Il-Palazz tal-Girgenti: u d-dritt li tagħmel li trid (dejjem u kullimkien)

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Dal-għodu flaqgħa li Alternattiva Demokratika kellha mal-Kummissarju Elettorali Ewlieni tlabnieh jinvestiga l-fatt li nhar is-Sibt 18 ta Frar 2017 il-Palazz tal-Girgenti intuża biex fih saret laqgħa tal-Grupp Parlamentari tal-Partit Laburista. Dan, fil-fehma ta Alternattiva Demokratika jmur kontra l-liġi li tirregola l-Finanzjament tal-Partiti Politiċi u li tipprojibixxi li dan isir.

Din il-liġi daħlet fis-seħħ fl-1 ta Jannar 2016. Nisimgħu ħafna ftaħir kontinwu dwar kemm kienet pass il-quddiem, kif fil-fatt kienet. Imma l-Partit Laburista xorta ġie jaqa u jqum minnha għax uża propjetá pubblika għal attivitá ta partit u dan kontra dak li tippermetti l-liġi.

L-abbuż hu wieħed żgħir imma xorta jibqa abbuż. Huwa it-tip ta’ abbuż li tant drajnieh isir taħt imneħirna li ħafna ma jagħtux kaz. Anzi tilfu s-sens tan-normalita. Ta’ x’inhu tajjeb u x’inhu hażin.

Fost il-kummenti elettroniċi li hemm jakkumpanjaw din l-aħbar f’xi gazzetti online kien hemm min qal : din rajtu, għax ma rajtux it-tieġ taiben Lawrence Gonzi fil-Palazz tal-Girgenti f’ Lulju 2011. Probabbilment li min ifittex isib bosta każi oħra ta ulied politiċi li użaw propjetá pubblika bħalma għamel iben Lawrence Gonzi. Dwar dan jiena qatt ma qbilt. Naħseb li hi użanza ħażina għax tagħti l-messaġġ żbaljat li l-politiku fis-setgħa għandu jedd assolut dwar l-użu tal-propjetá pubblika, li ċertament mhuwiex il-każ. Imma fl-2016 il-Partit Laburista fil-gvern qata’ linja : għal kulħadd, suppost.

Hemm differenza kbira minn żmien Lawrence Gonzi: dakinnhar ma kienx hemm liġi li tirregola dawn l-affarijiet. Illum hemm! U niftaħru biha ukoll!

Il-liġi dwar il-finanzjament tal-partiti politiċi saret biex jinqatgħu l-abbużi żgħar u kbar. Jagħmilhom min jagħmilhom. Imma jidher li l-Partit Laburista jidhirlu li dawn ir-regoli japplikaw għal kulħadd minbarra għalih! Għax min jaħseb li hu bsaħħtu jibqa jidhirlu li għandu dritt li jagħmel li jrid: dejjem u kullimkien.

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Inti tibża’?

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Simon qalilna li kull min kien il-Belt il-bieraħ kien qiegħed jiddikjara li ma jibżax. Ma jibżax minn Joseph, jiġifieri.

Issa jiena ma kontx naf li Joseph ibeżża’ n-nies.

Imma jiena nibża’.

Nibża’ ħafna Ii pajjiżna maħkum mill-ħmieġ. Ħmieġ li qiegħed dejjem jiżdied. Min hu responsabbli għal dan il-ħmieġ huwa dejjem iktar soffistikat minn ta’ qablu tant li dak li nafu bih u li ġara fis-snin passati jidher li qiesu sar mid-delettanti meta kumparat ma dak li qed iseħħ illum.

Huwa ħmieġ li m’għandux kulur, għax imur lil hinn mil-lealtajiet politiċi.

