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MALTATODAY 2 October 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 2 OCTOBER 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? The European Commission haul- ing Malta's limestone booty to court over the island's in- sistence on selling passports to rich foreigners. Why are we skinning it? Be- cause it marks a significant escalation of previous at- tempts to do the same, with the continent's ruffian teen- age child refusing to yield to the adults in the room yet again. But is it really all that fair to single Malta out on this? How do you mean? Other countries also sell passports. Cyprus and Bul- garia have stopped doing so. Malta is literally the last one standing here. Can you blame our govern- ment for keeping on keep- ing on, though? Yes I can, because the scheme is not the most pleasant of propo- sitions in whatever light you may choose to look at it… and yes, that includes the nakedly pragmatic financial one. But naked pragmatism is what the Maltese are all about. I would say it's more like: pragmatism decked out in a sheer dress hidden under layers upon layers of crucifixes and rosaries but yes, your broad point still stands. And let's not forget that the EU has treated Malta with kid gloves on so many other things. That's true. From un- sustainable hunting practic- es to the human rights lacu- na that is the total abortion ban, Malta's gotten away with a lot since its accession into the EU in 2004. Now we'll even be allowed to carry on consuming gas and electricity as per usual. It's almost as if the continent didn't experience any signif- icant rumbles since Febru- ary of this year… It's a regular party up here in Malta town. Indeed, who wouldn't want to splurge on a passport and join in the fun? I hope the EU is happy in its role as party pooper ex- traordinaire. Fairly certain that being insufferably but- toned-up is their hard-won brand. Do say: "While matters of internal governance should indeed be the sovereign right of any individual EU member state, the passports scheme blurs that line by effectively allowing the pur- chase of blanket access to all EU states. The gnashing of teeth by the government is understandable, but so is the EU's action." Don't say: "I would be will- ing to sell my Maltese pass- port for 1.1 million to who- ever will take it. No need to give me one in exchange – the bucks will smooth over any statelessness angst." Empowering girls RENEE LAIVIERA PAGE 11 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON A pumping station too many PAGE 7 No 159 – The Passports Pastizzi Yard Sale Conundrum JOSANNE CASSAR Who's really running this country anyway? PAGE 6 EDITORIAL Press laws not strong enough PAGE 2 SAVIOUR BALZAN Waiting for the messiah PAGE 5 More than ever, girls' voices are rising. We are witnessing young women as agents of positive change, organising and leading global movements.

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