Mario de Marco u l-proposti ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika

AD 2013 electoral manifesto     Mario de Marco

Fil-Parlament nhar l-Erbgħa, Mario Demarco qal li forsi jkun għaqli li qabel ma jsiru ħatriet sensittivi (mill-Gvern) jkun hemm konsultazzjoni mal-Parlament.

Din hi proposta li Alternattiva Demokratika diġa għamlet fl-aħħar Manifest Elettorali tagħha meta ipproponiet li diversi ħatriet isiru bil-kunsens tal-Parlament.

Fil-fatt fil-manifest elettorali ta’ AD għall-elezzjoni ġenerali tal-2013, insibu tlett proposti f’dan is-sens.

Fil-Kapitlu 6 tal-Manifest li jitkellem dwar riformi kostituzzjonali u demokratiċi hemm il-proposta ġenerali li l-Bordijiet u l-Kummissjonijiet ta’ importanza nazzjonali għandhom jinħatru mill-President tar-Repubblika bħala l-Kap tal-Istat u dan mingħajr l-involviment dirett tal-Prim Ministru. Il-President għandu jikkonsulta mhux biss mal-politiċi imma ukoll mas-soċjetà ċivili qabel ma jagħmel/tagħmel il-ħatriet.

Fl-istess Kapitlu tal-Manifest Elettorali, Alternattiva Demokratika titkellem ukoll dwar il-ħatra tal-ġudikatura: “L-imħallfin u l-maġistrati m’għandhomx jibqgħu jinħatru mill-Gvern iżda mill-President tar-Repubblika u soġġetti għal konferma mill-Parlament. Dan jiżgura sistema ta’ checks and balances bejn is-setgħa eżekuttiva (eżerċitata f’dan il-każ mill-President tar-Repubblika) u l-leġiżlatura.”

L-iktar proposta dettaljat qegħda fil-Kapitlu ambjentali, l-Kapitlu 14, fejn dan jitkellem dwar il-ħatriet fil-MEPA u jgħid hekk :

“Il-ħidma tkun effettiva daqs kemm ikunu kompetenti u affidabbli dawk li jinħatru biex imexxu. Alternattiva Demokratika għaldaqstant tipproponi illi filwaqt li l-Gvern tal-ġurnata jibqa’ jżomm s-setgħa li jaħtar il-membri ta’ din l-Awtorità kkonsolidata, dan m’għandux jagħmlu sakemm il-Parlament permezz ta’ Kumitat Magħżul ma jagħtihx il-kunsens tiegħu għall-ħatriet proposti. Il-Parliament ikun jista’ jikkunsidra li jagħti l-kunsens tiegħu wara li l-Kumitat Magħżul tiegħu ikun organizza sessjoni pubblika (public hearing) li fiha jgħarbel lil kull persuna proposta. Kull persuna proposta għandha tkun eżaminata fil-pubbliku dwar l-esperjenza u l-kwalifiċi tagħha konnessi mal-ħatra proposta.

Fejn tidħol rappreżentanza mis-socjetà ċivili, in-nominazzjonijiet għandhom isiru direttament mill-korpi effetwati. Għandu jkun hemm inqas uffiċjali pubbliċi bħala membri tal-bord, u rappreżentanza ikbar tas-soċjetà ċivili fl-awtorità kkonsolidata.

B’hekk huwa ittamat li jiżdiedu n-nomini ta’ persuni kompetenti kif ukoll li jonqsu l-ħatriet ta’ persuni li l-iprem kwalifika tagħhom hi l-lealtà politika. B’hekk ukoll il-Parlament ikun qed jieħu lura mingħand il-Gvern rwol importanti biex jassigura li l-ħarsien tal-ambjent jittieħed b’iktar serjetà.

Dan jgħodd għaċ-Chairman u l-membri tal-Bord li jmexxu l-Awtorità kif ukoll l-uffiċjali ewlenija fit-tmexxija tal-Awtorità li jinkludu iċ-Chief Executive Officer, id-Diretturi kif ukoll il-membri tal-Kummissjonijiet jew Tribunali tal-Appell li jiddeċiedu dwar talba għal permessi kemm ta’ żvilupp kif ukoll dwar riżorsi u permessi ambjentali oħra.”

