what the problem was.
It was full of my neighbours’ cars, and while I have no spite, or want to disagree with any of them, all smashing people, I thought that it was quite unfair for a family to have 7 (!!!) cars parked out in the street when they have a massive garage just beneath their house. Likewise the family next door had the husband’s, wife’s, two offspiring AND their boyfriends’ cars parked on the single lane parking spots. This trend continued right down to the bottom of the public garden.
And I thought to myself… those guys from Sliema, far from being toffee-nosed, actually had a point. What if there was a SINGLE parking space for each of the families on the block? It surely made sense, and is something that is in use abroad. In Southend (UK), for example, there is no chance you can park in a residential street. Forget it. Cameras take a picture with their beady eyes every time a vehicle enters the street. If the car stops for more than a quarter of an hour, and the number plate does not belong to a resident, then that owner is right royally screwed.
If at least, after 8pm, every house had its’ single parking space, then the chances are good that one will be able to unload himself close to home.
Of course, then again, I would also make it a prerogative that families having a garage, MUST park their cars in that garage. No ifs and buts….
…and with that thought, I turned back to park my little Sid in the garage.
Ah well…. can’t win ‘em all!
Until the next time…. be safe!
As I gaze out the kitchen window, sometimes wandering into (as opposed to onto, seeing it is of the closed, interior type) the balcony, I am dismayed once again to see such naff weather.
I know it is supposed to be thus as this time of year, but still, I can’t help moping, thinking how nice it would be if we had at least a windless month, or at the very minimum, a nice calm week.
The sky is a leaden grey tinged with orange… not the ‘Wales’ type of autumn orange, but the ‘Libyan Sahara Desert’ type of colouring.
And my thoughts, because of the weather, turn to the fact that with such a wind, I hate going out cycling. As my friends know, I have been a bike fan for age, and recently, the bug has hit hard again. So yeah, this wind makes cycling extremely irksome, and oft-times, quite dangerous.
So I think I’ll just head to the garage and give my trusty charger a nice cleaning and a bit of lubing.
No, it’s not what you think!
Not too long ago, actually a few days, a student by the name of Stephanie Spicer asked me if I could host a post for her on my blog. Naturally I obliged, and within a few days, I received this document below. And it set me thinking.. how brave are people who face such an upheaval in their lives? I think they are PLENTY brave, and reading her words will make you realise, too, how much home means… so here goes…
Hi. My name is Stephanie, and Chris was nice enough to let me write an article for his blog.
I am from America. Last summer I came to work at an English school in Malta, and have been living here ever since. People often ask me why I came here, why I chose Malta. It is a crazy story that I sometimes can’t believe myself.
Because my parents are English and German, several people had encouraged me to apply for a European passport. At first I was skeptical. I was in need of a place to go, but Europe seemed far away for a move, and anyway, I had always loved America.
But I began to see drastic changes happening in my country which made me rethink the wisdom of staying there. My résumé mirrored the downward spiral of the economy around me, and I knew that the longer I stayed, the poorer I would be, and if I had children, they would grow up with even less opportunities.
I applied for a German passport, and was able to get it much more easily than I had thought possible. Someone had told me Malta was a good place to live, so one Saturday, I applied to every English school in Malta that I could find on-line.
By Wednesday, I was asked for a Skype interview. On Thursday I had an offer of employment, on Friday I handed in my notice at my job, on Saturday bought my plane ticket, and two weeks later I was on a plane to Malta!
Everything happened so fast that I almost didn’t believe it was real. I didn’t experience culture shock per se—I had been to Europe before, and this wasn’t so different to other places I’d been.
The biggest struggle I had was inside myself.
I had always lived with my family, and learning to live alone, I found, was more than just logistics. It was dealing with such demons as loneliness and silence. I made friends. I enjoyed my job. I loved all the treasures Malta had to discover. But still I sometimes felt so alone and stranded that I wondered why I’d come.
One of the students from the school, with whom I shared housing for a time, was facing a similar dilemma. She was moving to a new city in Germany, away from her family, where it was “cosy.” She said a friend had told her, “You need to make yourself a cosy place in Berlin.”
I came to realise this as well. It surprised me to learn that it was only when things stopped being exciting, and became normal, did I start to feel at home in my new place. I had always loved adventure and discovery, but sometimes, it seems, coming home means little more than a ceasing to strive, a coming to rest….
