For a second, imagine that you are going on vacation abroad with a group of friends, including your best friend of many years. Imagine that upon arriving at your destination, say somewhere in Europe, police arrest your best friend’s boyfriend, handcuff him and arrest him on the spot.
What would you do? Would you be: a) completely shocked and amazed and, while trying to figure out what could have happened, would you try to console your distraught best friend and, perhaps, argue with the rest of the group about whether should you cancel the holidays? Or would you: b) just say “Oh, stop, huh? Uijja, we certainly won’t let this little wink dampen our holiday mood…here we come!
Your answer would be much more interesting if you put it in the context of an actual incident similar to the scene above.
A fortnight ago, Iosif Galea, a friend of disgraced European Commissioner John Dalli, was arrested by the Italian Guardia di Finanza as soon as he landed at Brindisi airport. Now, Galea has long been a suspect for mafia-related crimes and for his involvement in information leak rackets. But, beyond that, it turns out that, for more than a year, he has been the subject of a European arrest warrant issued by the German police for tax evasion. Despite this, the Maltese police, who seem determined to protect the criminals, on many occasions ostensibly ignored this arrest warrant and did not act on it and Galea was allowed to travel as she pleased within and outside of Malta…until two weeks ago. , when the Italians took the lead.
It turns out that Galea was not traveling alone. He was going on vacation with a group of friends that included disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife, Michelle. Galea’s girlfriend, Maria Grech, is a long-time aide and friend to Ms Muscat and her husband. Ah, the long arm of coincidence.
Of course, we try hard not to be “negative” and think about how the birds of a feather fit together and so on, but sometimes we just can’t help it. The fact that Muscat was quite close to tycoon Yorgen Fenech, who is now accused of orchestrating the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and that his former chief of staff, Keith Schembri, is also the subject of criminal proceedings for money laundering, doesn’t help keep our, uh, positivity on track.
We try hard not to be “negative” and think about how birds of the same feather fit together and so on, but sometimes we just can’t help it.– Kristina Chetcuti
As it was, Malta weather Muscat asked for a comment, seeing as he was hanging out with a suspected criminal again. Muscat came back with the usual indignant undertone of how dare you: “I am not connected to this matter and to say otherwise is not only gratuitous sensationalism but utterly baseless.” In the next breath, he coolly and calculatingly walks away from his family’s best friend and boyfriend: “We were traveling with a larger group of friends and acquaintances for a short vacation. A few hours after our arrival, we were informed that Mr. Galea was detained. The rest of the group continued our vacation and returned to Malta a few days later as planned.”
Not even a hint of shock, dismay or concern.
In fact, his answer makes you think it’s pretty normal for people to go on vacation and have one of their friends handcuffed and arrested and the rest of the party still partying. come on, no pit. Why, he would almost add, has such a thing never happened to you? Well, no, but maybe my life is excessively boring, so please, reader, raise your hand and let me know if this has happened to you too.
The fact is, the more we dissect the anatomy of this scandal, the more foul the stench. But, as long as we are blinded to believe that the utter nonsense is normal, then the Maltese Police and all other institutions will happily pretend that everything is in order and the rodents will continue to run free.
I watched Anatomy of a Scandal, the Netflix series, over the weekend. If you love interior design, beautiful kitchens and camel coats straight out of Vogue, then this one is not to be missed. But it’s a little more than aesthetics. It’s a psychological courtroom drama about a British minister who repeatedly commits crimes while convincing himself he’s doing a service to the country. It explores the fine line between justice and privilege and it’s a study in how narcissistic criminal politicians can believe their own lies and make the people around them believe their thwarted truth.
Now, why does that mean anything to you?
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