Mario de Marco tkellem ukoll dwar jekk Membru Parlamentari għandux ikun full-time jew le. Huwa ma jaqbilx għax jidhirlu li Membru Parlamentari li għadu jaħdem/jipprattika l-professjoni ikun iktar f’kuntatt man-nies.

Hawnhekk ma naqblux: għax il-kuntatt prinċipali tal-Membru Parlamentari part-time mhux man-nies in ġenerali jkun, iżda mal-klijenti tiegħu li jiddedikalhom il-ħin u l-enerġija tiegħu. Huwa importanti li l-Membru tal-Parlament jiddistakka ruħu mill-klijenti tiegħu, għax issa l-pajjiz kollu huwa l-klijent tiegħu. Il-pajjiz jeżiġi servizz full-time mill-Membru Parlamentari. Sfortunatament dan is-servizz mhux jieħdu.

 

 

 

The elephant in the room

elephant-in-the-room

 

When Malta’s EU accession negotiations approached the final stages, a merger of the then Planning Authority and the Department for the Environment was announced.

While the merger was the right thing to do, it was done in a hurry and as a result, an organised Planning Directorate overshadowed an understaffed Environment Directorate.  A number of  civil servants employed in the former Environment Department had refused to go along to MEPA, thus further diluting the newly established Environment Directorate. This was further exacerbated by long spells during which the post of Environment Director was vacant. This did not involve weeks, but years. Currently, in fact, there is no Environment Director in place- the post having been vacated around two years ago.

The Environment Department was then one of the youngest departments in the civil service which, overnight, as a result of EU accession had to shoulder responsibility for a substantial portion of the EU acquis for which it was largely not equipped. The situation has slightly improved over the years. The previous administration declared many times that it would bridge the gap in human resources, but, unfortunately, it never lived up to its declarations. As a result, the Environment Directorate was, and still is, overshadowed. In addition, to make matters worse, the consolidated authority was (and still is) led by a Board in which environmental knowledge  was (very) scarce. This was the perfect recipe for a good initiative not to yield any results by design.

Malta requires more consolidation of environmental governance, not its fragmentation. Further consolidation will increase the chances of being more effective in coordinating related areas of policy: land-use planning and environment protection are two such areas. Fragmentation, on the other hand, increases ineffectiveness. However, mergers require commitment and resources – both of which have been manifestly lacking.

The potential fruits of the merger would only have been reaped if the consolidated MEPA had been led by an Environment Directorate. Unfortunately, it was designed differently: a combination of bad design and an absence of good faith.

The solution to this problem is not to reverse the merger but rather to reverse the roles of land-use planning and environment protection in a consolidated MEPA, meaning that land-use planning should be subjected to rigorous environmental control. Unfortunately, this was never on the cards, nor is it contemplated in the de-merger bills. The agenda of the parliamentary political parties has always been very clear: to ensure that land-use planning is subject to the least possible environmental controls in the interests of the development lobby.

This is the elephant in the room. The PN in government implemented this objective by a merger of a highly organised Planning Directorate with a weak but dedicated Environment Department. Labour has opted to achieve the same objective through fragmentation.

At the end of the day, the government’s misguided de-merger will not  cause additional damage: it will be more of the same, as we have been accustomed to throughout the years. The attainment of the full potential of the newly-created authorities will be postponed until such time as they are inevitably reunited under the leadership of a revamped Environment Directorate.

In the meantime, other important issues in the projected legislation can be focused upon. The manner of appointment of boards and top officers of the newly created authorities is one such issue.

Having the Minister’s trust is not a sufficient requirement justifying appointments to boards and authorities – and this not just with reference to appointments of an environmental nature. It would be appropriate if the competence of those selected for office is scrutinised in public. Other democracies, the United States of America for example, regularly use public hearings as an instrument for carrying out such  public scrutiny for a number of appointments of national importance.

