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Malta is a great place to live - nice weather, not too expensive (though this is changing), generally friendly people and most speak good English.
However, there is an underground that you don't really learn about until you are living here. Some call it the Maltese Mafia, but that is only one part of it. There is a whole black economy operating here - which I have experienced in other countries, but somehow it was not quite as blatant as it is here.
It is engrained in the fabric of the country and the political class know it is there and even pamper to it.
Look at the illegal boathouses in many locations across the islands. Have they been knocked down and the land returned to the public? No. In fact, they have been partially acknowledged as legitimate by being connected to the electricity supply with meters - in illegally built properties!
Then look at the property rental market. So many landlords do not declare their income. If they did, Malta would be able to do so much more for its infrastructure, health care and other public services.
Of course the real problem is that the political class cannot change anything without losing votes and ultimately elections, so they are paralysed by their own thirst for power.
Changes are being made, but any proposals ultimately get watered down so much that in the end they are ineffective, but it looks like the government is doing something. The property market White Paper is a great idea but in practice will face so much opposition that it will ultimately achieve very little.
I really hope that the situation will change, but we are in a vicious circle and until a real leader with fresh ideas comes to the fore, the status quo will continue.
Posted by: Martin Parker on 01 December 2016