Written by Alex Hickey
In a turn and burn society, you’re either someone who turns houses or someone that burns hamburgers. And in this country that’s just the bottom line, especially right now, we’re on a wild ride up the market now, it’s never looked quite as good as it is now, however, one needs to analyse the rhythm and rhyme that builds up a song to say why it’s so great.
Ever since our nearest and dearest prime minister has joined the immortal ranks of our culture, the place has been booming, I mean, even the god damn cats are fat and lazy and I’m not just talking about the fat cats in the parliament, I mean the cats on the streets. There are jobs in online gambling, jobs in education, construction, bars and entertainment and last but not least, the golden turd itself, real estate!
When arriving in Malta, possibly the first thing you’ll notice is the high consistency of cranes and building sites. This is what most people who want to make money in Malta masturbate to here. It’s everyone’s dream, the country is getting flooded with people from all over Europe, in need of places to stay, with jobs being offered at salaries they can only pray for in their own countries. Plus there’s the sun here! Good God, you get the picture.
Rent is flying too right now, I was renting luxury apartments in Sliema a while ago and a two bedroom apartment no larger than a 50m squared, €800 a month with water and electricity separate. Doesn’t seem like much does it? If you’re Maltese it does, in a country that not 20 years ago was akin to buying houses at €17,000, the extra €350 makes a big difference.
There are clearly more reasons for development in this country than simply this influx of foreigners in the country, development works up as well as around. The second biggest issue is the large family mentality in the Mediterranean, you can’t expect your kids to be happy selling the family home and splitting €240,000 between three or four. So as a result they upgrade and instead of living in flats they build on top of their family home, they rent them out and go on living in their stylish Madliena penthouses.
All well and good so far, people make money, people burn money, other people come in and try to make their own money and join the cycle, which is great especially if you come from a poor family out in Kosovo or Serbia or Bosnia. Where is the big issue then? Well, it’s not sustainable for one; on an island like this we struggle from all the major issues any other country would, but there are other major disadvantages we struggle with.
Malta being an island and a small one at that, has limits, limits which go beyond its borders. With an abundance of hills and valleys, not to mention all the hard limestone, we can’t keep building forever. One day there will be no more space and when people slowly start choosing to move their businesses and investments elsewhere all we will be left with is a hot rock with a bunch of empty houses on it. And don’t kid yourself, there are already far more places to live then we have people to live in them.
Economic difficulties relating to lack of resource
Selling houses and renting property is all well and good, as well, mind you, as lucrative. But think about Malta, what product have you ever honestly bought from Malta? Our premium, high quality gasoline? Our unstoppable, high tech designed super planes? Or perhaps our fantastic array of pale ale? No, because other than the pale ale of which there are maybe 6 types, none of the other products exist and it’s not to be a surprise to anyone. Maybe you’ve bought our potatoes, those are actually quite good. But wasn’t it Jesus that said man can’t live on potato alone?
Honestly, coming here is great if you have a good gig in Igaming or perhaps some job relating to this sort of thing, however remember that these things are only around because of tax breaks to foreign companies looking to expand outside of their tax burdened countries. And this is notoriously unsustainable. If the Maltese government won’t stop it, the EU will.
People who work at McDonald’s
Well, here is the burn side of the argument. If you’re not fortunate enough to be selling property or own property or work in the online business here, then you probably work in catering. If you do, I feel sorry for you, sadly very few others would feel the same way. Get a second or third job because they don’t pay shit in the bars and restaurants and even if 80% of your income is from tips, you still won’t have enough to get by. And don’t forget those lovely apartment prices, because they will be the end of you. To put it straight, living off €1000 in this part of the world won’t get you by; at least not within reason.
So is this really the end? Well, perhaps it is, liberal economic views, foreign investments and tax schemes to increase the countries overall GDP, bless them, I must say they did try. But you can’t fix holes in a boat by ripping out pieces of the bow. People got too greedy, too quick and they let the place run amok, eventually the bubble will pop and we’ll all be fucked. Whether it be no space on the beaches, or no space for new apartments, EU crack downs on this tax haven of an island, or simply too much blatant corruption.
Anyway, this writer gives it five years, maybe six if we’re lucky, that is unless we strike oil! But that again is another story for another time. I’m not one to complain though, my philosophy as always would be, ride out the high while you’re on it. Enjoy, invest low and insure high, carpe diem and god bless Asian women.