Corruption scandals and mentions of thousands of Euro in pushbacks, commissions and under-the-table payments have overwhelmed Malta. But with some figures being far too big to comprehend, where do you begin?
Well, one anonymous knight in shining armour has come to Malta’s rescue, ready to break it all down in numbers we mere mortals can understand.
Introducing Malta’s new online price calculating metric; 17Bdp.
Taking aim at the 17 Black scandal that shocked the nation last year and went on to unearth half a dozen more revelations, the “new metric for a new Malta” wants to put things into proper perspective.
“In light of recent developments in our country, we propose that instead of having companies write out descriptions that sum up potential earnings and property prices in terms of our soon-to-be-outmoded € currency, they should instead advertise prices in terms of daily 17 Black payments,” the website’s brief description sarcastically puts it.
This, of course, is a direct reference to the fact that, over a year ago, it was discovered that the secret Dubai company 17 Black (belonging to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s prime assassination suspect Yorgen Fenech) was planning to transfer €5,000 a day into the Panama companies of former Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and the former Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister, Keith Schembri.
“In this way, that second-hand car you bought from the Japanese importer won’t cost €7,000, but a mere 1.40 17Bdp.”
The website, which is just one landing page reminiscent of mid-2010s crypto-currency pages, also includes “a handy calculator to make things even easier”. All you have to do is input any amount in Euro, and the converter will instantly switch that to 17Bdp. The “currency” also has a super handy logo to break it down even further and eliminate any confusion.
Hear that? That’s the sound of reality slapping you in the face as you realise two corrupt government figures could’ve paid off your lifelong home loan in just 50 days.
Albeit a satirical page, 17Bdp knows all too well that the inspiration behind its inception is a very true, very worrying reality.
“If none of this is ringing any bells and you’re not even sure you’ve ever heard of Malta before, Google Panama Papers or Daphne Caruana Galizia journalist and start there,” the page’s anonymous admins explain in a disclaimer.
“If you are Maltese, we urge you to stand up and join the protests. Do not sit back and passively endorse this (or any) government’s corruption of power and perversion of it’s supposedly democratically given mandate. Not in our name.”