In its 2013 election manifesto, Alternattiva Demokratika  specifically proposed the adoption of this method in order to examine the government’s nominees to public bodies. In particular, AD proposed  that government nominees to land-use planning, environment and resource-management boards (including directors and CEOs) should not take up their post until Parliament’s Environment and Land Use Planning Committee had examined such nominations in public and signified its consent thereto. Such a public hearing  should be carried out to establish whether the nominees are suitable for the posts to which they have been nominated.

Were nominees  required to subject themselves to such a public hearing, Malta would  definitely have a much better crop of administrators than that which it has been accustomed over the years. This would also reinforce the notion that administrators of public authorities are, at the end of the day, accountable to the whole country and not just to the government Minister who nominates them for the post.

The merger of land-use planning and environment protection at MEPA should be strengthened by ensuring that the Environment Directorate calls the shots. It is, however, equally important to ensure that those nominated to lead the authority (irrespective of whether we have one or more) are suitable for running the show.  Parliament should thus reclaim back its powers and vet the government’s nominees in public. When this has been done, we will be able to state that we have commenced down the path to improving environmental governance. Otherwise, it will be more of the same for many years to come.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 12 July 2015

Kastilja bir-remote control tal-MEPA

MEPA + gov logo

 

Il-MEPA u Kastilja huma ħaġa waħda,  qalilna l-kelliemi tal-PN Ryan Callus. Dan il-kumment qalu b’referenza għax-xhieda tal-Kap Eżekuttiv tal-MEPA Johann Buttiġieg fil-Parlament [Kumitat dwar l-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar tal-Iżvilupp] dwar l-Università fiż-Żonqor u kif huwa ġie mqabbad iħejji r-rapport dwar kemm kienet addattata jew le l-art fiż-Żonqor għall-ħsieb li kellu l-Gvern.

L-Onorevoli Ryan Callus hu korrett. Li ma qalx Ryan Callus kien li l-Gvern ta’ Joseph Muscat ma bidilx il-liġi (s’issa) imma għamel użu minn dak li sab.

Nistieden lil Ryan Callus biex jgħarbel ftit il-ħidma tal-MEPA tul is-snin. Meta jagħmel dan ikollu idea ħafna iktar ċara tal-ħsara kbira li saret mill-partit tiegħu fil-Gvern meta ħoloq strutturi u għamel ħatriet li kienu jippermettu ndħil kontinwu min-naħa tal-Gvern. Fil-fatt il-Gvern ilu ħafna jindaħal lill-MEPA f’dak kollu li tagħmel! Xi drabi dan kien ovvju iktar minn oħrajn tant li kien hemm żmien li l-MEPA kien qiesha qed titmexxa bir-remote control mill-uffiċċju tal-Ministru jew minn Kastilja. Dan kien possibli prinċipalment għax dawk maħtura biex imexxu ma kienux il-persuni addattati.

Ma nafx jekk Ryan Callus iqiesx dan bħala żball da parti tal-Gvern immexxi mill-PN, inkella sabutaġġ da parti tal-PN fil-mod kif kienu (u għadhom) jaħdmu l-istituzzjonijiet.

Fuq dan il-blog jista’ isib artikli kemm irid dwar is-suġġett biex jekk ikun irid l-Onorevoli Callus jiffriska ftit il-memorja tiegħu u ta’ sħabu.

Fl-aħħar elezzjoni ġenerali, Alternattiva Demokratika ipproponiet miżura li tista’ tnaqqas dan l-indħil billi żżid il-possibilità li jinħatru persuni aħjar minn dawk li nħatru s’issa kemm fuq il-Bord tal-MEPA kif ukoll bħala l-uffiċjali ewlenin tagħha. Dan ikun jista’ isir billi b’liġi tingħata setgħa lill-Parlament [permezz tal-Kumitat dwar l-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar tal-Iżvilupp] biex dan ikun jista’ jgħarbel fil-pubbliku l-ħatriet li jkun ser jagħmel il-Gvern. U jekk ma jaqbilx ikun jista’ jinblokka dawn il-ħatriet.

