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MALTATODAY 10 July 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 10 JULY 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? The bruised pride of Valletta residents after PL candidate and PM's sister-in-law Ali- son Zerafa Civelli suggested that 'beltin' only exhibited pride about the capital up until quite recently. Why are we skinning it? Because hare-brained platitudes blowing up in a politician's face will never not be funny. But let's face it, Valletta WAS allowed to let itself go over the decades... Yes, Malta's capital city could have done with an earlier spit-polish. So was Zerafa Civelli entirely off base? Oh, I think she was on-base. She was the Ace of Base, in fact, if we're gonna run with a metaphor of brain-invading 'summer fun'... she saw 'The Sign', and she was responding to it. Why are you bringing the Swedish 90s ear-worm architects into this? Which 'sign' was she responding to? Just like Ace of Base's peren- nial dance hits brightened many a beach-side sojourn for Gen X-ers and elder millennials back in the day, so will bars and restaurants now be allowed to play their thumping tracks and roll out the red carpet to karaoke-lev- el live performers until 1am. Certainly a controversial de- cision that has riled up many a 'belti'... So maybe now would not be the best time to tell them they should shut up with their complaints because things were SO much worse beforehand. Maybe their angry response was a tad disproportionate? Or maybe they're already fed up about the government subjecting their hometown to a hare-brained and uncouth idea of what a 'capital city' should be, with their patience now running thin. Fair enough. It's not like Valletta has been lacking in proper developments of late, either. I mean, Renzo Piano built us a parliament. And they now insist on putting ugly metal barriers in front of it. With pointless planters just across. Yes. The barbarians aren't just at the gate. They're erecting new ones as we speak. Do say: "While it is good to acknowledge that the capital may have been economi- cally and infrastructurally neglected in the past, stating that Valletta residents were previously ashamed of their hometown as a categorical, across-the-board fact is sim- ply a bad idea to begin with... all the more so when you insist on salting the wound by then adding that the same residents should now feel 'privileged' to be able to ex- perience the city on a regular basis, now that it's about to become noisier and all the more disruptive for residents to actually live in." Don't say: "Valletta residents ashamed of being from there?! That's not my expe- rience. The problem is an opposite one: they just won't shut up about it..." Interview LORANNE VELLA A plurality of voices PAGES 8 & 9 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON A dangerous game PAGE 7 No 147 – The Capital's Punishments JOSANNE CASSAR Never tell someone from Valletta how they feel about their own city PAGE 5 EDITORIAL Valletta's anger is about more than just 'noise' PAGE 2 RAPHAEL VASSALLO Maltese developers, complaining about noise. Whatever next? PGS 10 & 11 When one puts on the glasses of feminism, one becomes more aware of, and attuned to, other forms of oppression by the strong over the weak

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