Tat-Turiżmu b’liġi għalihom !




Fi tmiem il-ġimgħa  ġie rappurtat fil-gazzetti dak li qal fil-Qorti iċ-Ċhairman tal-Awtorita’ Maltija tat-Turiżmu (MTA).


L-MTA trid, qal Sam Mifsud illi ż-żid il-faċilitajiet tad-divertiment fit-tramuntana tal-pajjiż u għal dan l-iskop għandha politika li tiżviluppa l-kosta.


U għalina, n-nies il-komuni x’ser jibqa’ ? It-turiżmu ma ħax biżżejjed mill-kosta ? U mbagħad ma jaħsibx is-Sur Mifsud li qabel ma jibda jfajjar illi jkun aħjar li jara li dak li jgħid jaqbel mal-politika ambjentali tal-pajjiż – dik il-politika jiġifieri li Malta kella taddotta biex tissieħeb fl-Unjoni Ewropea ?


Għax meta tisma’ lil tat-Turiżmu jitkellmu taħseb li dawn għandhom liġi għalihom. Ħarsu per eżempju lejn il-każ tal-Mistra (ta’ l-art ta’ Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, jiġifieri). L-MTA  qed tgħid li taqbel mal-iżvilupp propost. Qiesu id-Direttiva tal-EU dwar il-Habitats ma tapplikax fejn jinteressa l-MTA. Skond din id-Direttiva niftakru illi f’art li hi protetta bħal dik tal-Mistra, fiha ma jista’ jsir l-ebda xogħol. L-anqas ma jista’ jintmiss ħajt tas-sejjieħ. Aħseb u ara dak li kien propost.


Tista’ l-MTA ikollha liġi għaliha ?


U bilħaqq, l-MTA tiftaħar li trid turiżmu sostenibbli !


Ma nagħti tort lil ħadd jekk wara dan kollu nikkonkludu li l-pajjiż ikun aħjar mingħajr l-Awtorita’ tat-Turiżmu !

Reflections on Transport Policy

published on Sunday August 24, 2008

by Carmel Cacopardo



It is not often that different issues, which could possibly lead to the formulation of one coherent policy, crop up simultaneously. Three such issues all dealing with transport policy are currently (and separately) under discussion. If adequately coordinated it could be possible to formulate one coherent transport policy that facilitates our mobility and simultaneously leads to less congested roads and a cleaner air.

The reduction of sulphur and lead in the fuels we used way back in the 1980s and the recent introduction of bio-diesel on the market were significant steps forward which unfortunately were not followed up with the formulation of a clear and coherent transport policy. Likewise the subsidies dished out by the State for the modernisation of the public transport fleet were limited to issues of accessibility (low floor).

Environmental indicators published recently by Mepa clearly show the main traffic arteries as the most densely polluted ones. The pollution levels in St Anne Street, Floriana sticks out, as do other residential areas, which have to put up with through traffic. Notably Msida, Fgura and Hamrun.

The reform of car registration taxation was triggered by EU infringement procedures as well as ECJ decisions relative to other European States. Car registration taxes, which in Malta are substantial, have, to date, not been a sufficient deterrent to placing 292,000 cars on Malta’s roads.

The issue of transport reform has been neglected for decades that it has now developed into a time bomb. The inefficient public transport is indirectly the cause of a large number of cars on the road and consequently is contributing to the further deterioration of the air we breathe.

These three issues are being dealt with separately, with Mepa analysing the effects, the Ministry of Finance seeking to retain taxation at its present levels and the Ministry for Transport facing the music.

Instead of being separate issues, the government should have taken this once in a lifetime opportunity of formulating a coherent transport policy with the Minister for the Environment taking the lead. This is the policy advocated by the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, which though approved by Cabinet after extensive consultation with stakeholders over a long time frame, seems to have been placed in hibernation.

The Sustainable Development Strategy for the Maltese Islands in fact considers it necessary to promote a sustainable transport system and calls for the formulation of an “integrated transport strategy”. Transport policy, the strategy says, has an important role in nurturing sustainable communities.

