Jason Azzopardi mhux tad-daħk


Waqt li għaddejja l-polemika dwar jekk il-hijack tal-Afriqiyah Airways tat-23 ta Diċembru 2016 fi triqtu bejn Sebha u Tripli kienx wieħed reali jew finta toħroġ l-aħbar fuq it-Times of Malta tal-lum li Jason Azzopardi, l-avukat, is-shadow Minister għall-Ġustizzja, d-demokrazija u xma nafx xiktar, ser ikun wieħed mill-ko-difensuri ta dawk akkużati bil-ħtif tal-ajruplan.

Għal Jason Azzopardi jidher li ma fiha xejn li fil-għodu hu, l-partit tiegħu, sħabu u xi akkolti oħra jagħmlu l-argument politiku li dan ma kien hijack xejn biex imbagħad, wara, jdeffes imnieħru fil-każ.

Ovvjament għal Jason Azzopardi ma hemm l-ebda kunflitt ta interess, bejn ir-responabbiltajiet tiegħu ta’ Membru Parlamentari u d-difiża tal-hijackers tal-Afriqiyah Airways. Anzi għandu kull dritt li jizzattat. Jekk għadu ma fehemx li mhux postu hemm, għadu ma fehem xejn.

Ir-raġel af li mhux tad-daħk imma tal-biki. Ngħid il-veritá bdejt nitħassar lill-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni Simon Busuttil li spiċċa mdawwar bdawn it-tip ta nies.    


Chernobyl : x’tgħallimna wara 30 sena?


Tletin sena ilu bħal għada s-26 t’April 1986 kien sploda r-reattur nuklejari ta’ Chernobyl. X’tgħallimna?

L-isplużjoni ikkontaminat 40% tat-teritorju Ewropew. Mhux bl-istess mod.

Fi Sqallija, per eżempju, hekk kif sar magħruf x’kien ġara [għax ma kienx magħruf mill-ewwel] in-nies kienu ngħataw il-parir biex jaħslu sewwa l-ħxejjex u l-frott. Dan minħabba li bl-effett tar-rih kien hemm il-biża’ li materjal radjuattiv seta jiddepożita ruħu fuq il-ħxejjex u l–frott.

F’Malta ma niftakarx li kien hawn xi twissija ta’ dik ix-xorta. Kien qiesu ma ġara xejn.

Illum wara tletin sena nistaqsu jekk il-pajjiż huwiex mgħammar biex jinduna jekk inċident nuklejari li jkun seħħ, il-bogħod jew fil-viċin huwiex ta’ theddida għal saħħitna. X’miżuri ittieħdu? Tgħallimna xi ħaġa wara tletin sena?

Fis-snin li ġejjin ser ikollna diversi impjanti nuklejari viċin tagħna: fit-Tunisia, fl-Alġerija u fl-Eġittu b’mod partikolari. Possibilment ukoll fil-Marokk. Jidher li ħlisna mill-periklu wara l-bieb għax il-ftehim bejn il-Libja u Franza dwar impjant nuklejari biex jikkonverti l-ilma baħar f’ilma tajjeb għax-xorb ma laħaqx implimentat. Konna iffurtunati dwar dan kieku ma nafx x’seta inqala’ waqt il-gwerra ċivili li issa ilha ftit għaddejja fil-Libja.

Dwar il-ħtieġa li l-Gvern Malti jqajjem il-kwistjoni mal-Gvern Libjan kienet Alternattiva Demokratika biss li kienet tkellmet għax kemm il-Partit Nazzjonalista kif ukoll il-Partit Laburista kienu waqgħu fil-muta.

Kellna biss gazzetta Taljana (Il Sole 24 Ore: artiklu ta’ Federico Rendina intitolat Il Governo rilancia sull’atomo) li kienet qalet li l-Prim Ministru Taljan Silvio Berlusconi kien iddiskuta l-kostruzzjoni ta’ impjant nuklejari f’Malta mal-Prim Ministru Gonzi. Il-Gvern Malti kien ċaħad li qatt saret id-diskussjoni.

Nittama li wara tletin sena tgħallimna xi ħaga. Tgħid?

The recycled summit



The Valletta Migration Summit is over. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has described it as a ‘historic summit’. It seems to me that it would be more accurately described as the ‘recycled summit’.

