The other day, another joint Police-Detention Services operation in the Ħamrun, Santa Venera and Msida area yielded thirty-six more persons residing, and obviously working, without the necessary permits or, put wokely, irregularly. It was one of many such operations that have been successfully carried out during recent months to stem the influx of foreigners coming over to these islands under one guise or another, only to be absorbed into a disharmonious environment rife with shadow dealings, shadow payments, and shadow perpetrators of this illicit human conduct.
It should be acknowledged, first and foremost, that these are human beings in search of work and stability. They come from war-torn, divided, and poverty-stricken, failed states, but there are ways and means how to seek work and obtain one’s daily bread. Illegal entries, black-economy employment, and submission to horrendous dwellings, income arrangements, and conditions are certainly not part of that. One only needs to drive past the Identità agency building in Valley Road, Msida, to see there is a better and proper way how to do it. Daily long queues of people waiting to apply for their work and residence permits is an everyday scene. It is also fair to recognise Government action has been underway to curtail all abuses.
So one cannot begrudge the Malta Police’s consistent raids against irregular immigration. However, I find the media pictures and videos of these poor souls, still in their paint-soaked working clothes, extremely disturbing. Surrounded by stone-faced, uniformed police, they look timid, scared, and even shocked they’ve been found out, but the law is the law, as every lying lawyer will tell you.
What strikes me is that while the media exposure is all focussed on these foreigners being herded away from their places of work like lambs to the slaughter, we hardly read or hear anything about those who brought them over, those who illegally employed them, and those who have them squashed into shabby and squalid apartments: the perpetrators, from money-making overseas contacts to employers and even landlords who cannot claim not to have known about the goings-on.
It would be nice to be told, in those same media reports of the foreign workers’ arrests, who the local perpetrators were. If not in name, at least a passing reference to the fact that the law, after all, applies the same to every one, as every lying lawyer will tell you.
Malta’s success story with irregular immigration during the past few years cannot be under-estimated, but there has to be a more humane way of dealing with it, rather than turning every operation into an unsightly propaganda exercise. Yes, shadows can’t be caught, but shadowy people can, and many locals would promptly point them out to you.
Ask her bluntly
I see the Chamber of Commerce is rightly concerned over the challenges that the Maltese maritime sector, which includes several importers, is facing as a result of the EU’s unilateral decision to tax, on the pretext of helping to reduce harmful emissions, merchant ships using European ports.
So, they plan to meet Government officials and Maltese Members of the European Parliament, insisting on the need for the EU to reconsider the impact of its directives on a small member-state island sitting on the periphery of the European continent.
Good idea. I hope the President of the European Parliament, our very own Roberta Metsola, accepts to attend. On approval of the tax favouring non-EU ports in the Mediterranean she called the new directive “historic and crucial” and this would be a great opportunity for the business sector on the Island to seek consolation – straight from the horse’s mouth.
While the current Red Sea and Middle East war crises are proving to be absolute challenges to maritime sectors practically everywhere, the directive alone is a direct blow to southern EU ports. What the EU does, the EU can correct. Ask her bluntly, dear Chamber boys and girls, or is that too much to expect from within the Establishment?
You see, farmers from across Europe got their tractors out and protested loudly and furiously, and we have seen the EU quickly capitulating to some of their demands. It’s not easy to send ships to Brussels, but member states’ justified objections can, or should, be heeded.
Nordstream: keeping mum
Remember the Nordstream gas pipeline explosion incident, the largest act of war against the EU since its founding, and the devastating consequences for its energy security and the prosperity of millions of Europeans? The way both the EU, the US, and the whole Western media have completely chosen to keep mum over a blown up pipeline from Russia to Germany, with no one saying who was behind it all after earlier high-echelon innuendos about the Russians doing it themselves, is confounding, to put it mildly.
It now transpires that Ukraine or the US were most probably behind the explosion, and admitting that one or the other did it would completely flip the whole narrative. Perhaps it would be too embarrassing to admit that those the EU and the US are “defending” actually attacked the huge European Nordstream project. It tells one an awful lot about the European notion of democracy, particularly in these extreme-right surroundings of the European political scene.
People have been rightly asking how, when a normal bulding is burned down, the offender will be found and brought to justice, in the case of a multi-billion gas pipeline undertaken in a rare show of political harmony in Europe, no one seems to be interested in finding the suspect. Just keep mum and let the people forget.