As indicated in the document issued by the Ministry of Transport some weeks ago, it is envisaged to overhaul public transport such that an integrated network is created making more of Malta accessible. When this is achieved one of the contributors to social exclusion would have been tackled.

The reform of public transport is crucial in the implementation of a transport policy because if reasonable accessibility were guaranteed, as it should be, through an efficient and punctual public transport, more custom would be attracted thereby reducing the number of cars on our roads. In such circumstances most of us would consider seriously making use of public transport more often.

In the short term this would have the effect of reducing the number of cars temporarily our roads. In the long term it could reduce the purchase of cars.

The most important effect on our families would be substantial improvements in the quality of the air we breathe coupled with fewer expenses.

In these circumstances car registration tax assumes the function of an environmental tax. In fact, the few details known so far indicate that emissions and car size would be the criteria on the basis of which the quantum of car registration tax payable would be determined. The splitting of the tax due into two, part due on registration and the rest payable throughout the car’s lifetime is also reasonable and an effective manner in which to apply the polluter pays principle. This would assist in the determination of impacts that vary throughout the lifetime of a car. Varying emissions could be determined through the VRT test, which should henceforth be used as a tool for determining the environmental impacts of cars currently on the road.

This is a long-term view of transport. It will undoubtedly not be to everybody’s liking. Car dealers, panel beaters, car mechanics would not be amused if fewer cars were our roads as it would reduce their work. Fewer cars on the road would also reduce government’s income because fewer taxes would be collected. But on the plus side it would be a bonus to our health.

Large communities living in those areas, which, year in year out are identified as having low air quality, would heave a sigh of relief. Those who over the years have developed respiratory diseases, most notably asthma, would welcome any improvements as these would be a boost to their quality of life.

Echo-Gozo : a race to be green

published on August 23, 2008

by Carmel Cacopardo


sunrise at Marsalforn


Since early 2007, when a PN commissioned survey indicated that 31 per cent of the electorate identified itself with tiny AD on environmental issues (compared with 32 per cent for the PN and 21 per cent for the MLP) it has been a race against time for the PN trying to be green. Trying to make up for lost time it took many a leaf out of the AD book: one being that relative to eco-Gozo.

For Gozo to achieve the status of an ecological island it needs to embark on the sustainable development path. This will be achieved only by matching walk to talk.

Last month the Minister for Gozo launched a public consultation intended to give flesh to the government’s eco-Gozo proposal. The minister is maybe unaware that the blue plan for eco-Gozo has already been drawn up by the stakeholders and approved by Cabinet after extensive consultation! It is titled “A Sustainable Development Strategy for the Maltese Islands”. On reading through it she will find clear directions which she should follow.

The concept of an ecological island is a vision that Gozo can be alive and kicking but not antagonistic to its ecology and life support systems. It must accept that humankind is part of an ecological system to which it is ethically bound to acquiesce. It does not mean returning to the Ġgantija era but rather that the manner the economy and social structures are organised and developed must be compatible with ecology.

The waste transfer station may be an important element in attaining this vision but it must be a holistic vision. Unfortunately this has not yet started coalescing.

Eco-Gozo could set a zero-waste target: nothing is thrown away but everything is reused or recycled. But waste is not just the solids which end up in Tal-Kus for transfer to the mainland, but also includes the liquids that transit through San Blas on their way to the waste water recycling plant and eventual discharge into the sea. An eco-Gozo would reuse all of its treated water, ensuring that its treatment is compatible with its intended use.

An eco-Gozo would also ensure that it errs on the side of caution in dealing with resources. Even at this late hour it can halt the Church in Gozo from developing a new cemetery which is playing havoc with the livelihood of Għajn Qasab farmers at Nadur. An eco-Gozo would undoubtedly realise that place names containing the semitic word “Għajn” (meaning spring) indicate a source of water flowing naturally and worthy of protection.