The election race is officially on, and both parties will now be scrambling to point out their stands, and what they will do for the country in the next tenure, if they are entrusted with the people’s vote.
One of the messages that both PL & PN seem keen to support in this election run is the long-awaited overhaul of the energy sector.
Now, I ask, why wait this long to reveal aid for the ailing economy? Why wait for the election pivot to offer some hope for those who are barely managing to get through the month with their wages due in part to the utility bills?
And why, for God’s sake, none of the leaders is promoting common sense in the generation of energy? More about this later, but let’s start with what is my major grumble.
Every six months now, I receive the dreaded energy bill.
My ‘end of summer’ bill reads like a telephone extension, and rarely heads south of 650Euros. Approximately a quarter of that is the cost of water. My ‘winter’ bill is very much better, and rarely crosses the 450 threshold. Again, approximately a quarter of that is attributed to water. A family of four, three of them women, wastes a lot of water.
Explaining this bill is easy. From the end of March to the end of October, the heat permeating from the roof is absolutely unbearable. So sleeping with just a fan is absolutely impossible. Therefore, air-conditioners must be absolutely switched on. Naturally, it is not my pleasure going to work everyday and pausing to check the meter for the amount of electricity we wasted.
Winter, or what passes as winter here in Malta, is a blessed relief for many, but also a curse. Our houses are nowhere near properly insulated. So the torrid heat in summer, and soul-sucking damp in winter is felt in either which way.
Thankfully, on the top floor, the winter does not bother us that much, and we do not even own a heater, let alone use one. The damp is far less topside too, and our house, in winter, is very liveable. Some might disagree, but we all prefer the cooler temperature. It is January, but the sun has been shining every day, and dare I say it? We even sleep with the windows open at night.
But summer is admittedly tough. Especially hard-hit are those, who, like me, live in a first-floor maisonette with the concrete roof straight over their head. I remember in the old days (enjoying summers at my grandparents), that the buildings were far different.
Ceilings were generally higher, thirteen courses rather than the standard ten. I also recall vividly the little chimney-like protuberances on the roofs, which were of course, warm air vents, used in conjunction with ventilators at street level to provide constant air circulation. Where are they now? Nowhere in sight.
Today, just like chickens in a breeding farm, we live in a soulless stone box.
We have also to admit to ourselves as a population, that we are not as thrifty as we should be. Feeling cold? Fire up the heater! Feeling hot? Switch that AC on. Needless to say, we have become ‘plug’ people… There is a solution with a plug on the end of the lead…
But what if… what if we could tackle this problem at the point of being born? At root cause? What if we could devise something that prevented the heat or damp from entering our homes in the first place?
And that is where both parties should come in. Aiding the population with alternate methods of electricity generation AND insulation, rather than expounding on what we have.
The time is already ripe for wind-farming and solar generation. Hell… wind & sunshine is all we have on this island!
So what are the two parties doing to alleviate this immense burden on the population? Because let’s face it… after you pay a month’s wages to taxes and another one to national insurance, forking out more than 30 days wages to energy bills does not seem to appealing. That’s at least a quarter of your year’s salary gone.
PN has come up with the idea of ‘heavy fuel oil’. Let’s take a look at Heavy Fuel Oil properties (also with the help of Wikipedia)
Residual fuel’s (or HVO) use in electricity generation has decreased globally. In 1973, residual fuel oil produced 16.8% of the electricity in the United States. By 1983, it had fallen to 6.2%, and as of 2005, electricity production from all forms of petroleum, including diesel and residual fuel, is only 3% of total production.
The decline is the result of price competition with natural gas and environmental restrictions on emissions.
For power plants, the costs of heating the oil, extra pollution control and additional maintenance required after burning it, often outweigh the low cost of the fuel. Burning fuel oil, particularly residual fuel oil, also produces much darker smoke and uniformly higher Carbon Dioxide emissions than natural gas, which affects the community’s perception of efficiency.
Most of the facilities which historically burned HVO or other residual oils were industrial plants and similar facilities constructed in the early or mid 20th century, or which had switched from coal to oil fuel during the same time period.
In either case, HVO was seen as a good prospect because it was cheap and readily available, even though it provided less energy per volume-unit than lighter fuels.
