After a landslide win in the polls last March we’ve seen gaf after gaf from the government. Starting with the wholesale transfers and attempted transfers (CBM), new posts being created to accommodate those they wanted to ‘reward’, the totally inhuman treatment of the refugees caught on a ship when our PM refused them refuge here in Malta, countless of other gaffs on to the worst of all – the Cash for Citizenship scheme.
No mention was ever made of this scheme in the build up to the elections, now was it even obliquely referred to in its electoral manifesto. Thus the government was never given a mandate to forge ahead with the scheme. Forge ahead they did though, despite warnings from the opposition, despite the numerous amanedments tabled by the opposition and thanks to their unassailable 9-seat majority. They steam-rolled ahead with the half-baked scheme and immediately sent Malta spiralling downhill thanks to the worldwide negative publicity it caused.
Somehow, in their narrow-mindedness they convinced themselves and all their small-minded pawns that this negative publicity was all the fault of the opposition. Somehow they managed to forget and/or ignore the fact that the scheme was totally flawed from the start and that they refused to listen to the warnings from the opposition. Rather our hippocrite of a PM piped up, after realising that something must be at least seen to be done, that they are a government that listens and are ready to amend the scheme. That it was too late – the damage already done – was lost on the PM who sought another popular point with his claim that his was a ‘Gvern Li jisma’ (a government that listens) – a government that listened to its own voices until, and only when it was glaringly obvious, they realised they effed up big time and their wonderchild scheme didn’t quite go down as well as they thought.
What really gets at me in this whole saga is the blatant hypocrisy of the government’s position. When the Nationalist Party, then in government, began the talks on joining the European Union the PL, Joseph Muscat foremost among them, came up with all sorts of excuses and reasons why it would be wrong for Malta to join. One of these being that Malta would lose its identity, it’s sovreignity if it were to join the EU. Nothing of the sort happened obviously as the EU is not a big daddy dictatorship.
Yet, to sell our citizenship for hard cash and obsolutely no link to Malta or any for of ‘maintain & sustain’ type of investment is not an attack on our identity, our sovreignity?
Worst of all though is what has been beating around in my mind for a while now. This sale of citizenship thing relies on our status as a Member of the EU. Should the EU through their parliament vote tomorrow or some form of veto further down the line decide to limit the privileges of Malta’s EU membership or even kick Malta out then no third party individual would be interested in gaining Maltese citizenship – even if it is for the measly sum (as described by e german newspaper recently) of €650,000.
And Malta will end up with a big fat Zilch Nil!
Joseph Muscat smirkly commented that the scheme will bring in more than the 1.3 million Gonzi managed to negotiate with the EU.
And EU will tell him to go stuff it!