Jekk irid jista’ jaqra l-proposta tal-2013 hawn.  Għax Alternattiva Demokratika mhux tikkritika biss imma tagħmel (u għamlet) proposti konkreti ukoll.

Reforming eco-taxation

Time for Radical Change

Malta Today reports this morning that in tomorrow’s Budget Speech Government will be proposing a reform of the Eco-Contribution Act. Malta Today further reports that the eco-contribution due on electric and electronic equipment will be discontinued. Instead, states Malta Today, Government will proceed with ensuring the implementation of the Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipment  (WEEE) Directive of the EU.

The WEEE Directive shifts responsibility for the recovery of waste from electric and electronic equipment to producers and their representatives. It is an Extended Producer Responsibility which has so far not been implemented in Malta notwithstanding various warnings  and infringement proceedings initiated by the EU Commission. It requires the  direct involvement of the private sector who will now have to assume direct responsibility for waste recovery in the WEEE stream.

The matter is dealt with extensively in AD’s Electoral Manifesto. In fact in the Environmental Chapter of AD’s 2013 Manifesto it is stated that :

“We encourage waste separation in localities. However we recognise that this is not enough. As a country we still lag behind and have failed to reach targets on packaging waste as well as waste generated by electrical and electronic equipment.

It is essential to address the operation of scrapyards. These process waste which is subject to at least three Directives of the EU, namely the WEEE Directive, the End of life Vehicles Directive and the Batteries Directive. The manner in which scrapyards have been permitted to operate signifies a total disregard of the principles and safeguards listed in the said Directives. The fact that after more than eight years of EU membership we are still discussing these issues signifies the low level of preparedness to shoulder environmental responsibilities resulting from EU adhesion.

It is essential that environmental taxation (eco-contribution) is reformed in order that it be ascertained that environmental objectives are attained. The private sector should not be penalised through double payment in order that it fulfils its responsibilities relevant to waste on which eco-contribution was due.

Environmental taxation has two objectives. Generating funds to be used by the exchequer as well as to serve as a deterrent and consequently to reduce environmental impacts. For the deterrent to be effective it is essential that when environmental taxes are proposed it be ensured that as far as possible an alternative product or service to the one being taxed which generates less impacts than the taxed product or service is available.

On the other hand we are aware that environmental taxes which are not properly designed can be regressive. That is they can have a negative social impact due to their impacting the quality of life of those with limited means. In order to ensure that the primary objective of environmental taxation would be environmental improvement AD proposes that environmental taxation should be the joint responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Finance.”

Eco-taxation can be of considerable benefit. It however needs to be properly designed. Alternattiva Demokratika looks forward to a discussion on the new proposals.

Id-droga: il-PN u d-dikriminalizzazzjoni

decriminalisation of drugs

 

Dal-għodu attendejt għal seminar organizzat mill-MŻPN fuq il-White Paper ippubblikata mill-Gvern dwar id-dikriminalizzazzjoni tad-droga għall-użu personali.

Kien hemm bosta interventi utli u studjati minn persuni impenjati.

Il-proposta ċentrali, kif spjegajt fl-intervent qasir tiegħi, hi biex is-soċjeta’ tibni mill-ġdid il-pontijiet mal-vittmi tad-droga. Dan billi tagħtihom l-għajnuna meta tibda tittrattahom ta’ vittmi u mhux ta’ kriminali.

Il-politika dwar id-droga, f’kull pajjiż, hi mibnija fuq 4 elementi: l-prevenzjoni, it-trattament, it-tnaqqis tal-ħsara (harm reduction) u l-kastig.

Sal-lum f’Malta iffukajna iktar fuq il-kastig. Bir-riforma proposta l-pussess sempliċi ta’ droga għall-użu personali mhux ser jibqa’ delitt u s-soċjeta’ tagħna ser tagħmel pass il-quddiem billi ma tibqax tikkunsidra lill-vittmi bħala kriminali. Dan ifisser li ser isir sforz u ser ikun possibli li jkunu dedikati iktar riżorsi biex il-vittmi tad-droga jingħataw iktar għajnuna biex minn l-iktar kmieni  jkun possibli li jgħarfu jrabbu iktar kuraġġ biex jaffrontaw il-problemi li jiffaċċjaw.