Most of these facilities have subsequently been closed and demolished, or have replaced their fuel supplies with a simpler one such as gas. The high sulphur content of HVO, up to 3% by weight in some extreme cases — has a corrosive effect on many heating systems, and unless maintenance is strictly kept, usually spells problems.
So one can understand that I am NOT in favour of the HVO solution as provided by the present government. It is cheaper, true, but far more polluting to the environment, and thus, the population.
On the other hand, the PL has come up with a very worthwhile plan. Daring. Very daring. Very practical. Very desirable…. my precioussss….. we wants it… a gas turbine powered plant, pumping electricity at a far cheaper price than what we thought possible.
But… but… I cannot believe it will come to pass… and the fact that it does not is not a slur to the plans that have been touted, but rather for a number of reasons I will explain.
1. The private sector has to fork out over 400 million euros without profits for ten years.
2. The EU has to agree to give us funds cca. 142 million euros for the infrastructure of the supply of natural gas.
3. Natural Gas prices not to change in the next ten years. (When one considers that the main Natural Gas suppliers, Russia and Ukraine, are in precarious political turmoil, I cannot even begin to comprehend this point!)
4. A constant supply of gas has to be adhered to.
5. This bold vision has to take into account the drawing up of plans, evaluation, adjudication, signing up of the contracts, and of course, the building of the infrastructure… all by March 2014. I can’t imagine this happening.
So rather than practically impossible, I come to the conclusion that it is FINANCIALLY impossible to come up with all these promises and make them true. According to Dr.Muscat, the plans have come into contention with help from a Dutch Energy expert. When one considers that the Netherlands has a minimum rate of 22c per unit, I cannot understand why this prophet did not do this homework for his country.
So, in short, I have faith in neither the PN, nor the PL.
So what are my proposals? We have 300 days of sun every year.. EVERY YEAR… and more than 320 days of wind every day of the year.
Can you imagine it? 300 days of sun (and wind) daily?
Practically a whole year of free electricity to everyone. If only the respective governments would help out with personal electricity generation, we would not even NEED new power stations, let alone converting to the environmental hazards of HVO.
Solar panels are still an expensive commodity, and with the recent cut-back on grants, have become the domain of only the rich. So the rich can afford to install them, decreasing their own electricity consumption, and thus, their bills… while the middle and lower class population suffer the ignominy of paying through the nose.
For some insane reason, all the buildings here in Malta have flat roofs, so providing space for photovoltaic cells is easy, and plentiful. Whole schools and factories have practically huge open spaces as big as football fields. What would be the yield from covering the roofs with PV cells? Immeasurable!
And what would the yield do to help the economy of a four-member family with their own roof? I guess it would help many-fold First would be the generation of the actual power that is paid back at a rate higher than the standard cost. Second, the same panels built on a scaffold-type stand over the roof would mean that the sun’s rays would never get to heat up the concrete screed of the roof. This means less heat downstairs, which in turn means lower consumption, which when coupled with the profit from the generated juice, translates into a lower electricity bill for the family.
OK, some people are already complaining about a lack of roof to help them generate their electricity. (It must be pointed out that families living in ground level have lower bills. FACT!).
I have a couple of proposals that can make that dream happen too.
1. With our weather, 8-10 panels are enough to provide for a decently reduced bill. Ten panels on our roofs take up little space, about the same size as a 4m x 3m wash-room With the top-dweller’s benediction, but WITHOUT taking up valuable roof space, the neighbours in the apartment below can STILL install PV cells, again, on a stand.
2. PV Solar Farming. Take the same schools and factories, and purchase a share in them.
The main failing in PV cells until now is not only the low rate of efficiency, but also the high cost of purchase. This, to many families, is insurmountable. Ideally, the government helps out with subsidised loans. Not too long ago it was the accepted system, until somebody started to screw around with falsifying the costs.
Typical Maltese… and in typical Maltese fashion, instead of appointing a task-force to pinpoint the proverbial rats in the barrel, the government stopped all aid to those who wished to partake in this endeavour.
Again, I repeat.. cheap, dependable energy for everybody.
I am not going into the advantages of a solar water heater system, which everybody knows its’ worth, or the wind-farming options, which I do not like particularly in residential areas, but a boon in the coastal waters off our islands.
Within 3 or 4 years, the loans would be paid off, and the money saved would remain in the pockets of the people, who would have more buying strength to spend in the shops, continuing a circle of economical growth and prosperity for everyone.
