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MALTATODAY 2 October 2022

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TRUTH IS OF NO COLOUR WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT SUNDAY • 2 OCTOBER 2022 • ISSUE 1986 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY maltatoday OF POLICE MALTATODAY SURVEY: Are you ready to take the pain for Ukraine? PAGE 12 Life/death UKRAINE MAT TH E W VELLA AIR Malta's bill for severance packages is edging close to €60 million after a total of 345 em- ployees out of 572 applied for the government payouts. On 14 January, government announced it would create a voluntary employee trans- fer scheme in a bid to cut Air Malta's workforce by half and save €15 million per year in wages as part of a restructur- ing exercise. But while staff had been ear- marked for early termination in August, they will now leave the national airline by 31 De- cember, 2022. With the airline enjoying healthier summer loads as tourism picks up from the pandemic, more workers have had to be retained for service despite plans by the finance ministry to release 600 airline employees into the public ser- vice. Around €65 million had been included in the 2022 Budget for 'national airline restruc- turing assistance', which could reflect the expected assistance the European Commission in Brussels will allow by way of state aid. €1.95 Free buses win 6,700 new patrons in September JAMES DEBONO IN the month prior to the intro- duction of a free-of-charge bus service, the number of registra- tions for Tallinja cards have in- creased by 6,718 – from 407,689 on 31 August, to 414,407 on 28 September, the Transport Min- istry revealed in reply to a ques- tion by MaltaToday. The increase is being inter- preted as a positive indication of the popularity of the free bus service which commenced operations on Saturday. As from yesterday all persons using the personalised Tallinja card were not required to have credit on their card in order to use buses. Availing of free public trans- port requires commuters to tap their personalised Tallinja Card on the ticket machine next to the bus driver every time they board the bus. PAGE 4 FREE BUSES Air Malta redundancies could near €60 million for 345 employees PAGE 2 Finance minister Clyde Caruana Humanists say it is time for Malta to introduce living wills PAGE 9 Officers speak about life the blue PAGES 14-15 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 18 SEPTEMBER 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? Na- tionalist MP Edwin Vassallo's objection to an episode of Peppa Pig which introduces a character raised by a same-sex (lesbian) polar bear couple, on the grounds that this is, appar- ently, yet another example of "enforced ideological indoctri- nation" that is corrupting our children and robbing them of their essential innocence in early years. Why are we skinning it? Be- cause it's yet another example of elements of the Nationalist Party regaling us with mo- ments of true-blue nostalgia, when the world was simpler and all the more bigoted and patriarchal for being so, and when the dictates of the Church were considered to actually be gospel by a sizeable part of the Maltese population. Yes, I miss the days of stolid masculine leaders who en- forced our ideological norms with staunch conviction. Mintoff vs Eddie was such a re- assuring binary for many. It all started going downhill the moment brainiacs like Alfred Sant started cutting in on the action. We don't need no Har- vard education! Give me that perit action and that provincial village lawyer grit, and I'm hap- py as pie. This is why it's so important to fight for our right to remain narrow-minded and pig-head- ed in our simple ignorance (no intend- Thinking along the lines of that mindset, it's no surprise that kids' cartoons become a covert threat. Much like the cockroaches that your adora- ble fluffy cat brings in as a gift under the cover of night, Pep- pa Pig and its ilk are insidious messengers for the outside world. When in fact we all want to be safe as houses, literally. What's the point of building houses, otherwise? We certainly seem to be build- ing a lot of them. It's some- thing Edwin Vassallo should consider. If society were in fact so corrupt, then why are we so keen on aggressively building the exact same structures that would keep the outside world at bay? We are even destroying large swathes of our true-blue na- tional landscape to do so, to say nothing of traditional vil- lage cores which would previ- ously be dwarfed by the Church and nothing else. Yes, now that you mention it, the threat of vi- cious polar bears – lesbian or not – feels rather remote, when considering more immediate risks. Do say: "Equating the mere ap- pearance of LGBTIQ+ characters in children's entertainment with explicit material is irrational on top of being reactionary: it as- sumes that all there is to the lifestyle is explicit sex, and it dehumanises gay people every- where." Don't say: "Poor Edwin clearly the memo, though. token gay Russian mercenaries in Ukraine OPINION PAGE 6 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON The Queen is dead... long live whoever is next PAGE 5 No 157 – Attack of the Lesbian Polar Bears RAPHAEL VASSALLO Air Malta is also 'too big to fail'… PAGES 10 & 11 EDITORIAL Too easy to say: 'Malta is full up' PAGE 2 CLARIA CUTAJAR Failing to enact the new Equality Act leaves workers vulnerable to abuse PAGE 12 Private military companies are used because they are cheaper long term, not requiring for soldiers' benefits maltatoday | SUNDAY • 2 OCTOBER 2022 CLASSIFIEDS & COMMERCIALS ARTS • TV • WHAT'S ON PHOTO JAMES BIANCHI Daniela Attard Artist maltatoday Get the critical perspective on politics, culture and society Be the first to enjoy our print newspaper with a subscription When you need to decode what politicians are saying, when you want to understand why Malta's crazy construction industry is impacting upon your life, when you need to step out of the social media and understand the world from a different perspective, our journalists and columnists will provide you with expert reporting, analysis and commentary. 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