Alternattiva Demokratika taqbel ma dan u fil-fatt fil-Manifest Elettorali għall-Elezzjoni tal-2013 kienet l-unika partit politiku li poġġiet il-proposta tad-dikriminalizzazzjoni fuq l-agenda politika Maltija.

Irridu nitgħallmu mill-esperjenzi ta’ ħaddieħor. Għandna l-esperjenza tal-Portugall li 14-il sena ilu għamlu dan il-pass. Illum diġa bdew jaħsdu l-frott. In partikolari r-riċerka fil-Portugall ikkonkludiet li hemm tnaqqis sostanzjali fost iż-żgħażagħ bejn il-15 u l-24 sena li għamlu użu mid-droga.  Ġie rreġistrat ukoll tnaqqis sostanzjali f’mard assoċjat mat-teħid tad-droga.

Il-futur f’dan il-qasam fih possibilitajiet tajbin.

Nistennew issa x’posizzjoni ser jieħu l-PN u dan billi fid-diskors ippreparat tiegħu il-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni Simon Busuttil qagħad attent ħafna li jitkellem kontra li l-vittmi tad-droga  jintbagħtu l-ħabs. Imma fl-ebda ħin ma kien ċar dwar id-dikriminalizzazzjoni. Fil-fatt qagħad attent li ma jgħid xejn dwar dan. Ovvjament dan hu l-istil tiegħu minħabba li probabilment illi d-diskussjoni interna fil-Partit Nazzjonalista għadha għaddejja.

Jekk fil-fatt id-diskussjoni fil-PN tiġix fi tmiemha għad irridu naraw. Dak li iddeċieda l-PN fil-passat riċenti dwar id-divorzju u dwar id-drittijiet tal-persuni LGBT m’huwiex awgurju tajjeb dwar x’għandna nistennew.

Imma dak, wara kollox, li tista’ tistenna minn partit konservattiv. Nistennew u naraw.

 

Ara ukoll fuq dan il-blog: Alternattiva Demokratika Position Paper on Reform in Drug Policy

 

The Financing of Political Parties: (1) Introduction

euros2

 

Alternattiva Demokratika-The Green Party, since being founded in 1989, twenty five years ago, has always emphasised that the financing of political parties must be transparent and accountable. In fact, in the Declaration of Political Principles, approved by Alternattiva Demokratika just after it was founded it was declared that:

“ ………… we shall strive in order that a law is enacted as a result of which political parties declare the source of their finances. In addition we shall insist that Government grants financial assistance to political parties which assistance will be calculated on the basis of votes obtained in national and local elections.”

In addition to this declaration, commitment to transparency and accountability was also demonstrated by Alternattiva Demokratika through its continuous exposure of case where business and politics were to close for comfort

In its 2013 Electoral Manifesto  Alternattiva Demokratika was more focused on the need to finance political parties. Alternattiva Demokratika’s Electoral Manifesto in Chapter 6 entitled “Constitutional and Democratic reforms” presented five proposals:

    1. Strict rules on donations, which would require the disclosure of donations higher than €5,000 and the prohibition of donations which exceed €40,000.
    2. State financing of political parties through a grant of €3 per annum for every vote which political parties obtain in a General Election or a European Parliament Election.
    3. Every political party is to have its accounts audited under the supervision of a Commission appointed by the Auditor General.
    4. The permissible expenditure of a candidate in a general elections should be increased from €1,400 to €4,000 which expenditure should include that made by the candidate’s political party divided pro-rata amongst the candidates, that such expenditure should include that made by third parties on behalf of candidates, and that the expenditure made by candidates should be tax-exempt provided that it is within the limits established by law.
    5. There should be established a Commission to determine the value of state property rented out to political parties and that such Commission should revise the rental values to market levels on a regular basis.