An eco-Gozo would strive to generate as much as is possible of its energy needs through renewable sources. This is achievable through the use of wind energy, supplemented by solar energy and energy generated through waste, including animal waste. But most of all it can be saved through energy efficiency measures in homes and other buildings.

An ecological island would ban the use of pesticides and lead its agriculture along the organic path. Its agricultural products would be healthier to consume and its water table would be less polluted. Farmers need the assistance of agricultural pharmacists to gradually decrease the pesticides in use until they can do without them altogether.

An ecological island would ensure that the ecological sites which form part of the EU Natura 2000, like Il-Qortin il-Kbir at Nadur, and those which are of great importance to the island, like Ta’ Ċenċ, are properly protected, managed and monitored. It would also ensure that declarations already made favouring the rape of Ħondoq ir-Rummien are withdrawn.

An eco-Gozo through efficient public transport would provide a reliable alternative to private cars, thereby encouraging their reduction in use. As a result it would also encourage the use of bicycles, which are surely suitable to cover the short distances between the various villages in Gozo. It would also realise that the construction industry must apply the brakes immediately. Gozo holds the national record on vacant properties: 47.66% of properties in Gozo were vacant in 2005 (9,762 out of 20,481 properties). An eco-Gozo faced with this fact would undoubtedly insist that the community can satisfy its residential needs from existing housing stock.

It takes much more than rhetoric to transform an echo to the real thing! It requires commitment and consistency. One cannot flirt with environmentalists while being consistently on the side of developers. Running with the hares does not make it possible to hunt with the hounds! In crystal clear language, a political party which seeks the support of opposing lobbies is not credible because it transmits the message of opportunism.

Throwing money at problems does not solve them. But consistency will, through the weeding out of contradictory stances and the adoption of a holistic approach. Green credentials of political parties are the result of a moral conviction, not of political convenience.

Political Discrimation in the Civil Service


In his Opinion piece in today’s Times Lino Spiteri focus on the discrimination to which Victor Galea Secretary General of AD-The Maltese Green party is being subjected. 

In the Civil Service there are a multitude of contradictory rules relative to the political involvment of civil servants. It is about time that these contradictions are weeded out the soonest.

It is also about time that we realise once and for all that given the small number of those willing to take part in public life we cannot afford to retain obstacles for those willing and able to involve themselves.

In seems that in this country once rules are drafted they are ignored by the PN and the MLP until such time as an outside dares challenge their position. The rules are then applied to their adversaries. The MLP is responsible for the current state of affairs just as much as the PN : it did not speak up. Until the time of writing no one from the MLP has condemned the manner in which Victor Galea has been treated by the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry for Gozo.

A number of civil servants are actively involved in the political structures of both the PN and the MLP. Their names are known to one and all as given that they were officially sanctioned to infringe the rules they always laboured in broad daylight.

The Prime Minister has already declared that he is not aware of the details of the case as he is not normally involved in such matters. They are dealt with by the Head of the Civil Service.

So as a first point the Head of the Civil Service must assume responsibility for the political discriminatioin to which Victor Galea is being subjected. This is not however the end of the story.

The Prime Minister should shoulder political responsibility as he heads a political party which knowingly involves civil servants in its structures but then did not to date have the decency to create a level playing field.

Serq bid-dawl tax-Xemx



Il-ħabib tiegħi Henrik Piski uffiċjal ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika, fuq il-blog tiegħu illum jikteb dwar il-pannelli fotovoltajċi użati biex jiġġeneraw l-elettriku f’kontribuzzjoni intitolata Local rip off  .


Jispjega kif meta tħajjar jistalla dawn l-imberkin pannelli fid-dar tiegħu hawn Malta minħabba ż-żieda fil-prezz tal-elettriku sab li l-4 importaturi lokali kellhom bejn wieħed u ieħor prezzijiet identiċi kif ġej :

* għall-ġenerazzjoni ta’ 1 kw/hr  : €8000, li minnu jitnaqqas ir-rebate tal-Gvern (€1160)

* għall-ġenerazzjoni ta’ 1.5 kw/hr  : €12000, li minnu jitnaqqas ir-rebate tal-Gvern (€1740)

* għall-ġenerazzjoni ta’ 2 kw/hr : €14000, li minnu jitnaqqas ir-rebate tal-Gvern (€1740).



