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MALTATODAY 26 June 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 26 JUNE 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? The true start of the silly season -- marked by yet another weekend heatwave, a prime minister announcing the 'balanced' ruination of Comi- no and a determined drive to wreck the historic charm of Valletta. Why are we skinning it? Because it is the flp-side (or rather, the consequence) of the 'sun and sea' view of Malta: it's what you get when you double down hard on that fantasy, and all that it implies. Meaning? Attracting tourists to beaches means triggering profiteers into action by proxy: as we've seen with the deckchair saga at Comino. Profiteers?! They're just catering to the law of supply and demand! Putting the deckchairs out ahead of time -- and destructively cram- ming each and every angle of the beach with them -- is an interesting take on the 'supply and demand' angle, though. But they've been barred from putting them up on the sandy side of the beach. Shouldn't that make you happy? Well, at the very least it validates the protest action by Moviment Graffitti… A protest action that jumped the gun on an official tourism ministry inspection! Yes, those pesky meddling kids just couldn't wait for the grownups to do their jobs. Hey, somebody has to cater to the fun of paying adults on this and all other sur- rounding islands. Politicians -- and their families -- de- fending the right-to-leisure for tourists and all others, at the expense of the environ- ment and the wellbeing of locals is such a Maltese trait it may as well be etched into our constitution. In fact, we also saw it boldly put into action when the prime minister also defend- ed the legal notice allowing bars to play loud music until 1am in Valletta. He said that this allowed 'local artists' to recoup their losses from COV- ID, and that -- coupled with the 'no sand' compromise on Comino -- the suggestion that music be kept at 'moder- ate' levels after 11pm meant that an automatic 'balance' had been achieved. I admire his sense of faith and practicality. Yes, Robert Abela is nothing if not a truly admirable man. So how will this help me deal with the heatwave? In all of their considerations of a balance, that has sadly not been factored in. The beaches will crammed and crowded with confused, hot bodies eking pure frustration at being mis-sold an idyllic island experience. And a relaxed glass of wine at our baroque capital will be in- truded upon by ear-shatter- ing noise. Netflix it is, then. Third season of Umbrella Academy just dropped… what are you waiting for?! Do say: "Stay in at peak hours and drink plenty of liq- uids to stave away the worst excesses of this worsening heat. Once you're there, abstain from social media as well -- guaranteeing that you'll remain cool-headed in more ways than one." Don't say: "If a sauna is good for the body, shouldn't it also be good for the mind?" RALPH CASSAR The extreme centre PAGE 13 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON The PN's recurring nightmare PAGE 7 No 145 – Fried Brains Thriving JOSANNE CASSAR You need to treat people like you expect them to treat you PAGE 5 EDITORIAL Legislators are there to legislate: not pontificate PAGE 2 RAPHAEL VASSALLO No country for pregnant women PAGES 10 & 11 The extreme centre takes the sides of the economically powerful, while posing as being on the side 'of the people' The French Estates-General in 1789 (Isidore- Stanislaus Helman via Wikimedia Commons)

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