In one of the last speeches at the Summit, on Thursday morning, Senegalese President Macky Sall encapsulated in a few words the sentiments of the African side when he stated that African nations would have no need of aid if multinationals corporations active on the African continent paid their fair share of taxes and a fair price for the natural (African) resources. Of course President Sall left out an important last sentence: he avoided any reference to corrupt politicians generally in sync with these multinational corporations.

Earlier in the week had seen the 20th anniversary of the judicial killing of environmental activist Ken Saro Wiwa and his colleagues, who were executed on the orders of a secret military tribunal on the basis of trumped-up charges in Nigeria on 10 November 1995. Ken Saro Wiwa and his colleagues had  stood up in defence of the Ogoni people against Anglo-Dutch multinational Shell, who ignored one and all in its intensive corporate greed.

The conclusions of the Valletta Summit are nothing but a re-cycling of measures that have been discussed for some time: EU leaders have continued to focus on returning migrants and outsourcing problems to frontline states. This is an approach that the EU had previously attempted with Libyan dictator Gaddafi who, way back in 2010, had demanded €5 billion as his price-tag to stem the flow of immigrants across the Mediterranean. In contrast, the initial carrot dangled before African heads of state was a mere €1.8 billion. Another €3 billion was simultaneously being offered to Turkey by Frans Timmermans Vice President of the EU Commission.

Bargaining with non-EU countries in the hope of trading EU funds in return for re-admission mechanisms is not the right approach. The original EU proposal of linking funds to a take-back of immigrants who did not qualify for asylum had to be withdrawn as the African side of the Summit refused the bait.

The causes of immigration into the EU are various. They range from repression and civil war to the accumulating impacts of climate change – primarily drought and the resulting collapse of domestic agriculture. Matters are made worse as a result of tribal rivalry, as well as the absence of the strong institutions of a democratic state. Consequently, the resulting vacuum is filled by corrupt politicians who, after taking their fill from accommodating multinational corporations seek to top up their spoils through additional contributions from Brussels.

The situation is tricky for the EU as there is no one else to talk to. It is for this reason that the Action Plan tied the proposed €1.8 billion assistance to specific projects subdivided into sixteen priority areas built around five priority domains.

Will this Action Plan solve anything? It is too early to tell, as it is a long-term issue which will be implemented within a number of timeframes specified in the plan itself. The main point of contention remains the immediate short term, during which the pressures on the EU borders will keep increasing to the point that, as Donald Tusk indicated, the whole Schengen process is under threat.

In this context it is pertinent to underline that Malta has recently been spared the troubles as the flow of immigrants ending in Malta has decreased to a trickle as a result of Italy taking up all immigrants that it has intercepted or rescued in Malta’s search and rescue area. The reasons why Italy is behaving in this manner are not yet officially known: the rumour mill has it that oil exploration rights are part of the equation. Originally, Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela had indicated that there was some informal agreement with Italy only for him to come back and state that he had been understood.

As stated by Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian Prime Minister and Liberal leader in the European Parliament : “The EU leaders have let us down.”

While the Valletta Summit has agreed to a reasonably detailed Action Plan which can form the basis of action in the long term, it has failed at containing the migration crisis in the short term.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday: 15 November 2015

The Summit of Shame



Thursday’s EU Heads of Government Summit was a summit of shame. Through its conclusions, the European Council showed once more that, collectively, it lacks the moral spine to address the xenophobic fringes of European society.

The special summit ended up being just a collection of half-baked measures.  The EU heads of government have ignored the calls of the  political groups of the EU parliament which called for a more coherent EU migration policy, and for fixed quotas of asylum-seekers to be taken in by each and every EU member country.

Despite the available financial resources being increased, only a limited mandate has been given to the Triton operation for the saving of lives in the Mediterranean. No possibility of applying for humanitarian visas directly in the troubled countries in the African continent has been made possible and, with all its vaunted cry of responsibility-sharing, there is only the establishment of a voluntary pilot project on resettlement across the EU of people qualifying for protection.

These half-baked decisions will not solve the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean: they will only make it worse.

The number of immigrants waiting along the Libyan coast are said to be close to one million. They are there in the hope of building a new future. They know  they are risking their lives but, most probably, they will still try – they have been  at the wrong end of the stick for many years.