Ma dawn l-ispejjes ikunu jridu jiżdiedu xi ħlasijiet oħrajn dwar travi meħtieġa biex fuqhom jistrieħu l-pannelli.

Apparti dan aqraw ukoll fil-blog ta’ Piski dwar il-kundizzjonijiet imposti mill-importaturi dwar depożitu esaġerat (50%), l-ebda rabta dwar meta l-pannelli jitwaħħlu kif ukoll l-ebda rabta dwar il-prezz. Jekk ikun hemm żieda minn barra, dan ikun piż addizzjonali għall-konsumatur.

Piski jgħid li b’dawn il-kundizzjonijiet ma ftiehemx iżda fittex li jinqeda direttament minn barra, mill-Ġermanja. Kien sorpriż li ngħata offerat bi prezzijiet ferm irħas kif ġej :

* għall-ġenerazzjoni ta’ 1 kw/hr  : €4500, li minnu jitnaqqas ir-rebate tal-Gvern (€1160)

* għall-ġenerazzjoni ta’ 1.5 kw/hr  : €6500, li minnu jitnaqqas ir-rebate tal-Gvern (€1740)

* għall-ġenerazzjoni ta’ 2 kw/hr : €9000, li minnu jitnaqqas ir-rebate tal-Gvern (€1740).



Ma dan iridu jiżdiedu spejjes ta’ trasport kif ukoll (Piski ma jgħid xejn dwar dan) spejjes tal-istallazzjoni li fil-każ tal-aġenti Maltin huwa inkluż fil-prezz.

Id-differenza fil-prezzijiet hi esaġerata u fl-opinjoni tiegħi m’hiex ġustifikata.

Bi prezzijiet raġjonevoli ikun hawn iktar li jitħajru jistallaw il-pannelli fotovoltaċi.

Lil Piski ser nissuġġerilu li jmur għand l-awtoritajiet li xogħolhom hu li jipproteġu lill-konsumatur biex jistaqsihom x’inhuma jagħmlu. Jekk raqdux huma ukoll.

U bilħaqq. L-awtorita dwar ir-Riżorsi ma ndunatx b’dan?

Mhux qiegħed ngħid li għandu jkun hemm xi forma ta’ kontroll tal-prezzijiet imma hemm ħafna affarijiet oħra li jistgħu jsiru. Fosthom li biex tingħata l-għajnuna tal-Gvern irid ikun hemm prezzijiet raġjonevoli. Għax inkella ser nibqgħu li kull meta l-Gvern jagħti l-għajnuna flok ma jgawdiha l-konsumatur jispiċċa jitħaxxen il-but tan-negozjant.

In-negozjant għandu dritt jagħmel il-qliegħ tiegħu. Imma dan li qed nitkellmu dwaru mhux qliegħ, iżda kif jgħid Piski “Rip-off”. Jiġifieri serq bid-dawl tax-xemx !

It-Tarżna ….. il-fejn ?


Fil-ġranet li ġejjin bil-mod jinħema l-futur tat-Tarżna.


Il-Gvern iddeċieda (a bażi ta’ rapport li qed jgħid li għandu) kemm irid ikun in-numru ta’ ħaddiema li jkollha t-Tarżna biex tkun attraenti għal xerrej prospettiv. Minn 1,600 illum trid tinżel għal madwar 700 qal il-Ministru. Kif ir-rapport wasal għal din il-konklużjoni diffiċli tgħid sakemm ir-rapport ma jkunx pubbliku. Ħaġa li s’issa għad ma saritx.


