One of Malta's most erudite readers recently quoted back to me my own words, taken from my autobiography, The Laundry Man, to assist me in appreciating the lure of offshore business to Malta. I find it interesting that what I described occurred in a Caribbean tax haven is relevant to my understanding of Malta, yesterday and today:
"Some people might consider this dirty money but, you see, here it has created a whole new Middle Class. The teller who will later deposit your cash used to be a fisherman. His wife was a maid, cleaning the homes of wealthy foreigners while his brother went to Puerto Rico to find work and sent money home to his family here. Now they all work in the banking industry. " (The Laundry Man at 52).
It would appear that there are a number of universal incentives for any island republic, whose leaders are struggling to create a viable economy, to be attracted to the darker side of offshore finance, with all the unexpected (and unintended) consequences that it unfortunately brings.