They are escaping from war, violence and endless poverty and they have a right to be helped and rescued. Triton is not fit for this purpose, not only because of its limited resources but also because it is primarily aimed at protecting borders and not at rescuing people.

The illusion that stopping Mare Nostrum would discourage these dangerous trips has been proved false: migrants and asylum-seekers have continued flocking to Europe at an increased rate and this situation will not change in the  coming weeks and months. The member states of the EU have to acknowledge that priority needs to be given to saving lives and giving refuge to people, not making ‘fortress Europe’ even more impenetrable, because this has been shown to be tragically impossible.

There is no way around it: all EU member states must accept a greater share of refugees and facilitate legal access to the EU. Instead of sealing borders, procedures and safe corridors must be set up to this effect and it is therefore urgent to establish a properly financed, European wide Mare Nostrum to enhance the search for and rescue of people drifting in the Mediterranean Sea.

The EU heads of government do not have the moral spine to stand up to Europe’s xenophobic fringes. They do not have the political will to implement a policy of solidarity across the EU.  I can therefore only conclude that this week’s  EU Summit can be considered a summit of shame, as it has prioritised the security of borders over  the safety of human beings.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday: 26 April 2015

Fin-nofs, nisfidaw il-mewt

migration routes

L-immigranti miġburin mat-tul tal-kosta tal-Libja jafu li ser jisfidaw il-mewt. Imma f’pajjiżhom m’għandhomx futur. Bejn is-sogru kbir għal ħajjithom, x’ħin ikunu bejn sema u ilma, u l-ħajja ta’ miżerja f’pajjiżhom lesti jissugraw. Il-miżerja f’pajjiżhom hi tant kbira li ma jaħsbuwiex darbtejn biex jiffaċċjaw l-isfruttament tan-negozjanti tal-mewt u l-qilla tal-baħar.

Qed jingħad li ħallsu $2,000-il ras għal-passaġġ bejn il-Libja u Sqallija fuq biċċa qoxra li għerqet. Għalihom aħjar il-mewt mill-ħajja li qed jiffaċċjaw.

X’għandu jsir? Żgur li ma baqax iktar ħin għall-paroli. L-imblokk tal-portijiet minnfejn jitilqu l-immigranti m’hu ser isolvi xejn. Dan diġà sar u bħala konsegwenza kien hemm iktar li issugraw ħajjithom.

Il-ġlieda kontra n-negozjanti tal-mewt li qed tipproponi l-Unjoni Ewropeja hi pass tajjeb. Imma l-iktar li hu meħtieġ hu li l-Libja jkollha Gvern demokratiku li jkun jista’ jgħaqqad lill-pajjiż u jmexxih b’awtorità. Gvern li jkun jista’ jikkontrolla l-kosta u l-fruntieri u jirrispetta lil niesu. Ankè dan il-pass, meta jseħħ, ikun pass kbir il-quddiem, imma mhux biżżejjed.

L-immigranti jieqfu ġejjin meta jkun jagħmel sens għalihom li jibqgħu f’pajjiżhom. Meta l-għajnuna internazzjonali li diġà qed tingħata lil pajjiżhom, tibda tħalli l-frott. Meta pajjiżhom ma jibqax iktar għarkuptejh.

Ħafna mill-immigranti ġejjin minn żoni ta’ gwerra ċivili. Inkella minn pajjiżi fejn in-nuqqas ta’ xita wasslet l-agrikultura f’kollass totali. Il-bidla fil-klima fil-fatt hi ukoll waħda mill-fatturi li qed timbotta lill-immigranti biex jitilqu minn pajjiżhom.

F’wieħed minn dawn il-pajjiżi, is-Somalja, l-amministrazzjoni pubblika tal-pajjiż iddiżintegrat u mhux faċli li tinbena mill-ġdid. Il-komunita internazzjonali – inkluża l-Unjoni Ewropeja – diga ħadmet ħafna f’dan is-sens, imma r-riżultati jiġu bil-mod.  Imma fl-aħħar din hi l-unika soluzzjoni.  Meta jkun possibli li l-immigranti irabbu l-fiduċja f’pajjiżhom mill-ġdid, imbagħad tinstab soluzzjoni dejjiema għall-mewġa tal-immigranti fil-Mediterran li kontinwament jisfidaw il-mewt.