Jekk trid il-bidla trid tivvota għaliha

 

 

decriminalisation of drugs

 

iNews il-bieraħ irrapporta li huma biss 14% tal-Maltin li jaqblu mad-dikriminalizzazzjoni tad-droga għall-użu personali. iNews kienu qed jirrappurtaw studju tal-Eurobarometer għall-Kummissjoni Ewropeja fl-okkazjoni tal-Jum Internazzjonali kontra l-Abbuż mid-Droga.

14% biss.

Alternattiva Demokratika hu l-uniku partit politiku li fl-elezzjoni ġenerali tal-2013 kellu programm elettorali li tkellem b’mod ċar favur id-dikriminalizzazzjoni tad-droga għall-użu personali.

La l-Partit Nazzjonalista u l-anqas il-Partit Laburista ma għamlu dan.  Mhux biss. Iżda kull meta kelliema ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika irreferew għad-dikriminalizzazzjoni tad-droga, dawn kien jevitaw li jwieġbu u ġeneralment kienu jitkellmu fuq xi ħaġa oħra.

Fil-fatt fil-Manifest Elettorali tal-AD, fil-Kapitlu 3, intitolat L-Alkohol u drogi oħra jingħad hekk:

Għandna naħdmu sabiex tonqos il-pressjoni li twassal persuni sabiex jirrikorru għad-drogi kemm dawk legali u dawk illegali. Għalina d-droga mhix biss problema ta’ liġi u ordni iżda hi prinċipalment problema li għandha għeruq soċjali fondi. Fil-fatt l-alkoħol, il-kalmanti u s-sigaretti, minkejja li huma legali, joħolqu dipendenza u problemi b’implikazzjonijiet soċjali serji.

L-użu personali tad-drogi għandu jigi dekriminalizzat. Vittmi tad-droga għandhom jitqiesu bħala nies li jeħtieġu għajnuna, u mhux bħala kriminali. Fl-istess ħin, dekriminalizzazzjoni tiżgura wkoll li dawk li jużaw id-drogi għal skop rikreattiv, inkluż dawk li jikkultivaw id-drogi ħfief għall-użu personali, ma jigux kriminalizzati minħabba l-mod ta’ għixien tagħhom.”

Il-parti l-kbira ta’ l-14% tal-votanti Maltin li jaqblu mad-dikriminalizzazzjoni tad-droga għall-użu personali għażlu li ma jivvutawx għal AD, għax AD ġiebet 1.8% tal-voti. 12.2% tal-votanti Maltin tilfu opportunita tad-deheb li jkunu rappreżentati minn partit politiku li jaqbel magħhom.

Il-vot tagħhom mhux biss kien jiswa’ iżda kien jagħmel id-differenza għax 14% tal-voti kienu jissarfu f’bejn wieħed u ieħor 10 siġġijiet Parlamentari. U meta tqis li d-differenza bejn il-Gvern u l-Opposizzjoni fil-Parlament illum hi ta’ 9 siġġijiet, altru li kien ikun hemm differenza.

L-14% li jaqblu mad-dikriminalizzazzjoni tad-droga għall-użu personali tilfu opportunita’ tad-deheb.

Hu l-mument li kulħadd jaħseb ftit. Jekk trid il-bidla trid tivvota għaliha. Ma sseħħ l-ebda bidla mingħajr il-vot tiegħek.

L-użu mediku tal-ħaxixa

cannabis

Il-bieraħ fil-Parlament, waqt l-aġġornament, it-Tabib Godfrey Farrugia li sa ftit ilu kien Ministru tas-Saħħa għamel diskors importanti dwar l-użu mediku tal-ħaxix – il-kannabis.

Id-diskors tiegħu ġie riprodott fl-Independent u iNews  . 

Nieħu pjaċir li t-Tabib Farrugia ħareġ b’dawn l-ideat. Ideat li jisfidaw il-preġudizzji u l-kontroversja.