Jiena nibża’ minn Parlament magħmul minn żewġ partiti biss, kif kellna għal dawn l-aħħar 51 sena. Nibża’ għax f’Parlament bħal dan, l-esperjenza uriet li ma hemm l-ebda kontroll fuq il-Gvern tal-ġurnata, għax il-membri parlamentari tan-naħa tal-Gvern, kważi dejjem kienu kompatti biex jiddefendu l-eżerċizzju tal-poter. Il-membri parlamentari tan-naħa tal-Gvern rari ħafna fittxew li jagħmlu id-differenza billi jikkoreġu lill-Gvern għall-iżbalji tiegħu.

Is-sistema li żviluppat b’żewġ partiti fil-parlament hi l-kawża tal-gwaj li ninsabu fih illum.

Huwa neċessarju li l-Parlament ikun kapaċi jikkoreġi lill-Gvern u meta jkun hemm bżonn anke jiċċensurah mingħajr il-ħtieġa li jinbidel il-Gvern. Imma jiġbidlu widnejn waħda sew.

Huwa neċessarju li l-Prim Ministru (tal-lum, tal-bieraħ kif ukoll ta’ għada) u l-klikka ta’ madwaru ma jibqax omnipotenti imma li jkun verament soġġett għar-rieda ta’ Parlament. Parlament li jkun kapaċi li jiċċaqlaq.

Dan jista’ jsir biss jekk ikollna Parlament li jkun fih iktar minn żewġ partiti. Parlament jiġifieri, li jkun immexxi minn koalizzjoni.  Dan huwa l-unika mod kif dan il-pajjiż jista’ joħroġ mill-gwaj li jinsab fih.

Għandna nibżgħu minn parlament magħmul minn żewġ partiti biss.

Disa’ snin ilu jiena irriżenjajt minn membru tal-Partit Nazzjonalista. Fl-ittra ta’ riżenja tiegħi kont għidt hekk : “……. l-Parlament Malti għal snin twal, kontinwament mill-1964 lil hawn, kien dejjem ikkontrollat minn partit politiku wieħed li għax gawda maġġoranza assoluta dejjem irrombla minn fuq kulħadd. Kif kostitwit matul dawn is-snin kollha l-Parlament Malti wera li m’huwiex kapaċi jassigura l-kontabilita’ vera tal-Gvern tal-ġurnata.”

Din l-ittra inkitbet nhar is-16 ta’ Jannar 2008 u dak li għidt dakinnhar għadu validu sal-lum.

Meta Salvu Mallia kellu raġun!

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Il-lingwaġġ politiku tal-lum donnu mar il-baħar. Ilu ftit li qabad din it-triq imma forsi din, issa, hi ftit iktar ovvja minn qatt qabel.

Matul din il-ġimgħa kelmiet li instemgħu spiss kienu ħalliel u giddieb. Ngħiduha kif inhi: jekk pajjiżna jrid jagħzel bejn ħalliel u giddieb huwa tassew veru miskin.

Kellu raġun Salvu meta kien qal li ma hemmx x’tagħżel bejn il-Labour u l-PN: qieshom l-istess. Għax daqqa jerda’ wieħed u daqqa jisraq l-ieħor.

Ikun tajjeb li għall-Parlament li jmiss la nagħżlu ħallelin u l-anqas giddibin.

Kellu raġun Salvu Mallia. Ħasra imma, li fil-mument li induna li kellu raġun donnu reġa’ bdielu!

Kif qal tant tajjeb Simon Busuttil, kieku Malta pajjiż normali l-Prim Ministru Joseph Muscat ilu li irreżenja. Għandu raġun. Imma jiena kieku jiena inżid ngħid li miegħu imisshom ilhom li irreżenjaw ukoll numru mhux żgħir mill-Ministri kif ukoll Membri Parlamentari miż-żewġ naħat tal-Kamra.

Bezzina’s almond grove

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Planning application PA7854/16 submitted to the Planning Authority by Toni Bezzina PN spokesman on Agriculture, was downright misleading. This was underlined by environmental NGO  Din l-Art Ħelwa in its objection to the application it submitted on 31 January.