After a good post, it is time to take on the teachers. ‘Hell hath no fury, like a woman scorned’, goes the saying… but an angry man should not be scorned either.
My next project will be a short but intensive one, where (late primary and secondary classes) teachers are to get the brunt of my anger. I have already enough material to drown the poor drones, but will present my idea in a different manner.
Hopefully any teacher worth his salt will be able to reply with decent answers, although I sincerely doubt how they can satisfy me. I have a feeling a few boats will be rocked. Can’t wait to throw some of you overboard…
My rant will be on the inhumane amount of homework heaped on students.
Hmm… now where did I put my Pink Floyd album?
Just like a snail that hides after a fierce summer, the onset of early autumn and the waning of the sun bring me out of my shell to enjoy the outdoors a little bit more. I make no bones about it. I hate summer and the endless savage heat it brings with it.
Sure, I cool down a bit with a dip to the sea, but the sunny season here drags so long that it is a pain in the proverbial padded backside.
And with extra excursions on my mind, I come to my topic today. The Roads. I know that many have been over this before, but I fail to see how such a simple black-top can be built with so much short-sightedness.
Granted this is Malta, and contractors are unreliable, but there is a limit to being plain unreliable and jumping to being plain dumb. However it seems that there is no end to the amount of dumbness by those who design the roads.
One of my favourite haunts at various times of the evening is a walk along the airport runway. A cool, uninterrupted walk of about six kilometres that I strive to enjoy every day with my wife. So obviously, to go for my walk, I have to drive the three odd kilometres from home to our starting point.
And I honestly cannot, for the life of me, imagine why these ‘fouls’ have been made during the recent upheaval of Luqa Road.
Coming out from the roundabout linking Tarxien to Paola and Santa Lucia, I see that the first part of the road to Luqa has not been resurfaced. Considering that the government has spent so much on the rebuilding from the second roundabout onwards, I think it is folly to leave the last bit, a mere 300 metres stretch of road just as it was. All it would have needed would be a ‘scratching’ and resurfacing.
While we are on this stretch, I would like to point out that at no point is this road wide enough for safe passage of two cars. One of the main culprits are the many dusty trees making their presence felt along the side of the secondary Junior College. I am sure it has been said many times. We do not need trees in contact with the roads, unless they are protected by barriers. So why not make the barriers wider and allow for a pavement or a cycle track along the school wall? As it is, the courage to pedestrians who perhaps might take the walk is greatly diminished.
Just as that bit is over, we come to perhaps what is the biggest blunder of all. That humongous roundabout linking Tarxien, Marsa and Luqa. Who, in hell’s name invented such a monstrosity? The sheer physics of such a piece of useless shit means that one has to slow down to a crawl to manouvre his way around this chicane, because that is what it looks like. A racing chicane.
A driver on the left lane who is 5 metres behind the car to the right will suddenly find his windshield brimful with the arse of the same car that in most cases will probably stay on that lane on his way to Luqa. I’m sure that without even needing hindsight, this piece of traffic wizardry could have been avoided or made smaller. I will mention the small fact that coming back from Luqa, it is absolutely terrible and terrifying.
Having had the good fortune to visit countries abroad, I still cannot comprehend why we do not steal an idea or two. Granted, a roundabout will always be helpful (and necessary) in decreasing speed by breaking the road, so to speak, but still, it is way too big. I hope we don’t have landscapers building them into ‘portable gardens’. That is so dumb.
The rest of the road therein is extremely good, and I applaud the ideas of pelican lights rather than a 60km speed limit, although I have a feeling it won’t be too long before a limit is slapped onto this stretch of asphalt. It’s an absolute necessity, although sometimes stretching the horses’ lying under the bonnet of your car is so therapeutic. Not that there’s anywhere to do that nowadays in Malta…
Since we are at the point of crticism, I would like to ask why the hell does the pavement need to have ‘lands’ of greenery in them? Or a bench?….. Ah well….
Obviously, it is a great improvement on the older link, and it is a pleasure to drive along, making my commute, even by bicycle, far easier. The LED lighting, clear markings on the asphalt, service culverts, traditional Maltese rubble walls are all bonuses… well done….8/10.
It looks as if this country can never get anything right, or rather, its’ politicians are hell bent for leather on self-destruction.