Kif tista’ tasal għall-aħjar daqs ta’ labour force meħtieġa meta m’huwiex magħruf min hu interessat li jieħu t-Tarżna f’idejħ ?  Dan iwassal għal konklużjoni waħda : in-numru ta’ ċirka 700 ħaddiem huwa biss eżerċizzju indikattiv li fil-prattika ma jfisser xejn. Jiena qiegħed niskarta l-unika alternattiva li jibqa’, jiġifieri li n-numru 700 huwa indikat minn xi kumpanija jew kumpaniji li huma interessati fit-Tarżna.


Jekk allura in-numru ta’ 700 ħaddiem li għandu jkollha t-Tarżna huwa biss indikattiv ma jagħmilx sens illi f’dan l-istadju, meta għadu kmieni l-Gvern jasal għal konklużjonijiet . Safejn naf jien ħadd għadu ma jaf mhux biss min huma l-kumpaniji interessati, iżda ukoll xi pjanijiet għandhom għat-Tarżna. Is-snajja’ li għandhom bżonn huma magħrufa imma n-numru jddependi mix-xogħol u l-kwantita tiegħu li s-sidien il-ġodda ser iġibu.


Ilu magħruf żmien (minn qabel ma Malta issieħbet fl-Unjoni Ewropeja) illi wara l-31 ta’ Diċembru 2008 ma jistax ikun hemm iktar sussidji għat-Tarżna, tant li waqt il-kampanja elettorali għall-elezzjoni ta’ Marzu 2008 kienu ċari il-posizzjonijiet tal-partiti :


PN : kwiet u kliem mill-inqas ħlief li m’huwiex ser ikun hemm downsizing (ċjoe tnaqqis),

MLP : li jinnegozja perjodu transitorju ġdid mal-Unjoni Ewropea; dan ovvjament għax l-MLP dehrlu li l–Gvern immexxi mill-PN ma għamilx użu tajjeb mill-perjodu transitorju,

AD : l-Appeldore report tas-snin 90 huwa l-mudell li fuqu trid titfassal is-soluzzjoni għall-problema Tarżna u dan billi l-ħaddiema li ma jkunux meħtieġa għal xogħol fuq il-vapuri jinstabilhom xogħol alternattiv u produttiv.


Din hi s-sitwazzjoni illum. Is-soluzzjoni teżisti u ma tinvolvix spejjes ikbar milli l-Gvern qiegħed jipproġetta. Li hemm bżonn hu rieda tajba li sfortunatament mhux dejjem tidher li qegħda hemm.



Ħaġa waħda hi ċara : jekk il-problema ma tissolvix m’hu ser jirbaħ ħadd. Ser jitlef kulħadd. Jitlef il-pajjiż, jitilfu l-ħaddiema tat-Tarżna u titlef il-Union.


Iżda hu possibli li jirbaħ kulħadd madwar il-mejda. Dan jista’ jsir biss wara li jiġi mwarrab it-theddid u l-paroli vojt li qed jiġi sparat minn kull naħa.

Raqda Twila




impjant tar-riciklagg tad-drenagg 




Tħabbar li ġie iffirmat il-kuntratt biex jinbena l-impjant li bih ser jissaffa d-drenaġġ ħalli dan meta jintefa’ l-baħar ma jniġġisx. B’hekk Malta tkun qed tagħti kontribut lejn baħar Mediterran iktar nadif, kif ukoll tkun konformi mad-direttiva tal-EU li tistabilixxi l-minimu meħtieġ minn kull pajjiż dwar il-mod kif jittratta d-drenaġġ.


Din il-miżura hija magħrufa bħala “end of pipe solution”. Jiġifieri qed inżidu xi ħaġa mas-sistema bħal meta imwaħħlu “filter”.