Sadanittant kull min hu irrabjat għall-immigranti għandu jdur fuq dawk il-pajjiżi li jinnegozjaw l-armi u armaw liż-żewġ naħat fil-gwerer ċivili.  Inkella jista’ jdur fuq dawk il-pajjiżi li mhux jagħmlu biżżejjed biex jindirizzaw il-bidla fil-klima. L-immigranti huma l-vittmi f’dan kollu u għandhom ħtieġa kbira ta’ solidarjeta rejali.

Pajjiżna huwa prattikament l-ewwel fruntiera għal dawn in-nies. M’hiex għażla tagħna, l-anqas m’hi għażla tagħhom, iżda hi għażla tal-ġografija li poġġiet lil pajjiżna fuq ir-rotta tal-immigrazzjoni.

Ħlief għal xi mumenti qosra taħt kull wieħed minn l-aħħar żewġ Gvernijiet, meta kien hemm xi boloħ jitkellmu jew irewħu favur il-push-backs, pajjiżna dejjem kien fuq quddiem b’solidarjetà rejali.  Hekk għandu jibqa’ avolja l-piż hu kbir u ma nifilħux għalih waħedna. Għax li nagħmlu dak li hu sewwa m’għandu qatt jiddependi minn kemm ħaddieħor jagħmel jew ma jagħmilx dmiru. Ir-rispett lejn id-dinjità tal-bniedem huwa dak li għandu jmexxina l-quddiem. Hu tajjeb li dan issa jidher li hu aċċettat u li ġie imwarrab il-ħsieb li Malta tista’ xi darba tikser apposta l-obbligi internazzjonali tagħha.

Qegħdin hawn f’nofs il-Mediterran biex nisfidaw lill-mewt w inkunu għassiesa favur il-ħajja. Sadanittant kull għajnuna li nirċievu, merħba biha.

Indifferenza li toqtol

Mediterranean tragedy

Il-mewt mgħarrqa ta’ mill-inqas 700 immigrant fil-baħar bejn il-Libja u Lampedusa hu frott tal-kultura tal-indifferenza li tirrendja madwarna. Huma 700 persuna li qed jaħarbu mill-konflitti u mill-miżerja, sfruttati min-nies bla skrupli u injorati mill-bqija.

Huma 700 persuna li ħtieġu l-għajnuna u din ma ġietx mogħtija lilhom. Minn flok  ma ngħataw l-għajnuna tħallew jaqdfu għal rashom.

Hi problema kontinwa li l-pajjiżi Ewropej fuq il-fruntiera Mediterranja tal-Unjoni Ewropeja tħallew jiffaċċjaw waħedhom. Għax l-istrutturi Ewropeja li kienu kapaċi jħeġġu s-solidarjetà mal-banek f’diffikultà għalqu għajnejhom u sabu diffikultà biex jgħinu l-bniedem li qed jaħrab mill-miżerja u t-terrur.

Allura qed isejħu iktar laqgħat biex juru li taparsi qed jagħmlu xi ħaġa. Dawn huma l-istess nies li ftit ilu kien jrewħu l-mibgħeda u jitkellmu fuq il-pushbacks. Kienu jħeġġu li d-dgħajjes bil-bnedmin maħruba kellhom jitreġġgħu lura minn fejn ġew. Kienu jgħidulna ukoll li dawk li xorta jaslu għandhom ilestulhom l-ajruplani w jibgħatuhom lura minn fejn ġew.

Bħat-traġedji ta’ qabilha, din l-aħħar traġedja hi ukoll ikkawżata mill-indifferenza tal-istituzzjonijiet.

Sadanittant, iktar paroli. Iċ-ċimiterju madwarna jkompli jikber: ħtija tal-indifferenza.

Malta-Libja : indħil barrani minn Malta fil-Libja?

Malta Libya


Il-Libjani, wara li prattikament il-Kabinett kollu kien Malta qalu li ftehmu mal-Gvern Malti biex ixandru minn Malta bir-radju kif ukoll bit-televiżjoni. Aħbar li l-Gvern Malti qiegħed jiċħad.

Ma nafx lil min tista’ temmen minnhom. Il-problema hi li ftehim ta’ din ix-xorta jekk seħħ joffri target f’pajjiżna ukoll bħala parti mill-gwerra ċivili li presentment għaddejja fuq l-art Libjana.