Huwa tajjeb iżda li nfakkar li fil-programm elettorali ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika għall-elezzjoni ġenerali tal-2013 hemm preċiżament din l-istess proposta li għamel it-Tabib Farrugia.

“L-użu tal-kannabis għal raġunijiet mediċi għandu jkun regolarizzat.” [ara Manifest AD Kapitlu 3, intitolat Alkoħol u Drogi oħra]

Id-diskussjoni dwar id-drogi għandha tibda issir bis-serjeta’ f’dan il-pajjiż. Huwa verament ħasra li Alternattiva Demokratika biss, fost il-partiti politiċi fittxet li tagħmel dan. Id-diskors ta’ Godfrey Farrugia huwa xhieda li dan hu possibli li jsir. Kemm dwar l-użu mediku tal-ħaxixa kif ukoll dwar il-ħtieġa urġenti ta’ programm ta’ dikriminalizzazzjoni tad-droga għal użu personali. Hemm ħafna x’nitgħallmu minn dak li għamlu pajjiżi oħra.

Mill-ġdid, prosit Godfrey.

Ir-riforma tal-MEPA: pass lura

MEPA cartoon

(cartoon ta’ Steve Bonello : http://www.stevebonellocartoons.com)

Wara li teżamina d-dokument ta’ konsultazzjoni ippubblikat mill-Gvern dwar ir-riforma tal-ippjanar għall-użu tal-art intitolat For an Efficient Planning System ma tista’ tasal għall-ebda konkluzjoni ħlief li dan hu pass lura. Iċ-ċokon tal-pajjiż għandu jwassal għal konsolidazzjoni  mhux għal frammentazzjoni tal-funzjonijiet ta’ governanza ambjentali.

Kien ikun iktar għaqli li kieku l-ambjent u l-ippjanar għall-użu tal-art baqgħu t-tnejn fl-istess Awtorita’. Il-konsolidazzjoni f’awtorita’ waħda li seħħet tnax-il sena ilu kienet pass il-quddiem li iżda ma kenitx segwita bl-allokazzjoni ta’ iktar riżorsi għad-Direttorat tal-Ambjent. Il-membri tal-Bord tal-MEPA li nħatru tul is-snin ma kienux kapaċi jagħrfu l-importanza ta’ iktar emfasi fuq ir-responsabbiltajiet ambjentali tal-MEPA. Id-Direttorat tal-Ambjent inħonoq u ma tħalliex jiżviluppa leħnu.

Id-dokument ta’ konsultazzjoni jiffoka fuq l-effiċjenza tal-proċess tal-ippjanar għall-użu tal-art. Taħt dan l-iskop ġeneriku jnaqqas il-protezzjoni għaż-żona barra l-iżvilupp, għall-bini protett  u għaż-żoni protetti.

Sal-lum, bl-emendi tal-2010, zvilupp  bla permess barra miż-żona ta’ żvilupp, jew bdil f’bini protett inkella żvilupp f’zona protetta, ma setax ikun sanzjonat. Dan kien wieħed mill-ftit passi l-quddiem li seħħew fil-passat mhux mertu tal-Gvern ta’ dakinnhar iżda riżultat tal-pressjoni tal-opinjoni pubblika, tas-soċjeta’ ċivili u anke, għax le, mertu ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika. Dawn l-irregolaritajiet issa, f’isem l-effiċjenza,ser ikun possibbli li jkunu regolarizzati. Dan hu pass lura u ser jippremja lil min abbuża u li bl-emendi tal-2010 inqabad fuq sieq waħda.

Id-dokument ta’ konsultazzjoni dwar l-ippjanar jipproponi ukoll li l-iskedar ikun ikkunsidrat mill-ġdid wara 10 snin. Din il-proposta ukoll hi pass lura għax ser isservi biex tinkoraġgixxi n-nuqqas ta’ ħarsien tal-patrimionju tagħna u dan billi taghti tama li min ihares lejn l-iskedar bħala xkiel. Tagħtih tama li b’xi mod ikun jista’ jirranġa hu ukoll.

