Despite the Maltese government’s best efforts – think City Gate, re-paving and V2018 –it is now time the country faced up to a truth which has been staring it right in the face for the last 20 years – Valletta is no longer fit to be Malta’s capital.
The shrinking population, the non-existent nightlife and its inaccessibility by car during the day have all contributed to its slow death , but the final nail in our capital’s coffin is one that no superstar architect can ply out. McDonald’s – a real testament to a country’s economic success – will close its outlet in the capital after a lengthy legal battle with the landlord on Sunday. This, coupled with the conspicuous absence of that other certificate to a country’s success – Starbucks – means that football victories and all, Valletta is now doomed for relegation.
There is only one other capital with no McDonald’s – and that’s Reykjavik, in Iceland. Hands up anyone who’s ever been to Iceland – see, that’s what happens when your capital city does not have the golden arches somewhere other than in the collective imagination.
As a replacement, I’d suggest Sliema. People actually go there out of no sense of duty towards it, and, if the news report is to be believed, it will soon have the “largest McDonald’s and McCafe on the island”. That’s regeneration for you.