Bezzina’s development proposal emphasised that it was a “rehabilitation and restoration of almond grove”. However, on examining the submitted drawings it is immediately apparent that  the proposal actually includes the construction of a basement garage as well as a three-bedroomed villa with swimming pool.

In a normal scenario I believe that the Planning Authority decision-making process would have ultimately resulted in a rejection of such an application. I would not, however, have been surprised if it had been approved, as consistency in the interpretation of planning rules is still an ever-present issue.

The public outcry, however, has pre-empted all this and justifiably focused on the fact that Bezzina co-authored the recently launched PN environmental policy document entitled A Better Quality of Life for You. In that document Bezzina and others, on behalf of the PN, emphasised that development outside the development zone was to be an exceptional step that should only be permitted by Parliament and subject to approval by a qualified majority.

It was reasonably expected that Bezzina, as co-author of the policy document, should have been the first one to honour the commitment made. However he completely ignored it.

To make matters worse he was defended by the Leader of the Opposition who, after ensuring that Bezzina had taken steps to withdraw the application, did his best to minimise the inconsistency.

Unfortunately, this matter brings to the fore a very important consideration as to whether the policy documents issued  by the Nationalist Party have an significance at all. The very fact that PN spokesmen such as Bezzina ignore such documents gives credence to the point made that this was, after all, another PN green-washing exercise to which we have become accustomed in recent years. It is just more of the same.

After examining Bezzina’s application, the Environment and Resources Authority  had this to say:  “The substantial increase in the structure’s footprint and additional land take-up from other commitments, including the enlargement of the entrance, formation of a hard-surfaced access path, the creation of a turning circle, etc. will result in the formalisation of the entire site. Such development is not typical of a rural landscape such as the one in question and thus the proposal is considered to be unfit for the context especially when noting that the site is scheduled as an Area of High Landscape Value (AHLV).”

This is the level of commitment to environmental protection of one of the co-authors of the PN’s environmental policy. You can easily understand the commitment of the rest!

While the publication by the Nationalist Party of its policy document was a positive step,  proof of its commitment is yet to come, if it ever does!

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 19th February 2017

Simon iwiegħed kollox lil kulħadd?

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Fdawn il-ġranet, il-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni qal li  jaqbel li l-għaqdiet sportivi għandhom ikunu mgħejjuna biex jimmassimizzaw il-potenzjal kummerċjali tal-faċilitajiet sportivi li jmexxu.

Proposta li tinstema tajba sakemm tiftakar li dan jista jkun il-kawża ta ħafna problemi.

Madwar sena ilu l-Gvern kien ħareg dokument intitolat The Commercialisation of Sports Facilities għal konsultazzjoni pubblika propju dwar dan is-suġġett.

Alternattiva Demokratika tirrikonoxxi l-intenzjonijiet tajba wara dawn il-proposti.

Imma biex jintlaħaq dan l-iskop, hemm iċċans, mhux żgħir, li nispiċċaw bxi grounds tal-futbol barra mill-irħula tagħna mibnijin bi ħwienet u uffiċini u bil-ground tal-futbol fuq il-bejt, bħalma diġa hemm fTignè! U jekk inti toqgħod fit-tarf tar-raħal hemm ċans tajjeb li tkun tista issegwi partita futbol minn fuq il-bejt. Jekk tkun iffurtunat tkun tista issegwiha ukoll mill-kamra tas-sodda! Anke l-floodlights jispiċċaw idawlulek il-kmamar tad-dar. Tispiċċa tiffranka l-konsum tal-elettriku! Dan apparti l-problemi ta parking u l-istorbju, sajf u xitwa. Dan eżempju wieħed. Hemm bosta oħra.

Fi stqarrija li ħriġna Alternattiva Demokratika sena ilu għidna li dak propost, jekk implimentat, jista jkun il-kawża ta ħafna ħsara ambjentali kif ukoll ikollu effett neġattiv fuq iżżoni residenzjali tagħna.

