Idea stupida dwar il-festi pubbliċi

festa

 

It-Tabib Franco Mercieca, l-Membru Parlamentari Għawdxi f’artiklu tal-bieraħ ippubblikat fit-Times qal li qed jikkonsidra li jressaq il-quddiem proposta biex uħud mill-festi pubbliċi li jiġu fost il-ġimgħa jkun ikkunsidrat jekk jiċċaqalqux għal nhar ta’ Tnejn, speċi tal-bank holidays Ingliżi. B’long weekend, jgħid Franco Mercieca, l-ekonomija tmur aħjar, b’mod partikolari dik Għawdxija.

Issa l-festi pubbliċi f’Malta huma dawn :

1 ta’ Jannar                         L-ewwel tas-sena

10 ta’ Frar                            San Pawl

19 ta’ Marzu                       San Ġużepp

Marzu/April                        Il-Ġimgħa l-Kbira

31 ta’ Marzu                       Jum il-Ħelsien

1 ta’ Mejju                          Jum il-Ħaddiem

7 ta’ Ġunju                          sette gunio

29 ta’ Ġunju                       l-Imnarja

15 t’Awwissu                     Santa Marija

8 ta’ Settembru                Il-Vitorja

21 ta’ Settembru              Jum l-Indipendenza

8 ta’ Diċembru                   Il-Kunċizzjoni

13 ta’ Diċembru                Jum ir-Repubblika

25 ta’ Diċembru                Il-Milied

 

Franco Mercieca jgħidilna li huwa jaf li uħud mill-festi pubbliċi huma marbutin ma festi reliġjużi tradizzjonali u allura għandhom jibqgħu jiġu ċċelebrati f’nharhom. Isemmi l-festi ta’ San Pawl, San Ġużepp, l-Imnarja, Santa Marija u l-Vitorja. Naħseb li nesa l-Kunċizzjoni, nhar it-8 ta’ Diċembru.

X’jibqa’?

Jibqa’ l-1 ta’ Jannar: mur arana niċċelebraw l-ewwel jum tas-sena fid-29 ta’ Diċembru! Inkella niċċelebraw Jum il-Ħaddiem fis-27 t’ April, per eżempju.

Inkella, skond it-tabib Franco Mercieca, nispiċċaw niċċelebraw il-Milied fil-21 ta’ Diċembru.

Ovvjament, ma jafx x’inhu jgħid! Għax il-festi pubbliċi Maltin huma kollha marbutin ma ġurnata partikolari. Jekk iċċaqlaqhom mill-jum tagħhom ma jibqgħux jagħmlu sens.

 

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Bejn Franco Mercieca u Chris Fearne

doctor

Illum huwa ċar għal kulħadd li l-oftalmologu Għawdxi Dr Franco Mercieca għamel għażla ċara. Bejn il-professjoni u servizz fil-Kabinett għażel li jmur lura għall-prattika professjonali tiegħu. Kif wara kollox kellu kull dritt li jagħmel, sakemm ma kienx hemm min għal xi żmien ħajru li seta jagħmilhom it-tnejn (jiġifieri l-prattika tal-oftalmoloġija u servizz fil-Kabinett).

Wara sena ta’ battibekki u taparsi eżenzjonijiet is-sens komun jidher li rebaħ.

Jiena u nikteb dan il-blogpost it-Times online irreferiet għall-kirurgu tal-pedjatrija Dr Chris Fearne li għadu kif inħatar Segretarju Parlamentari għas-Saħħa. Ġie kjarifikat li Dr Chris Fearne mhux ser jibqa’ jipprattika, l-anqas fl-isptar bla ħlas, ħlief għal 4 każijiet akuti ta’ pazjenti li kien qed jieħu ħsiebhom meta ħa l-ħatra.

Deċiżjoni tajba li tfisser illi d-dibattitu pubbliku dwar Dr Franco Mercieca ma sarx għal xejn. Tnaqqas il-potenzjal għall-konflitt ta’ interess. Ir-raġuni dejjem tirbaħ!

Prosit.

L-ewwel reshuffle ta’ Joseph

 

 

reshuffle

Tħabbar iċ-ċaqlieq u t-tibdil fil-Kabinett.

Fost dawk effettwati miċ-ċaqlieq hemm min matul l-aħħar sena, min għal ftit żmien u min għal ħafna, kellu diffikulta u konflitt bejn il-prattika professjonali u r-responsabbiltajiet pubbliċi tiegħu. Fuq quddiem nett kien hemm il-każ ta’ Franco Mercieca li kif stqarr huwa stess jippreferi l-prattika professjonali tiegħu. Il-kwistjoni issa ser tiġi fi tmiemha. Imma jonqos li naraw ukoll x’tibdil ser ikun hemm fil-kodiċi tal-etika tal-Ministri w is-Segretarji Parlamentari.

