Malta’s Editors’ Viewpoints

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The recent wave of panic that has grappled certain sections of the Maltese population following a number of coronavirus-related deaths in Italy, has led a number of Editors to call for an end to hysteria and a focus on the necessary precautions.

In similar messages drafted in the context of developments related to the increasing number of coronavirus cases in neighbouring Italy, the Editors of the Times of Malta, the Mala Independent and the Business Today call for an end to fake news and panic, while respecting directives issued by the relevant authorities.

While describing the request for self-quarantine for people returning from Italy and China as a necessary evil, the Times of Malta says that extreme measures such as panic buying at supermarkets were not warranted. The Editor appeals for everyone to meticulously follow all advice issued by the health authorities.

Business Today calls for a pro-active transparent approach by the health authorities to address general concerns and those of particular groups of workers. This is especially so for frontline workers such as nurses, doctors, care workers, the forces of law and order, and teachers, where contact with people is inevitable.

The Independent reminds its readers that the new virus has a mortality rate not exceeding 2%, with most cases being observed in China. It concludes with an appeal to check the fact, take the necessary precautions and above all, not to panic.

The Business Weekly dedicates its leading op-ed to the present situation at HSBC Bank Malta, positioning recent financial and branch closures in the wider context of the Bank’s international strategy. Seeking to alleviate fears of an HSBC exit from Malta, it describes such actions as part of consolidation, with more users shifting to online banking and an increase in younger clients. It does however highlight comments by its CEO, Andrew Beane, who had recently indicated that the biggest challenge to the industry is Malta’s reputation and issues with governance.

The Business Observer seeks to analyse the impact of Brexit on Maltese businesses and industries that trade regularly with the UK. The Editor makes a case for continued communication with the authorities,  as concerns must be raised, and solutions must be lobbied for. This must be done in unity, with businesses coming together to determine the most effective approach.

In-Nazzjon takes a dig at Labour MEP and former leader Alfred Sant who recently indicated that the negotiations for an EU-Britain trade deal are a confirmation that the (in)famous Partnership that he had proposed back in the Nineties was a doable option for the country. The editorial recalls that such proposal was not feasible for a country that had so much catching up to do with its European counterpart, and today’s UK is in a much stronger political and economic situation than Malta at the time.

L-Orizzont puts its focus on one of the major sectors of the Maltese economy – giving credit to Government for taking a number of initiatives which enhance the local offering. It focuses its attention on the emergent US market, which has doubled in the past five years. It calls for greater care for the environment and investment in education to ensure that the quality of our product is continuously improved for the benefit of all.

BeInformed – CiConsulta Media Monitoring Service 

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