Daqqa ta ħarta oħra għall-ambjent.

Ovvjament Simon Busuttil donnu nesa li l-ħarsien tal-ambjent mgħandux ikun ristrett għad-dokumenti imma għandu jkun rifless ukoll fkull inizjattiva li nieħdu. Tajjeb li Simon Busuttil jiftakar sewwa kull hin li dak li wiegħed fid-dokument ambjentali A Better Quality of Life for You. Għax bih rabat idejh u bħala riżultat kellu jaħseb ftit iktar dwar il-konsegwenzi tal-proposti tiegħu għall-kummercjalizzazzjoni tal-facilitajiet sportivi. Alternattiva Demokratika ser tibqa’ tfakkru.

Lil Simon, tista’ tieħdu bis-serjetá?

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Il-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni Simon Busuttil ipprova jiddefendi ftit lill-Onorevoli Toni Bezzina.

Simon qalilna li l-Onorevoli Toni Bezzina ma għamel xejn ħażin meta ippreżenta l-applikazzjoni ta żvilupp biex anke hu jkollu villa ODZ. Applikazzjoni perfettament legali, skond il-policies tal-ippjanar, qalilna l-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni.

Li ma qalx Simon Busuttil hu li Toni Bezzina kien wieħed mill-awturi tad-dokument dwar il-politika ambjentali li l-Partit Nazzjonalista ippubblika ftit ilu intitolat A Better Quality of Life for You. Fdan id-dokument jgħidulna li fl-ODZ il-PN hu tal-fehma li ma jista jinbena xejn ħlief bdeċiżjoni tal-Parlament u dan biss jekk dan ikun fl-interess nazzjonali!

Meta tikteb dawn l-affarijiet (u iktar) li hemm fid-dokument ambjentali tal-PN u imbagħad tinjorhom mill-ewwel, ifisser li inti stess ma tkunx temmen fihom.

Il-mistoqsija li teħtieġ tweġiba hi dwar kemm nistgħu nemmnu dak li jgħid il-Partit Nazzjonalista meta huwa jaġixxi bdan il-mod? Nistgħu nieħduh bis-serjetá?

Sfortunatament,  dan ma jgħoddx biss għall-ambjent.

Bħan-nagħaġ ta’ Bendu

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Il-viżjoni li għandu l-Partit Nazzjonalista dwar il-politika fMalta tipprova tittratta lill-votanti bħan-nagħaġ ta Bendu. Għax il-ħarsien tad-demokrazija u d-drittijiet fundamentali, skond il-PN u s-segwaċi fidili tiegħu, huma assigurati biss permezz tal-Partit Nazzjonalista u għaldaqstant it-taqbida t-tajba tista issir biss permezz tiegħu u taħt it-tmexxija tiegħu.

Għal uħud, il-pluraliżmu hu tajjeb biss għaċċikkulata u, forsi, ftit għax-xandir!

Matul ix-xhur li ġejjin, bħalma jiġri kważi qabel kull elezzjoni ġenerali, bla dubju qed tikber l-għajta tal-Partit Nazzjonalista u ta dawk li jinċensawh dwar il-ħtieġa ta koalizzjoni kontra Joseph Muscat u l-Partit Laburista u dak kollu li dawn jirrappreżentaw.

Il-politika ta Simon Busuttil tidher differenti minn dik tal-predeċessur tiegħu. Lawrence Gonzi kien esprima lilu innifsu diversi drabi kontra anke l-idea innifisha ta koalizzjoni li ġieli ddeskriviha bħala kalċI avvelenat li jippreferi li ma jmissx.

Imma fir-realtá, għalkemm Simon Busuttil qed jipprietka ħafna dwar koalizzjoni kontra l-korruzzjoni, fil-prattika qed imexxi l-quddiem process ta assimilizzazzjoni ta kull min jaħseb li jista jikkompeti lill-Partit Nazzjonalista għall-voti, anke bl-iżjed mod remot. Beda bSalvu Mallia li illum hu parti mill-Partit Nazzjonalista u presentement għaddej bil-proċess tal-assimilazzjoni tal-partit ta Marlene Farrugia. Milli qed jingħad jidher li dan il-proċess wasal fit-tmiem tiegħu.

