Malta, a developing country riddled with corruption and dirt: Outpost magazine

Published: January 13, 2017 at 2:20pm

Read Ryan Murdock’s piece for Outpost, Canada’s leading travel magazine, here. As the Maltese-Canadian friend who sent it to me said: I wonder how many “go bek to your cuntry” he’s going to cop. Such a shame, at one point it felt like Malta was getting somewhere.

Murdock had been living in Malta for the last six years, and has now moved to Berlin. This piece was originally published in late 2015.

I recognised the street immediately because I’ve driven up or down it (depending on the whims of the traffic authorities) thousands of times over the last 25 years. It’s the one leading out of Mosta directly7 in front of the domed church, and when I drive down it, I feel exactly as this man does.

Everything is just so shabby. Of course there are whole areas worse than anything you will find anywhere in Malta in towns and cities elsewhere. But they’re the neighbourhoods you avoid if you can help it. They’re not the neighbourhoods which estate agents describe – and Maltese people think of – as prime locations. And Malta is so tiny that you can’t get away from the ugliness. There is literally nowhere to run.

As for the corruption, that’s another story. But when you are branded internationally as corrupt, when people take the corruptness of your country for granted, it’s time to do something about it – because regardless of what Sandro Chetcuti, Konrad Mizzi, the Gasans, the Fenechs, and the rest of the fixers and switchers think – this is no way to live, for anybody.

So we build a few skyscrapers, rush the money to Panama, sell citizenship and residence visas, use tax haven status as a magnet to draw buyers for the rest of it, and acquire a magnificent reputation as a dirty and corrupt place where you would only go for the sun (plenty of sun elsewhere and none at the moment) and the law taxes for foreigners. Great.