Last updated: 08 June, 2005 00:48
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Welcome - Merħba
Malta finally joined the European Community on the 1st May, 2004 amidst much fanfare and jubilation. Our current government has, for several years, battled the odds in its ardent aspiration toward achieving this goal for the tiny archipelago comprising primarily of the larger island of Malta and its smaller sister island, Gozo. A lot has had to be changed for us to qualify for full EU membership and several measures have had to be introduced to bring legislation and finance in line with EU requirements. VAT was introduced, duties on imported products largely removed, amongst many other changes.
Despite all this, there is still much work to be done. The Maltese language was accepted as one of the official languages of the EU, but no qualified translators and interpreters could be found to undertake the tasks of translating documents and interpreting reliably. Our financial situation is seriously in the red and it will take years of "belt-tightening" (sounds familiar, doesn't it? We've been doing it for years, since Mr. Mintoff's era in the 1970s) before this is improved.
Brussels, 27.6.2001COM(2001) 351 final
In 2001, the European Commission published this document which is very explicit on the subject. It can be found here.
There are EU channels open to the citizens who wish to lodge
Click here for more information.
The rights of citizens still have a long way to go before
they are respected; and in this context, one issue that sticks
out like a sore thumb is the right to satellite reception across
borders - the right to freedom of services. The Wireless
Telegraphy Department (what an archaic name - probably may
have actually inspired Signor Marconi!) has, since satellite
dishes became available some years ago, imposed a tax of Lm25
which is called a "licence fee". This has to be paid annually
and defaulters are fined a further Lm25! I won't mention the
need of a permit and an architect's plan before one is
allowed to install these dishes on one's own property e.g.
(22 May 2004)
The government has finally withdrawn this obnoxious fee and has refunded those that had had to pay it. But along similar defiant measures, the Maltese Government has introduced tax on travelling limiting residents' freedom of movement across the EU!
Page 1 - Case decided in Tax payer's favour
Page 2 - VAT on Vaccines
It is not clear that it is as much a crime to disturb the peace when truth prevails, as it is a crime to keep the peace when truth is violated. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
Please be patient. The site is largely still under construction. Letters from the Maltese public and other local residents will help me to develop this web-site further. So type away and tell us what you think on the listed and other issues!
I produce this site exercising my (and other contributors') right to freedom of expression and I cannot be held responsible in any way whatsoever especially on matters that are subject to dispute or interpretation and on material to be found on third party web-sites even though I have deliberately chosen to include the links to such sites on this web-site. I apologise to anyone who may feel injured or offended by anything that may appear on this web-site. My intention is
* to raise awareness of people's rights,
* to stimulate spirited debates on various issues and hopefully
* to bring about positive changes in our society.
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