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MALTATODAY 6 November 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 6 NOVEMBER 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? The University of Malta student protest against Campus Hub, after that apparently contro- versy-hogging entity felt the need to jack up its parking prices, only to renege on the move a couple of days before the protest. Why are we skinning it? Be- cause unfair as it may seem, parking charges being the main trigger for this protest action is something of a poor look. How come? Well, the only significant UOM student protests in recent (and not-so- recent) memory came about on matters that either directly impacted the students' pockets (stipends) or their immediate comfort (parking spots). Hang on. Parking is hardly some cushy snowflake luxury. Not taken in iso- lation, no. But then -- the fact that university students are resorting to private cars instead of making use of public transport feels like a root issue here. Not everyone is well-served by public transport though. That may be true. And some routes certainly bear improv- ing. But it's ultimately private cars that clog up our roads... which in turn also means that buses will run late. It's not fair to place that burden on students who have lectures to get to, though. You can either spend your morning waiting for a late bus or looking around for parking. What a crappy Catch-22. The crappiest. But wait, there were other el- ements in the protest though, correct? Yes, very valid ones which unfortunately got overshadowed by the focus on parking. Like? The vulgar commerciali- sation of the campus space, as personified most grotesquely by the Campus Hub itself. Could you be a bit more specific and a little less gran- diose? Basically: do we need a Burger King when we don't even have a single bookshop? But that's just the free market doing its thing. Yes, and in this rat race we are tiny units left to scramble on our lonesome... for parking, or otherwise... without guidance or support. Just the perfect recipe for a disgruntled student popu- lation. Precisely. Now if only they'd kick up a proper storm about the structural issues, we'd have a bloc party to get the revolution going. Do say: "While the commercialisation of the campus space is certainly a worthwhile trigger for protest, allowing the parking rates to be the rallying call conjures up the unflattering idea that UOM students are critically lethargic unless their creature comforts are snatched out from under them." Don't say: "If you ask me, there's no better preparation for adult life in Malta than being made late for appoint- ments because of traffic and/ or parking issues. These stu- dents can't appreciate a fully immersive crash(!) course when they see it!" Hondoq is safe. But the danger remains EDITORIAL PAGE 2 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON Under pressure PAGE 7 No 164 - Parking Protest for the Pupils JOSANNE CASSAR The reason for all this traffic? It's not my car, it's yours PAGE 6 RAPHAEL VASSALLO L'Uomo Del Monte ha detto 'No'… PGS 10 & 11 SAVIOUR BALZAN Nice guy Karmenu. But Mifsud Bonnici as PM was a fiasco PAGE 5 Ħondoq ir-Rummien remains privately- owned property, which does not lie outside the development zone

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