Just in case you don’t live in Malta, or live in Malta but have been spaced out for the past few days: Malta has been hit by a public transport strike! This all started as the hearses service was liberalised from the monopoly it has been under for the past few decades, with no new licences being issues. This caused the whole public transport association to go out on strike, in sympathy or otherwise…one must also note that the public transport federation was only officially registered a week ago, so I expect they thought this was a good way of starting to show how important they are 🙂
This transport strike has caused widespread delays etc, since the drivers decided to take it to the roads, blocking them, or moving slowly through them. Luckily, I both live and work in the south, so I haven’t as yet been caught up in any serious traffic jams or anything. However, to get out or into my village, I mainly have to pass from next to the airport. The airport has been one of the major places targetted by the strikes, so that there is a lot of panic over there, especially since the airport road has been been blocked off to any form of non-private transport over the past few days, causing the tourists to have to walk to the main road to get the private coaches which have been supplied in the stead of other forms of transport. Thus, all the roads leading to the airport now have a strong police presence, with barriers close by which can easily be used to block of the street should a queue of public transport vehicles try to make their way to the airport to block it off. I have rarely seen so many police on the roads here in Malta, and this is probably my greatest inconvenience so far – it certainly makes me feel very uneasy when I pass these policemen, since it brings back the reality of what is going on smack-bang in my face.
I have only ever seen so many policemen/soldiers on the road during my time in Egypt a few years ago – there you could see armed people on every corner, with us being escorted to the residence and back to the train station with strict orders not to leave when we visited villages…not a nice feeling at all! That, together with the women covered all over were what made me msot anxious during that trip – but more on that later…will have to blog sometime on that experience…but not today 🙂
Back to Malta – what do I think about the whole situation? Just get over your quibbles please and get back to living! I guess both sides have their reason, but I think in this case, a liberalised market is what we need to get to – it may surely be difficult for the people involved – but it is something which needs to be done – so lets just get it done (hehe – make it sound so easy don’t I – but I know the situation is more complex – however, seeing as I don’t know all about it, this is all I would say)
Enjoy the day!