The Labour government has implemented another of its innovative cost-cutting exercises, to make up for the increase in government administration expenses and the new boards and committees being used for campaign paybacks.
This time, it's the turn of the Eternal Flame, installed beneath the War Memorial to commemorate the victims of the war and the soldiers who lost their lives for our freedom. Eternal Flames exist in most of the civilised countries, some of the most notable being the Altare della Patria at the Vittorio Emanuele II monument in Rome and the one beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Burning as a sign of respect to those who died in such conflicts, as a memorial, and as a symbol of a spiritual connection between our present freedom and the price that was paid for it by our ancestors in the past, the meaning of these memorials emerges from the fact that they are never spent but last and outlive generations. That's why they're called 'eternal'.
Not so in our country. Our 'Eternal' Flame will be extinguished everyday between 6am and 6pm, according to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Joe Mizzi. Can you imagine this happening in any other civilised country?
There are many other more expensive items which the government can address to cut down on its expenditure, especially after 3 months in which its initiatives only managed to increase it. But it seems that after 100 days in which it stopped respecting the electorate, this government has now decided to stop respecting the dead.
UPDATE - Read the article in the Times today and came across this:
"A ministry spokeswoman said that about 1,000 litres a week of propane gas were needed to keep the flames burning for 24 hours a day, costing the Government €28,600 a year. With the new permanent 12-hour system, she said, the flames would cost the country €19,084."
Kept wondering why it wouldn't simply cost €14,300 given that half the fuel will be used - or why they didn't decide to simply reduce the two flames to one. But I guess that wouldn't have created the new €4,784 p.a. job: the part-time flame-lighter to visit at 6am and 6pm.