Il-qasam tad-drenaġġ ma nistgħux bħala pajjiż nibqgħu nqiesuh biss bħal ilma maħmuġ li intuża u ma għandniex bżonnu iktar. F’pajjiż fejn għandna nuqqas kbir ta’ ilma, l-ilma tad-drenaġġ huwa wieħed mis-sorsi tal-ilma li ma nistgħux nitilfu iktar. Li l-ilma jissaffa huwa tajjeb. Iżda li dan l-ilma jintefa l-baħar wara li jissaffa huwa ħażin. Pajjiżi oħra jagħmlu użu minnu u jipproduċu ilma li huwa aħjar minn dak tal-vit.


Sadanittant aħna bħala pajjiż naħlu l-ftit riżorsi li għandna. Ilma tad-drenaġġ imsaffi mormi l-baħar. Ilma tal-pjan jittieħed b’xejn minn kull min għandu l-boreholes. L-ilma tax-xita fid-drenaġġ jew fit-toroq bla ma jinġabar.


Hemm bzonn li l-Awtorita’ dwar ir-Riżorsi tqum waħda mir-raqda li ilha fiha żmien u tara li l-ilma kollu li għandu l-pajjiż ikun użat sewwa. La jintrema u l-anqas jinsteraq. 

Solar Energy comes free and safe

by Carmel Cacopardo

published 10 August 2008


The site where French Company Areva is constructing the Olkiluoto 3, the French designed                     European Pressurised Reactor


Greenpeace has accused Nicolas Sarkozy of using the newly formed Union of the Mediterranean to push forward the French agenda for nuclear power. Sarkozy, acting more like a salesman than a President, has been touring various regions, but clearly focusing on the Mediterranean, offering French nuclear technology.

In 2007, Sarkozy’s government signed agreements with nine Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries on nuclear exports and cooperation. He is desperately trying to sell the French designed European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), the flagship of the so-called “nuclear renaissance” despite the fact that the only construction attempts of the EPR in Finland and France have been disastrous.

The Finnish Olkiluoto 3 reactor is two-and-a-half years behind schedule, and costs have doubled to just short of €5 billion. The French nuclear safety authority has shut down the French construction site at Flamanville after just six months due to chronic safety problems.

In the Mediterranean, France has expressed an interest in the construction of nuclear plants in Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and Tunisia.

Libya’s reactor will supply energy for the desalination of seawater from the Mediterranean Sea.

Turkey’s first nuclear reactor is planned for Akkuyu Bay near the Mediterranean port of Mersin. It is scheduled to be in operation by 2015. Akkuyu Bay is situated in an earthquake prone zone on the Mediterranean coast north of Cyprus.

The Akkuyu reactor has been in the pipeline since 1996 but has been continuously postponed due to controversy surrounding the underestimation of the earthquake risks involved. Tenders will be issued in September 2008 and French Company Areva (90 per cent State owned) will most probably be competing with American giant General Electric for the tender. Turkey is planning to construct a second nuclear power plant at Sinop on the coast of the Black Sea.

Egypt’s nuclear reactor is under construction at El Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast.

Italy, through its Minister for Economic Development Claudio Scajola, has declared itself in favour of nuclear energy. On 26 July Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reporting on Berlusconi’s joint press conference with Maltese Premier Lawrence Gonzi hinted at unofficial rumblings that Italy wants to set up nuclear reactors in Albania, Montenegro and Malta. It was only after being prodded by Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party that the Department of Information in Malta emerged from hibernation to deny that the matter was ever discussed between the Maltese and Italian delegations.

A Maltese delegation visits Libya: the matter of the Franco-Libyan nuclear reactor is not on the agenda. A Foreign Office official was quoted as stating that it is a non-issue, of interest only to the press.

In the meantime, in the first seven months of 2008, eight nuclear incidents have taken place on the European mainland (see box) three of them in France. Some of them are minor incidents, which could however have developed into major ones had safety precautions failed to come into operation. The French incidents are the most serious and occurred in July within a 21-day timeframe.

