European SDG Summit 2021: For Climate Action & a Just Transition – Registrations Open
23 September 2021
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The Local Councils took to cameras like a duck takes to water. Suddenly they started to sprout everywhere, hanging like some kind of grotesque mushrooms from every pole. Popular establishments and shops, who hitherto enjoyed a roaring passing trade, suddenly found cameras in front of their establishments.
Now wardens could ticket people by remote control, from the comfort of their office, whilst sipping on their tea and biscuits. Wardens moved out of the village cores, waylaying unsuspecting motorists like modern day Robin Hoods on the highways outside towns and villages. Again, legislation was amended to still any protests. Other suggestions followed, like turning previously free parking areas into paid ones, complete with barrier and attendant, and wardens accompanying every crane or any works being performed by anyone in every street. Soon, the green uniformed genies became as much part of the Maltese landscape as bajtar tax-xewk. There was only one problem. It proved to be costly and problematical to book litter louts. So they were also "allowed" to turn a blind eye to that.
Don't get me wrong. Local control and enforcement is a must. But I am concerned that the whole system seems to be run by one hegemonistic company like some kind of Maltese Blackwater. Too many businesses are having their vehicles booked because they don't have the time to go and contest the many contraventions filed. Too many businesses are having their passing trade ruined because some council or other suddenly "amends" the parking in front of the shop and puts up a surveillance camera. Speed cameras are another joke. They are set too low and can go up by another 10KPH on main roads.
But in this country no one speaks about this. And no one does anything. We suffer in silence. Or should we? Let's hope the new Governments reforms deeply the system. We cannot go on like this. GRTU will continue making sure those wardens and their employers do not abuse the system. Businesses need a firm but tolerant attitude, not some green nemesis behind every corner.
Next week: How we are missing the boat in Yacht Tourism
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