Id-dokument ta’ konsultazzjoni ftit li xejn jitkellem dwar il-kompozizzjoni tal-Bordijiet tal-Ippjanar. Alternattiva Demokratika, kif anke saħqet fil-manifest elettorali għall-elezzjoni ġenerali tal-2013, jidhrilha li wasal iż-żmien li ma jibqax ikun hemm involviment dirett tal-Membri Parlamentari fit-teħid ta’ deċiżjonijiet tal-ippjanar tal-uzu tal-art. Ir-rwol tal-Parlament permezz tal-kumitati tiegħu għandu jiffoka fuq is-sorveljanza tal-awtorita’, inkluż li jgħarbel il-ħatriet li jagħmel il-Gvern.

Id-dokument ta’ konsultazzjoni dwar l-ippjanar konsistentement ifittex li jħares l-interessi ta’ min irid jiżviluppa l-art iżda fl-ebda parti tiegħu ma jfittex li jħares l-interessi tal-komunita. F’ħafna każi t-tħaffif u l-għaġġla tal-proċess tal-ħruġ tal-permessi ta’ żvilupp ser ifisser inqas ħarsien  għad-drittijiet ta’ terzi u għall-ħarsien tal-ispazji pubbliċi, ta’ bini skedat u żoni protetti.

Għaldaqstant, meta wieħed iħares b’mod komplessiv lejn id-dokument ta’ konsultazzjoni huwa ċar li l-proposta tal-Gvern hi pass lura.

Il-lingwa tas-sinjali

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Meta l-Ministru tal-Finanzi kien qiegħed jaqra d-diskors tal-Budget il-ġimgħa l-oħra d-diskors tiegħu kien maqlub għal-lingwa tas-sinjali (bil-malti). L-istess id-diskors tal-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni l-bieraħ u iktar tard matul il-ġimgħa l-istess ser jiġri bit-tweġiba tal-Prim Ministru.

Tajjeb. Anzi tajjeb ħafna.

Huwa neċessarju li nifhmu li dan m’huwiex xi kapriċċ iżda neċessita. Hu pass pożittiv. Iżda huwa meħtieġ li dan ikun estiż għall-oqsma kollha tal-amministrazzjoni pubblika. Bħala minimu naħseb li hu neċessarju li jkun hemm aċċess għal-lingwa tas-sinjali f’dawk l-oqsma tal-amministrazzjoni pubblika li huma f’kuntatt dirett mal-pubbliku.

Hu neċessarju li l-Korp tal-Pulizija jkollu membri tiegħu imħarrġa biex jikkomunikaw bil-lingwa tas-sinjali għax il-pulizija f’kull ħin ikunu in kuntatt ma kull settur tal-popolazzjoni u huwa neċessarju li jkun possibli li l-pulizija tkun f’posizzjoni li tikkomunika ma kulħadd. L-istess jgħodd għad-dipartiment tal-protezzjoni ċivili, għad-dipartment tal-edukazzjoni, għad-dipartiment tas-servizzi soċjali kif ukoll għall-Kunsilli Lokali.

Mhux faċli li tħarreġ in-nies mil-lum għal għada. Dan nifhmu. Bħalma nifhem l-impenn li s-soċjetá tagħna tkun dejjem iktar inklussiva: tagħti spazju lil kulħadd, tisma’ lil kulħadd u tagħti l-opportunitá lil kulħadd biex isemma’ leħnu. Huwa proċess li jieħu ż-żmien. Imma huwa proċess li bħalma ġie emfasizzat fil-Manifest Elettorali ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika fl-aħħar elezzjoni ġenerali, jeħtieġ li jwassal biex il-lingwa tas-sinjali tkun rikonoxxuta ukoll bħala lingwa uffiċjali tal-pajjiż.

B’hekk inkunu dejjem iktar pajjiż li jinkludi lil kulħadd: jisma’ lil kulħadd u jħalli lil kulħadd isemma’ leħnu b’dik il-lingwa li jifhem u li hu kapaċi juża.

Ippubblikat fuq iNews it-Tlieta 12 ta’ Novembru 2013

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