Koalizzjoni ma issirx billi nimxu bħan-nagħaġ ta Bendu wara l-Partit Nazzjonalista. Imma issir bejn partiti politiċi differenti wara li dawn jaqblu fuq programm politiku komuni kif ukoll dwar il-mod kif dan għandu jitwettaq. Għandi dubju kemm il-Partit Nazzjonalista qatt jista jasal li mhux biss jagħmel xi forma ta kompromess fuq il-proposti li jrid ipoġġi quddiem l-elettorat, imma iktar minn hekk dwar kemm hu lest li jaċċetta li jikkampanja ukoll favur ideat u idejali ta partiti politiċI oħra. Għax jekk ser nitkellmu fuq koalizzjoni pre-elettorali jfisser li jrid ikun ifformulat programm politiku aċċettabbli għall-elementi kollha ta din il-koalizzjoni.

Programm politiku ta koalizzjoni pre-elettorali jinvolvi ferm iktar minn ġlieda kontra l-korruzzjoni u t-tisħiħ tat-tmexxija tajba fl-istrutturi tal-istat. Jinkludi firxa sħiħa ta oqsma li dwarhom partiti politiċi differenti għandhom fehmiet differenti. Xi drabi differenzi żgħar imma xi minn daqqiet differenzi sostanzjali. Dan ma jgħoddx biss għall-politika ambjentali, imma jgħodd ukoll għall-edukazzjoni, għall-politika soċjali kif ukoll għall-politika fiskali, dik ekonomika u dik kulturali, fost oħajn.

Koalizzjoni politika teħtieġ li tkun mibnija fuq dan il-pedament bażiku, jiġifieri ftehim programmatiku, inkella ma jkollix direzzjoni jew skop ċar għajr li tiġbor lil kulħadd fmerħla waħda l-uniku skop reali li jidher li għandu bħalissa l-Partit Nazzjonalista.

Koalizzjoni li issir bxi mod ieħor tkun biss ezerċizzju li jittratta lill-Maltin bħan-nagħaġ ta Bendu.

ippubblikat fuq Illum : 12 ta’ Frar 2017

 

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Toni Bezzina : il-pjanti tal-Villa ODZ

 

Hawn fuq qed taraw waħda mill-pjanti tal-Villa li Toni Bezzina ippropona li jibni ODZ. Kif qed taraw, hemm propost garage fil-basement u fuqu villa ta’ sular wieħed, bi tlett ikmamar tas-sodda. Isfel tidher pjanta tal-art kollha, kemm kif inhi issa kif ukoll kif giet proposta li tinbena.

Fl-istess ħin, Toni Bezzina, flimkien ma oħrajn kellu sehem fit-tfassil tar-rapport tal-PN dwar l-ambjent, rapport intitolat A Better Quality of Life for You. fejn jgħidulna li l-Parlament biss, u f’kas rari ta’ interess nazzjonali, jista’ japprova permess għal bini f’ODZ.

Kemm taħarqu qalbu għall-ODZ il-PN! Jgħidu ħaġa u jagħmlu oħra! Imbagħad jieħdu għalihom meta ngħidulhom li : Il-PN jipprova jgħatti x-xemx bl-għarbiel meta jitkellem dwar l-ambjent!  Tgħid dwar l-ambjent biss il-PN qed jipprova jgħatti x-xemx bl-għarbiel? 

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Toni Bezzina : proposta għal Villa ODZ

Toni Bezzina, Perit u Membru tal-Parlament, applika fisem il-familja biex jibni ODZ. Fatt li ġie żvelat illum fil-gazzetta KulĦadd.

