One of the major social issues that Malta has been facing for now a considerable number of years is binge drinking. This has been on the increase among the younger generation as reported on many occasions by the media. This may come due to various reasons including peer pressure and the lack of entertainment for younger generation in Malta.
Over the years the famous Church Youth Centres has vanished. These were giving a major contribution as they provided a centre in villages where youths meet, talk and have fun together. They used to organise various activities that where fun for many.
Today, youths do not seem to have appropriate alternative entertainment areas other than pubs, bars and other drinking places. Added to these, Malta has an active sex industry of which services are used by persons of all ages. Possibly, it is more common in a mature audience. Regrettably, the same thoughts cross amongst mature persons who find it hard to beat routine and to get the good feel factor in a weekend after a week full of stress and work. We must admit that being limited in the entertainment industry is certainly not healthy from all aspects including but not limited to the mental and physical health of persons which will directly impact on productivity in our businesses.
Our society at large has a duty to address this matter. The tension of society is now becoming visible and it may be resulting in undesired attitudes in handling relations and possibly it may be increasing criminal activities. Sports and other entertainment industries need to be stimulated. However, Malta is not sure that it wants to attract business in this sector. If we look at the sports industry we seem to ensure to push away any sort of investment in this area. Only recently Malta had a strong debate on the called off shooting range in Mosta. This was not the only case. Any person that tries to invest in a football club in Malta finds all sorts of obstacles which come from the cultural mind-set of community associations, to the parochial Malta Football Association to the authorities themselves. There have been improvements in the last three years in order to encourage and regularise the sector but we are far away. It seems for example, that now everyone is thinking that the white paper on the commercialisation of facilities will solve all club issues. It is a good start.
Beyond the commercialisation and the financial implications, the Government, the opposition, the Education sector, the various religious groups and youth groups need to come together with urgency to find ways to attract new alternative entertainment and to instigate a sense of adventure to go towards healthier entertainment.