The Chief Executive went to the Legislative Assembly and presented the annual Policy Address. Under the current economic circumstances, there were some expectations about the economic diagnostics and policies that would be put forward. What was said was, however, hardly new. The orientations and proposed measures did not break new ground. Five areas were highlighted as government priorities: gambling, tourism, new industries, resident workers protection, and regional co-operation. These topics were expected, and they are almost inevitable. But few details, if any, were put forward. That is somewhat worrying. It suggests some difficulty in moving away from a mostly reactive and unsystematic approach to the issues. Take the case of gambling, for instance. It is the local growth engine, for better or worse. We got intentions that were already stated before: reinforce the monitoring and inspection of the sector and improve the sectors legislation. What are the imperfections or limitations of the current arrangements; which improvements are sought and why are they necessary or desirable; which actions are being considered and what is the timeframe involved? Those issues are essentially unanswered. Certainly, it is public that the government has ordered a study to review the sector to assess the [casinos] compliance with the concession contracts. That contract compliance is evaluated through some kind of academic study is already strange enough. What can be assessed, given the very generic obligations set out in the contracts, is also not obvious. Anyway, one would expect that to be the realm of lawyers first and foremost. Furthermore, as it is presented, it would appear that only at this point did the administration feel the need to investigate the sectors influence or impact upon the economy of the territory, the small and medium companies business environment, societys and populations lives. That is puzzling. There is nothing wrong with asking outside and, preferably, independent institutions to come up with analysis and appraisals of any area of government intervention; quite the contrary. But the relevant departments of the administration have done nothing for the last ten years, to go no further? It is hard to believe. What internal analysis, evaluation, and ideas did they come up with in that period and what follow-up did they get? It cannot look like we know nothing about the matter until some external truth is revealed. The contents of the Address on the other matters were seemingly generic in their presentation and aims. The over-use of adjectives directly stated or implied in the verbs used, whose actual and practical meaning is never clearly defined, continues unabated, though. Development is meant to be healthy and harmonious; diversification must be adequate; laws and regulations will be perfected; actions will be implemented in a stable manner, and so forth Maybe this results from some internal division of labour and the Secretary for the Economy will bring in some new wine to the table.
The recent days brought up several topics of significance. One is bound to produce much...