Filwaqt li hu għaqli li nsegwu dak li hu għaddej fil-Libja kif ukoll li noffru kull għajnuna biex il-kunflitt jintemm fl-iqsar żmien possibli hu ċar li nagħmlu x’nagħmlu jistgħu jinħolqu bosta diffikultajiet. Għax fil-waqt li min niftehmu miegħu jieħu pjaċir, in-naħa l-oħra fil-gwerra ċivili ovvjament tara ftehim ta’ din ix-xorta bħala indħil barrani.

Iżjed mal-kunflitt idum, iktar hemm ċans li nidħlu bejn il-basla u qoxritha. Is-sitwazzjoni għal Malta hi waħda perikoluża. Iktar u iktar jekk joħorġu sinjali kunfliġġenti bħal dan dwar ix-xandir Libjan.


Waqt li Joseph jilgħab bis-silġ …………….



Waqt li f’Malta l-Prim Ministru u l-Kabinett tiegħu flimkien ma diversi personalitajiet oħra qed jilgħabu bis-silġ,  fil-Libja, wara biebna hawn ħuġġieġa.

George Vella f’intervista l-ġimgħa l-oħra fisser kemm din il-ħuġġieġa fil-Libja hi ta’ theddida għal Malta. In-newtralita’ ta’ Malta, qal George Vella, kif inhi dikjarata fil-Kostituzzjoni ma tiswiex il-karta li hi miktuba fuqha.

Għandna bżonn naħsbuha sewwa dwar x’ser nagħmlu dwar id-difiża tagħna u dan għax aħna vulnerabbli.

Sa issa kellna skiet komplet dwar l-intervista ta’ George Vella.

“Wasal iż-żmien” qal Vella, “li nirrevedu dak li iddeċidejna dwar id-difiża ta’ Malta. Dak li kien jgħodd fis-snin 80 m’għadux jgħodd illum.”

Ikun ferm aħjar kieku flok mal-Prim Ministru jibqa’ jilgħab bis-silġ jipprova jindirizza din il-materja.

Il-Ministru tal-Affarijiet Barranin qed jgħid lil Muscat li Malta m’għandha l-ebda difiża sura. Imma Muscat jippreferi li joqgħod jilgħab bis-silġ.

Maħrub f’Malta: Saddek Omar Elkaber

Saddek Omar Elkaber


Ftit ilu, qabel ma faqqgħet l-iktar mewġa riċenti ta’ vjolenza fil-Libja kellna ras kbira Libjana għall-kenn fix-Xemxija. Meta kienu mistoqsijin dwaru, kelliema tal-Gvern, ma tawx informazzjoni minħabba ta’ “theddida għas-sigurta’ tal-istat.”

Issa nsiru nafu minn sorsi fil-Libja stess illi l-Gvernatur tal-Bank Ċentrali Libjan, Saddek Omar Elkaber hu maħrub u qiegħed mistoħbi Malta u ilu hawn ix-xhur. Mhux biss. Imma qiegħed imexxi l-Bank Ċentrali Libjan minn Malta.

Kemm aħna sew!



Malta Today: Libyan Central Bank Chief hiding in Malta for months.

Times of Malta: Libya Central Bank Chief working from Malta.

The Malta Independent: Libya Central Bank admits Governor hiding in Malta for months.



Il-ħtif fi Tripli



Qalulna li kien miżmum mit-twajbin.  Minn dawk li huma ħbieb ta’ Malta u allura riedu jipproteġuh.

Imma issa li qrajna l-intervista fuq l-Indpendent l-affarijiet jidhru mod ieħor.

Li l-gazzetti janaliżżaw u jikkritikaw dak li ġara, għaliex ġara u kif ġara nifhmu. Li ma nistax nifhem imma hu għaliex hemm min qiegħed jagħlef il-ħsieb li qiesu ma ġara xejn.

X‘inhu l-ħsieb wara din il-manuvra? M’għandi l-ebda idea.

Fl-intervista tiegħu fuq l-Independent Martin Galea, li jifhem u jitkellem sewwa l-Għarbi, qal li sema’ lil dawk li kienu qed iżommuh jitkellmu dwar kif ser joqluh. Tnejn minnhom, qal, għamlu żmien joqgħodu Malta, f’San Ġiljan.

Naħseb li hu l-mument addattat li nistaqsu: x’hemm iżjed li għadu mhux magħruf?