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MALTATODAY 15 March 2020

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Be part of our success Let's Be Frank. We offer you a CAREER in real estate. With a positive attitude and solid work ethics there are no limits to your earnings and personal growth. Time to #BeFrank SUNDAY • 15 MARCH 2020 • ISSUE 1063 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY €1.95 maltatoday Farmers' PM: No lockdown yet PAGE 4 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 8 MARCH 2020 COMMENT What are we skinning? Malta Developers Association president Sandro Chetcuti. Why are we skinning him? The death of a woman as the result of a building collapse has once again put Malta's construction lobby in an unfavourable light. But what does he have to do with it? He's just a lobbyist. He's the lobbyist for a Maltese business sector that has historically enjoyed an unprecedented degree of impunity and is now, apparently, also murderous. That's a bit dramatic. An entire sector cannot be blamed on one accident. Let alone a single person. Yes, but its self-declared key representative should be put under the spotlight. He hasn't been the most dignified of orators throughout his tenure, sure… Right? I mean, we've all got our favourites. Mine's his declaration that Malta's two main political parties are just like "two big shops" for developers and other big business: "sometimes you buy from the one, sometimes you buy from the other". That's a hard one to beat. But I kind of appreciate him saying it. How do you mean? Well, I would rather have someone who's honest about the avarice that informs this industry, instead of some clean-cut guy who just blubbers out placating but shallow PR-speak. That's true, but wouldn't you rather have someone who actually makes tangible change happen in these defining industries, rather than someone who just continues to dredge their way through the status quo? Yes, but this is Malta. What do you expect? That's not really an excuse. Come on… And I expect quite a bit, actually. A woman just died. You're right. But I don't think the answer lies with Sandro Chetcuti. Or with any ONE other person. Yes. We should denude ourselves of the idea that personages, or personalities in and of themselves, will make any tangible difference. Once again, I'll risk a smack across the face and pull the 'It's Malta' card again. The cult of personality is an intrinsic part of our parochial existence. Sure. But for once, we're in full agreement about something. We're in full agreement that the kind of macho 'charisma' espoused by the likes of Chetcuti will solve exactly nothing. So let's fight for its removal. We'll need numbers on our side. Whatever it takes. Do say: "While it is unfair to pin all of the myriad wrongs of the construction industry on one single individual, Sandro Chetcuti's attitude and approach is a telling illustration of the kind of impunity that the construction sector continues to enjoy." Don't say: "Accidents happen! Whoops!" No 25. MDA President Sandro Chetcuti EDITORIAL Construction industry must up its game PAGE 2 CORONAVIRUS A breeding ground for conspiracies 12-13 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down BRENDA MURPHY Women make up half the world, and have given birth to all of it. We're entitled to a place at the table PGS 8-9 MIRIAM DALLI Why closing the gender pay gap is an urgent priority PAGE 16 ALEXANDRA GORN SMUS maltatoday | SUNDAY • 15 MARCH 2020 Q and A Carina Camilleri This Week Fr Gioele Galea Film The Invisible Man CLASSIFIEDS & COMMERCIALS ARTS • TV • WHAT'S ON MATTHEW VELLA PRIME Minister Robert Abela yesterday announced a package of economic measures for busi- nesses impacted by the COV- ID-19 influenza, to assist em- ployers and the self-employed with cash flow problems. But he also ruled out an imme- diate lockdown in the country despite calls from unions and certain associations, among them the doctors' union, for a mandatory nationwide quaran- tine. Abela said he was following public health ex- perts' advice. Covid-19 CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF BOLD JOURNALISM WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT/20YEARS COMMENT & ARTS inside our MT2 and MT3 sections Coronavirus survey: Women more wor- ried, more informed than men pgs 8-10 Opposition and unions back calls for Malta lockdown, but Abela says public health experts says drastic measure too early mt survey • Highest concern is among elderly • Gozitans are most relaxed • 52.4% believe country is moderately prepared • Elderly have highest belief country is highly prepared • A third have travel plans disrupted but more are holding on PHOTO JASON BORG Prime Minister Robert Abela with finance minister Edward Scicluna (left) and economy minister Silvio Schembri FADI HANANIA The Palestinian ambassador on his people's struggles back home INTERVIEW• MT2 Unions, employers, Opposition want national lockdown • PGS 2-5 Don't go breaking bad Rules for the COVID-19 quarantine PAGE 13 Josanne Cassar "To flatten the curve, everyone must cooperate"

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