The French incidents have contaminated a water source and exposed 97 workers to excessive radiation from radioactive Cobalt 56. The Guardian, published in Manchester on 26 July, reported the reactions of residents living close to the Tricastin nuclear plant on the outskirts of Bolléne. “I always trusted that nuclear was totally secure. But now I wonder, have there been other accidents in the past we haven’t been told about?” In a country long accustomed to nuclear energy, which accounts for 80 per cent of all energy generated in France, this comment is significant. The nuclear leak, states Angelique Chrisafis reporting for The Guardian from Bolléne, “has shaken French trust in nuclear safety and embarrassed Nicolas Sarkozy as he crusades for a French-led world renaissance in atomic power.” The first casualty is the market for nuclear energy in the UK.

Almost concurrently with these happenings the Union of the Mediterranean has endorsed the Mediterranean Solar Plan, pushed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This involves making use of the sun’s energy on the Sahara Desert to generate electricity for Europe’s use. The world’s sun belt in the Sahara desert can provide a solution and an alternative to the spiralling fuel costs.


Alok Jha, science correspondent of The Guardian reported on 23 July that an area slightly smaller than Wales in the Saharan Desert could one day generate enough solar energy to supply all of Europe with clean energy. The project is a long term one envisaging massive investments to the tune of €450 billion. Its effectiveness however will be dependent on technological innovations that are still at an experimental stage – primarily the capacity to store electricity generated when the sun doesn’t shine. Storing solar energy is currently both expensive and inefficient. Experiments are currently underway at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which, if successful could lead the way to a large scale low cost use of solar energy.

In his article entitled “Solar Power from Saharan Sun could provide Europe’s electricity, says EU”, Alok Jha emphasises that harnessing the sun in the Sahara would be more effective because the sunlight there is more intense. It is estimated that photovoltaic panels installed in the Sahara could generate three times the electricity similar panels installed in Northern Europe generate. Some doubt whether this amount of electricity could be generated. In addition, when transporting electricity over large distances issues of losses would assume a greater significance.

The major costs of the project would be related to upgrading the grid networks and infrastructure in the Southern Mediterranean countries.

Would Malta feature in such a project?

Algeria is projecting the annual export of 6,000 Mega Watts of solar-power generated to Europe by 2020. The Saharan project would take longer (up to 2050) to reach its projected annual output of 100 Giga Watts.

On the other hand, the Italian nuclear project would take between 10 and 20 years to materialise (ie between 2018 and 2028), yet the Maltese government considers it expedient to consider linking Malta to the Italian electricity grid.

Other Mediterranean countries such as Portugal and Spain have invested heavily in solar technology. On 13 June, the Jerusalem Post reported the launching of an American-Israeli experimental solar technology plant in Israel’s Negev desert.

Described as the “highest performance, lowest cost thermal solar system in the world”, this technology makes use of computer-guided flat mirrors known as heliostats to track the sun and focus its rays on a boiler at the top of a 200-foot tower. The water inside the boiler turns to steam, powering a turbine and subsequently producing electricity. The project is at a final testing stage and is planned to complete full-sized facilities in California’s Mojave Desert by 2011. It is estimated that this technology could cut costs associated with solar energy by 30 to 50 per cent.

This is the technology of the future that will be available shortly and depends exclusively on the sun’s rays that are beamed in our direction free of charge. Yet, Malta’s mainstream politicians look elsewhere.

Solar energy is an area Malta could tap jointly with Libya for mutual benefit. Both countries are blessed with a bountiful sun available all year round, which, if adequately used, is sufficient for all of Malta’s and Libya’s needs.

So, who needs nuclear energy in the world’s sun belt? Solar energy comes free and it’s safe.

Nuclear accidents this year

29 May – Rovno (Ukraine): Ruptured pipe supplying water to reactor. 1.3 cubic metres of coolant water escapes.

3 June –Dukovany (Czech Republic): Plant’s automated safety system cut output from one of its reactors after a worker mistakenly turned off coolant pipes.

4 June – Krško (Slovenia): 3 cubic metres water leaked from reactor cooling system. Reactor safely shut down.

7 July – Tricastin (France): 30,000 litres of liquid containing 12 grammes of uranium per litre spilled into ground and into Gaffiere and Lauzon rivers.

