If we lived in a normal country, this is what would have happened as soon as Russia invaded Ukraine (assuming we never had any golden passport scheme to begin with).
The secret service would call up the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and hold a confidential meeting with them to ask Robert Abela about all his connections with Russian oligarchs. An assessment would be made whether Robert Abela has any connections which could potentially jeopardise his government or our national security and act on them. Following the meeting the secret service would pass on any incriminating information to the Commissioner Police to take action. Do you think I am an exaggerating? Indeed, you think so this is an exaggeration because in our country corruption, rent-seeking and rampant idiocy in our public institutions is normal and nothing works as it should.
Well, under Donald Trump’s Presidency of literally the most powerful government in the world, the law enforcers decapitated all of the President’s inner circle for their illegal connections and deals with Russian government officials. Malta is on the opposite end of the rule of law spectrum. Here in Malta, the Prime Minister gets away with renting out his villa to a Russian oligarch so that the oligarch could pretend he was living in Malta while applying for a Maltese passport. When Russia invaded Ukraine and the whole world began to detach from Russia’s economy, our Prime Minister and Foreign Minister went on to brag about our government’s due diligence of the golden passport scheme. The Foreign Minister then went on Lovin Malta and garbled some illogical and factually false statements such as that Russian oligarchs are mostly dissidents against Putin and that the big Russian oligarchs don’t buy Maltese passports because they prefer to go to London – he is wrong and his statement is also testament to his complete ignorance. Russian oligarchs don’t buy Maltese passports to live in Malta (hilarious that Evarist Bartolo would be so stupid to think that we are so stupid to believe this) – Russian oligarchs buy Maltese passports to have direct access to the Western financial system, to cross borders without problems and to avoid sanctions. Now, they are keeping the passport sales to the Chinese and others – they have learnt literally nothing and the government is taking us straight to a brick wall with no brakes attached. It’s kamikaze politics.
We are slowly approaching the inevitable moment of reckoning when we begin to realise that Robert Abela, his idiotic political henchmen, and the whole rent-seeking regime are all literal existential threats to our society. The Russian war on Ukraine seems that it will drag on extensively as Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff Dmitry Peskov admitted to Amanpour in a CNN interview that Putin hasn’t achieved his military goals in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Kremlin’s rhetoric and nuclear threats only get more bellicose and aggressive.
At this stage all the previous financial and economic estimates have to be revised as they are no longer relevant. The exigencies, the economy and global trade is changing at a very rapid pace. Prior to the Russian war in Ukraine we already had a serious problem with a ballooning government deficit and an economic policy based mostly on government expenditure and increasing public debt. Government debt was supposed to have increased government economic growth, but the economic multiplier of public debt has now been made vastly ineffective with rapid inflation. On the other hand we have the serious problem of our energy procurement, a situation also mired in corruption. The government hasn’t even told us how will it procure our country’s energy supplies and my suspicion is because they are still trying to figure it out.
We could afford village politics on the back of a growing economy with high growth in consumption and employment. Our economic model is at risk of breaking up, and no one from the government is admitting this. At the same time, we have to contend with a government that literally has no idea of what’s going on in the world. We can all make an effort to vote them out. If they remain in power, there is the probability, small or exaggerated as it may be, that we are fucked.