A false sense of improvement?

Malta has registered the largest economic growth in the European Union in 2016, in other words, Malta’s GDP increased by 6.3%. Nicknamed by the present government, as the strongest economy in the EU, it is clear that quantity over quality is what concerns our representatives. One should ask, what are the direct benefits of such economic growth on citizens?

We from ADŻ deplore the use of GDP as the sole indicator of a country’s economic performance. The strength of a country does not depend solely on its economic growth, but also in the way that the general public benefit from such performance. Destroying agricultural land to build apartment blocks contributes to the GDP, but is this desirable and/or necessary?

An expected counterargument is “We reduced water and energy bills by 25% and yet registered a 6.3% GDP increase”. Fair enough; but at what cost? Are people enjoying a better environment? More natural open spaces? Less noise and traffic? Social progress does not always correlate with higher GDP and the aforementioned issues are very relevant to many pockets of society.

We from ADŻ feel the need to focus our energy not only on economic growth, but on sustainable development. We feel that social progress and environment sustainability go hand in hand with economic development, and encourage our government to consider this view also.

James Gabarretta – ADŻ Malta Green Youth International Secretary

Corruption? No thank you!

Has corruption become the order of the day?  Why are our politicians always involved in corruption scandals?  Why is the nationalist party not better than the labour party when it comes to corruption?  These are some of the questions which arise after the recent Panama-gate scandal of energy minister Konrad Mizzi.

Corruption is not a new thing in Malta.  One of the main reasons why so many people voted for PL in the last general election was because they were sick of corruption under the Nationalist government.  However, it seems like things have not changed at all.  Corruption has become the order of the day under the current government.

corruption-essay-in-english

Moreover, we ask for the immediate resignation of energy minister Konrad Mizzi after such a scandal.

It is a disgrace that the labour party, more than any other party is involved in such a scandal.  Gone are the left ideologies of the so-called ”socialist” movement.

Today the Nationalist party organised a so-called ‘national’ protest against corruption.  This is a paradox since it was this very same party that was flooded with corruption scandals in the last 25 years.

ADŻ Malta Green Youth would like express its concern on this issue.  Corruption is a serious issue and a crime.  Our message is clear:  Stop corruption one and for all!

LGBT Rights – A means to an end?

With regards to Dr. Muscat’s call to introduce gay marriage, we are happy the Prime Minister has woken up to the AD 2013 manifesto proposal.  We believe it is a step towards a more inclusive society.  In fact AD and ADŻ have always stated that equal rights in marriage is the way forward.

The strangest thing about the Prime Minister’s statement is that a few years back, in 2011 and in 2008 the very same perosn, Dr. Joseph Muscat, stated clearly on xarabank that he was against gay marriage.  How come he made such a big u-turn within such a short-time frame?

It seems strange that the Prime Minister proposed such an issue now, all of a sudden.  Given the timing, we feel that the LGBT community is being used to divert the conversation from the Panama-gate scandal.

If Dr. Muscat considered this issue so important, how come he did not propose this earlier?  What made him change his mind within these five years?

Public transport – a public mess

Recently the media reported an incident of some elderly people who protested in front of Castille due to changes in the bus timetable.  Many people are arguing that these changes have even worsened the transport system.

Let’s face it, public transport was never the best in Malta.  However, I ask myself can we afford to stay where we are?  Wouldn’t it be better to start taking these problems seriously?  We’ve seen politicians talking about improving the bus system, however nothing changed, or, in some cases things are even worse now than before.

Incidents such as those reported by the elderly, namely long waiting times, long walking distances, and in some cases also early end of service times are unacceptable.  These people, just like students and anyone who does not drive rely on the bus.

bus

Currently we are facing a national problem which is not tackled by anyone, that of traffic.  More young people are doing their driving license as soon as they turn 18 and almost immediately afterwards they get their own car.  This is leading to more traffic.  More traffic means more congestions, delays and possibly also more accidents.  Therefore buses will constantly be late due to traffic congestions.  It is a continuous cycle; traffic leading to buses being late, which in turns leads to a worse public transport, leading to more people buying a car, leading to more traffic and so on.

Therefore it is of utmost importance that public transport improves.  We cannot deal with the large amount of cars on our island.  Pollution is constantly increasing causing more illness such as cancer, asthma and respiratory diseases and causing us taxpayers to pay more for such treatments.  It is socially unjust that elderly people are forced to walk long distances and that we, the general public who use such transport are offered a disastrous service.

If we want to reduce traffic as well as the related pollution and encourage people to use public transport more often, it is time to make some effort and improve the public transport.

Pascal Aloisio – ADŻ Malta Green Youth Publications Officer