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MALTATODAY 7 August 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 7 AUGUST 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? Tour- ism Minister Clayton Bartolo claiming it's just 'impossi- ble' to calculate the precise amount spent on the Malta Film Awards, given that the cost was bundled into the entire pack- age of the Malta Film Week of which it was a part. Why are we skinning it? Mainly because it's both a refreshingly humble yet typ- ically (and frustratingly) eva- sive statement from a local politician, and paradox al- ways invites analysis because it drives us kinda crazy. But also because it comes in the same week in which Barto- lo also proudly inaugurated temporary dinosaur statues dotted around Valletta, Birgu and Mellieha to commemo- rate Malta's starring role in the (critically-savaged and audience-maligned) Holly- wood blockbuster Jurassic World Dominion. Wait, what? Yes – dino fanat- ics are in for a treat this sum- mer as they make their way to the crowded, sweaty and tourist-laden streets of some of Malta's prime locations to ogle at reproductions of our preda- torial lizard ancestors. At least it's not more sense- less construction. Though it does kind of make sense that we'd evolve from metaphorical monsters to literal ones. Do you think these dinosaurs were actually alive at any point of the current Labour legislature? They may have been. I mean, Malta plays as a black market dino mecca in the film in question, and the inspiration has to come from somewhere. Maybe it's the dinosaurs that ate up the accounts. Surely a less 'impossible' possibility than the blanket statement of- fered up by Bartolo himself. Yes, and embalming them and putting them up for tour- istic display is a fine act of revenge, if you ask me. Bu- reaucratic crimes cannot be tolerated on this island… Hmm... evidence points to the contrary. Well, they will not be tolerated if committed by inva- sive species like Velociraptors and the like. The local popula- tion can just let rip. Either way, all this leaves us flogging what is ostensibly an expensive flop of a film which we've decided to gleefully as- sociate with. Much like Robert Altman's Popeye, yes. In the meantime, the ghost of a terrible idea – an over-inflated celebration for a film industry that barely exists – still hangs over him. Yes, the Malta Film Awards will be remembered as an expensive act of fiddling while Rome burns. Bartolo and co. certainly didn't heed Jeff Goldblum's warning in the first Jurassic Park film. And what's that? Come on, you remember... Ah yes, though I'll paraphrase... "You were so preoccupied with whether or not you could, you didn't stop to think if you should." Do say: "Look, we all know that doing one's accounts can be a chore and a half. But surely the Tourism Ministry – the beacon for one of Malta's key industries – would have a strong enough staff contingent to help them get to the bottom of a request that both the media and key industry players have been re- iterating for months now?" Don't say: "My hunch is that Bartolo is simply waiting for inflation to skyrocket so high that whatever figure he ends up quoting won't even matter anymore." Ukraine war: Food and energy security at risk PGS 12 & 13 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON Thanks, but no thanks PAGE 7 No 151 – The Dinosaurs Ate My Accounts! JOSANNE CASSAR Fancy a takeaway – from someone earning slave wages? PAGE 5 EDITORIAL This is about more than just 'bicycles' PAGE 2 RAPHAEL VASSALLO 'I want to ride my bicycle…' PAGES 10 & 11 The first shipment of grain has left Odesa in Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni which was carrying 26,000 tons of corn. But the crews of ships moving in and out of the port of Odesa will be nervous

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