Id-deskrizzjoni tal-applikazzjoni fuq is-sit elettroniku tal-Awtoritá tal-Ippjanar tgħid hekk: Rehabilitation and restoration of existing almond grove and World War II living quarters and observation room. Proposed pool and new access. Imma meta tara l-pjanti issib xi ħaġa oħra: villa bi tlett ikmamar tas-sodda u swimming pool fODZ.

Għażel li jirtira l-applikazzjoni minħabba l-lealtá tiegħu lejn il-partit, qal.

Imma Toni Bezzina ma qalx li hu wieħed mill-awturi tar-rapport tal-PN dwar l-ambjent.

Kif inhu possibli li tkun temmen dak li inkiteb fir-rapport u fl-istess ħin tippreżenta dik l-applikazzjoni biex tinbena villa ODZ?

Ir-risposta hi sempliċi, għax dak li tkun ktibt ma temminx fih, bħall-PN inifsu li bħalissa jrid jipprova jikkonvinċina li qalbu taħarqu għall-ambjent. Ovvjament, l-applikazzjoni taToni Bezzina hi prova ta kemm qed jippruvaw jgħaddu n-nies biżżmien.

Basics for coalition building

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It happens on the eve of most general elections in Malta. We are once more being bombarded with comments emphasising the need to set up a pre-electoral coalition in order to present a united opposition to Joseph Muscats Labour Party.

The Leader of the Opposition, as a self-appointed messiah, has reiterated many a time that the country can only be delivered from the clutches of corruption if it unites under his leadership in opposition to Joseph Muscat, the Labour Party and all that they represent. It is claimed that he can deliver us from all evil!

In public fora, Simon Busuttil speaks in favour of setting up a coalition against corruption, yet privately – far away from the glaring spotlight – he is actively working on trying to assimilate within the Nationalist Party those whom he thinks can help increase his own partys vote tally. He has successfully recruited Salvu Mallia and is apparently currently in the final stages of the process of assimilating Marlene Farrugias Democratic Party within the Nationalist Party.  

In my view this can in no way be described as the manner in which to go about assembling a pre-electoral coalition of political parties. Rather, it is an attempt by the Nationalist Party at cannibalising other political parties, an exercise which, in fairness, has been going on for years. Just like the Labour Party, the Nationalist Party has, to date, demonstrated that the only coalition that made any sense to them was the one within their own parties, as both of them have, over the years, developed into grand coalitions – at times simultaneously championing diametrically opposed causes.

Real pre-electoral coalitions are assembled in a quite different manner. They should be formed on the basis of a commonly agreed political platform – one which plots an agreed electoral programme as well as the manner in which this should be implemented by the coalition partners.

Given its method of operation to date, I have reasonable doubts as to whether the Nationalist Party is able to compromise on its electoral pledges as well as to whether it can ever agree to take on board (at least) the basic issues championed by the other political parties with which it may seek to form a coalition. If a pre-electoral  coalition is ever to be formed, the coalitions electoral platform must be acceptable to all the constituent elements of that coalition.

An agreed electoral platform would address much more than issues of corruption and governance – on which there is a general common position. An agreed electoral platform would necessarily be all-embracing and range from environmental matters to education, social, economic, fiscal and cultural policy, as well as all other matters so essential in running the country.

A pre-electoral coalition must of necessity be constructed on the basis of this agreed electoral platform, a crystallisation of thought and political direction shared by the political parties forming the coalition. The process to achieve such an agreed shared electoral platform is long and laborious, as a multitude of red lines have to be agreed on or else overcome. It is an exercise that should be based on mutual respect in contrast to the often acrimonious relationship so prevalent in local politics.

By its very nature, a pre-electoral coalition, if formed, signifies a commitment to do away with, once and for all, two-party politics and consequently signifies the substitution of the politics of confrontation with the politics of consensus.

This would be a watershed in Maltese politics and this is the real challenge, if we wish to move forward.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday: 12 February 2017