The latest two skirmishes now are on the much-vaunted and much-maligned buses and their routes, and a recent leasing of a hospital by the government.
Let’s start with the bendy-buses. London Mayor Boris Johnson has been widely quoted as saying ‘he was “delighted” they were clogging up the streets of Malta‘.
Now while I am truly disgusted and surprised at the services offered by Arriva in this country, I thought it was pretty poor form by the Mayor, who introduced these buses himself, and is now rather in a hurry to shift talk to who inherited them. As to why Mr.Johnson really needed these buses on most of London’s tortuous, winding roads, only God knows. An idiot could tell you that they were unsuitable for London except for the most far-flung routes… such as going from the centre of London Town to Zone6 areas, such as Hampton court.
As it is, Londoners rarely use buses (own experience), and use the quite efficient underground system most of the time. At the prices the bus carriers in England charge, it is hardly surprising. The equivalent of 3Euro for a bus trip from Tarxien to Marsa is the norm. And that is not a day ticket either.
Most buses are scratched, dirty, ramshackle affairs…. I recall them being called ‘bone-shakers’ by none-too-kind detractors of the system.
Now, obviously, all is laid on the step of Dr.Austin Gatt, minister of transport. Whether it is fair or not, I cannot comment, but what I do know is that in this little country of ours, a smattering of common sense could go a long way.
If the authorities had insisted that we keep the ‘Hub System’ in place, utilising central places for larger transportation of commuters at one go, this problem would never have arisen.
But the average Maltese Joe is a paragon of moaning. It is difficult for the normal person to accept change. Especially the elderly…I’ve seen more lenient donkeys and asses. So we were back to the old system. Nothing bad in itself, if only the bloody buses could keep to their schedule. How difficult can that be? Every 15 or twenty minutes, a bus HAS to leave the terminus, whether full or not.
There is no need to say that the incumbent power-hungry party in opposition, is taking full advantage of this situation, and jumping on the bandwagon. Only a day after Mr.Johnson’s now famous remark, billboards are appearing all over the island with hilarious slogans on them. According to the PL, they will wave their magic wands and ‘Stupefy’ everyone with their efficiency once in power.
An ardent PL supporter pointed out to me that once PL will be in power (a hardly surprising bet…) they will send Arriva packing. I am sure that he has a logistical plan in place…
St.Philip Hospital. Ah! The much talked over hospital lease. this week we heard on the news that following huge congestions in the new(ish) Mater Dei hospital, the government has decided to lease a private hospital that had gone out of business. In truth this hospital was being used for rehabilitation purposes already.
So when the government decided to fully lease this building, one can imagine that the opposition, once again, disagreed. I don’t know if the fact that now, two hundred beds will be used for rehabilitation, freeing the general hospital occupancy.
For those who are not from these islands, let me just point out in passing, that in our little country, we have a state of the art hospital, with free health care for everyone. I doubt many countries can offer the same as little Malta. But I digress…
So obviously, despite getting the lease for what I think is a decent price for the amount of years it will be in possession of the local health care authorities, the opposition, once more, disagrees. ( I dare say that the spokesperson for Health for the PL is not even up-to-date with the proceedings!)
And this, my friends, is the local political scene….
PN does one thing, and no matter what it is, the PL disagrees. And the PL says one thing, and the PN says it is wrong… the middle-of-the-road approach has long left the country, together with any semblence of dignity by our members of parliament.
…the same members who spend half a year on extended leave, but still getting paid from our taxes. I don’t know about you lot, but I don’t call these people my representatives…
(PS. due to my now long-standing health problems, much of my weekend mornings are spent in Mater Dei. Truthfully, I have rarely noted this congestion, and have always been treated extremely well. I have nothing but praise for the tireless hospital staff. Of course, you will find a rotten egg in any basket. I DO agree however that beds are sometimes being occupied in vain after clinical interventions, and I DO believe that the opening of St.Philip Hospital will be an added boon. Nothing’s perfect… but then, what is?)
Lately while doing some research and statistic gathering for this site, it was with a surprise to note that I have readers from 59 different countries, Malta included.
I could not believe my eyes at this pleasant revelation. Mostly because I do not belong to an entity, such as a sports club…. or even worse, to a political party or belief (GOD FORBID!).
So to realize that your thoughts are sought after by so many people and so many followers, is absolutely splendid.