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MALTATODAY 24 April 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 24 APRIL 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? EU chief prosecutor Laura Codruța Kövesi revealing that she was unable to locate the responsible anti-fraud bodies in Malta during an investigation visit last October. Why are we skinning it? Well first of all, because it's a story that could fit equally well within a Kafka narrative or an episode of the cult British TV satire The Thick of It. And secondly? It is also a depressing reiteration of certain cliches of Malteseness. How so? Kövesi appears to suggest that each of the sup- posed anti-fraud authorities she reached out to… suggested that she speak to someone else. And so on, ad infinitum. Okay but… how is that intrin- sically Maltese? You've clearly never had to get any paperwork processed by a State institution. I see what you're getting at now… but the last time I've had real trouble was way back in the '90s! Everything's online and efficient now, surely? Maybe for some low-level trans- actions for the sake of us mere mortals. Could be. The higher levels appear to be rather comfortable with operating in a cloak-and- dagger fashion. Or it could be that incompe- tence remains the order of the day at the very top. Yes. It's possible that successive gov- ernments have taken on a rather literal application of the 'bottom up' principle. But isn't this precisely the kind of thing that we should be tackling with utmost seri- ousness now that Malta's been greylisted? Yes, but it's highly possible that 'this kind of thing' is a big part of the equation as to why we were greylisted in the first place. So what's the solution? More transparency, less corruption. Easier said than done. Well, it would be easy enough to formu- late a plan if you at least knew which authority needs to take the lead on said planning. I've also noticed that one of Kövesi's EU colleagues recounted having a similar experience with Greece not too long ago. Perfect fodder for the Mediterranean Euros- ceptics to play the victim card, I suppose. We need to be a whole lot richer to afford transparency. But if you dream big, the sky's the limit. Do say: "The last thing Malta's public image needed was an- other drubbing at EU level. Let's hope this nudges the authorities to clean up their act, to be be seen doing so." Don't say: "When can we start telling the EU to go back to its country?" Macron vs Le Pen: the presidential election PGS 14 & 15 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON A new chapter PAGE 7 No 136 – Passing the Buck to Hide the Bucks JOSANNE CASSAR Shaping the island's charging EV infrastructure PAGE 13 EDITORIAL Youth, mental health and the perils of social media PAGE 2 SAVIOUR BALZAN Free for all PAGE 5 The apathy of the French youth, disappointed in both candidates, can significantly alter the election's outcome PHOTO: ARON TANTI

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