Malta is comprised of a small group of islands with a disproportional number of crooks and grafters and a rather weak sense of morals and rectitude. Here are a few of the most recent irregularities I have noticed:
1. Janice Bartolo, the partner of Justice Minister Owen Bonnici, has landed a senior managerial job at the Malta Tourism Authority without a call for applications or selection process.
2. More than 12 tumoli of public land in Xewkija, Gozo, have been transferred to a construction company without a call for tenders in a deal that will net the firm a profit of several million euros. [1 tumolo = exactly 5/18 acre]
The land, which was under cultivation until recently, is earmarked for the development of an industrial park for small and medium enterprises.
3. Birdlife Malta’s request to obtain the locations of the islands’ 8,000 trapping sites will soon be decided, with the final verdict now awaited after a four-year freedom-of-information battle with the authorities.
But the NGO says it will exhaust all its options before giving up – even turning to the European Union if necessary.
The organisation says it has no interest in the names of those who use the sites but is only after the environmental data that would enable it to aid enforcement efforts.
The database that the NGO is after has been made available to the police, the Environment and Resources Authority and the Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU).
Following requests for the data to the Environment Ministry, the WBRU, and the police, which were all turned down, the NGO filed a Freedom of Information request.