11 July – Varbourg (Sweden): Fire breaks out on roof of Ringhals nuclear plant turbine facility.

18 July – Roman Sur Isere (France): Radioactive leak from buried broken pipe.

23 July – Tricastin (France): Workers exposed to radioactive particles escaping from a ruptured pipe from plant. Ninety-seven staff had to be evacuated and sent for medical tests. Seventy showed low traces of radio-elements.

29 July – Biblis (Germany): One of Germany’s 17 functioning nuclear reactors automatically shuts down after crane snagged an electric power cable outside nuclear compound.

Taxxa ta’ Reġistrazzjoni fuq il-Karozzi : Dewmien eżaġerat



L-importaturi tal-karozzi qed igorru għax naqsu l-ordnijiet. Dawn naqsu għax in-nies qed tittama li l-Gvern iraħħas il-prezz tal-karozzi. Kulħadd għandu għajnejh f’wiċċu u anke’ biss mir-riklami fuq it-televison taljan malajr tinduna li l-karozzi f’Malta mhux irħas.


Qed jingħad  (u x’aktarx li huwa veru) li hu fid-Danimarka biss li t-taxxa fuq il-karozzi hi għola minn Malta.


Il-posizzjoni hi waħda sempliċi ħafna. Il-Gvern kien kostrett iħabbar li ser jobdi lill-EU u għaldaqstant iddikjara iktar kmieni din is-sena illi ser jirrevedi t-taxxa tar-reġistrazzjoni fuq il-karozzi billi b’mod partikolari jindirizza l-kwistjoni tal-VAT (l-EU ddikjarat li ma tistax titħallas taxxa fuq taxxa) u tad-diskriminazzjoni fl-applikazzjoni tat-taxxa bejn karozzi ġodda u karozzi second hand.


Il-Gvern ħabbar il-kriterji li fuqhom ser jimxi : taxxa tar-reġistrazzjoni li tvarja skond l-emissjonijiet tal-karozzi u t-tul tagħhom (minħabba l-ispazju li jiġi okkupat u allura l-effett fuq il-parking u fuq il-konġestjoni fit-toroq) kif ukoll liċenzja li tvarja skond kemm tkun ilha fit-triq il-karozza. Il-Gvern ħabbar ukoll li m’huwiex qed jippjana li jiġbor iktar taxxa milli qed jiġbor illum.


Ovvjament il-Gvern inqabad fuq sieq waħda. Kif iddikjara l-Ministru Fenech kien jippreferi li jibqa’ bis-sistema kif inhi. Ma ried jibdel xejn. Fil-passat irrifjuta li jisma’ l-leħen ta’ min intebaħ x’inhu ġej. Dawn huma l-konsegwenzi.


Ser jibqa’ jkollna iktar konsegwenzi minn dawn sakemm il-Gvern jibqa’ mingħalih li jista’ jimxi waħdu. Ma jagħti każ ta’ ħadd u ta’ xejn iżda biss ta’ dak li jidhirlu hu. Din is-sistema l-ġdida tat-taxxa ta’ reġistrazzjoni tal-karozzi imissha ilha li saret. Imma l-Gvern ipposponiha mhux biss biex jevita li jagħmilha imma ukoll biex ma tidħolx lejliet l-elezzjoni.


Għad irridu naraw kif ser tkun implimentata t-taxxa l-ġdida biex inkunu nistgħu nikkummentaw fuqha. S’issa dwar id-dikjarazzjonijiet li saru m’hemm xejn xi tgħid ħlief li d-dewmien hu eżaġerat.


Beijing Olympics : the quality of the air


Its 08.08.08. Beijing Olyimics will commence later today.

Notwithstanding all the precuations taken by the organisers it seems that the quality of the air is poor.

Mike Friedman, an American cyclist wore a mask issued by the American Olyimpic Committee to althletes when he exited from the plane. Replying to critics he stated that he was only doing what was best for his health.