Malta prefers to self-regulate rather than impose quotas - which is why its largest companies are all chaired by men.
Viviane Reding's desire to improve the representation of women in company boardrooms is unlikely to win her many (male) friends in Malta.
The European commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship is readying a proposal for publication next month that would, we are told, force companies to ensure that at least 40% of their non-executive board members are women.
According to the newspaper Malta Today, Malta's 19 largest companies trading on the Malta Stock Exchange are all chaired by men, and the number of women on their company boards is a massive three.
The rest of the directors of these firms, all 97 of them, are men. This might explain why the Maltese government is going to support the UK and Sweden in their attempts to shoot down Reding's proposal as if it were a migrating songbird entering Maltese airspace.
Chris Said, Malta's justice minister, says that the Maltese government believes in self-regulation rather than the imposition of quotas. Well, it's clearly effective.
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