Hemm ukoll issues serji konnessi mal-ħatra ta’ Marie Louise Coleiro Preca bħala President tar-Repubblika. Hu żball oħxon li l-President iżżomm responsabbiltajiet diretti għal oqsma ta’ politika soċjali. Il-President għandha tkun distakkata minn dawn l-affarijiet. Bla dubju ser ikun hemm konflitt bejn kif tara l-affarijiet hi u kif jarahom il-Ministru l-ġdid għall-politika soċjali, Michael Farrugia.

Il-ħatra ta’ Karmenu Vella bħala Kummissarju Ewropew hi ukoll sorpriża. Karmenu Vella qatt ma kien interessat u qatt ma wera xi inklinazzjoni lejn politika Ewropeja. Għallinqas pubblikament dan m’huwiex magħruf. Huwa kmieni biex wieħed jgħid jekk hiex għażla tajba. Ser jiddependi ukoll mir-responsabbiltajiet li l-President il-ġdid tal-Kummissjoni jassenjalu. Dan il-President jista’ jkun Martin Schultz imma jista’ jkun ħaddieħor ukoll! Iċ-ċaqlieq fil-previżjoni tan-numru tas-siġġijiet li jistgħu jirbħu s-Soċjalisti fil-Parlament Ewropew jindika li Muscat għaġġel fin-nomina ta’ Karmenu Vella. Kien ikun iktar għaqli li stenna madwar xahrejn oħra qabel ma ħa din id-deċiżjoni.

Minn mina għal pont: ħolma ta’ 50 sena ilu

MaltaGozo Link

Mela Chris Said u Franco Mercieca kienu qed joħolmu bil-mina. Issa Refalo reġa’ ħolom bil-pont.

Fl-istess ħin li Anton Refalo qed joħlom b’dan l-imbierek pont (ħolma li ilha għaddejja ħamsin sena) jgħidilna li jrid jiftaħ uffiċċju ta’ Għawdex fi Brussels biex jiddefendi id-drittijiet ta’ Għawdex. Id-drittijiet tar-reġjun.

Mela b’id waħda jippontifikaw bl-insularita doppja li tiġġustifika għajnuna reġjonali għal Għawdex għax bħala gżira hu maqtugħ għalih waħdu. Min-naha l-oħra iridu jeliminaw din l-insularita’ b’link permanenti.

B’żieda ma issues ambjentali u spiża madornali mhux ġustifikabbli jidher li hemm problema ukoll ta’ konsistenza politika.

Il-Ministri u l-Kodiċi ta’ Etika tagħhom

code-in-ethics

Nitbissem meta nisma’ il-PN jitkellem dwar il-Kodiċi tal-Etika tal-Ministri u d-deċiżjoni ta’ Joseph Muscat dwar Franco Mercieca.

Nifhem li mhux deċiżjoni faċli la għal Joseph Muscat u l-anqas għal Franco Mercieca. Hi deċiżjoni li għal perjodu ta’ transizzjoni tista’ tkun ġustifikata imma b’mod permanenti ma naħsibx li tkun korretta.

Il-kritika tal-PN dwar il-mod kif qed ikun “injorat” il-Kodiċi tal-Etika tal-Ministri kont neħodha bis-serjeta’ li kieku l-Gvern immexxi minn Lawrence Gonzi applika dan il-Kodiċi sewwa. Per eżempju għalfejn Lawrence Gonzi ma sab l-ebda diffikulta li jħalli lil Tonio Fenech dakinnhar Ministru isiefer biex jara logħba tal-Arsenal fuq jet privat (bla ħlas) ma’ nies tal-business meta skond il-Kodiċi tal-Etika dan ma setax iseħħ?

Waqt il-kampanja elettorali kienu qalulna li Tonio Fenech kien skuża ruħu u li l-każ kien magħluq.

Din is-serjeta’ tal-PN!

The right link that remains missing

The proposal by Franco Mercieca (Minding Our Gap, The Sunday Times, January 23) and Parliamentary Secretary Chris Said (Light At The End Of The Tunnel, The Times, January 31) to permanently link Malta and Gozo need to be considered in a strategic context.

Various proposals have been discussed throughout the years addressing Gozo’s double insularity. While the difficulties encountered by Gozitans to cross the channel are to be addressed it has to be underlined that if a permanent link is introduced it may have various other effects in addition to addressing mobility between the islands.

None of the proposals has assessed whether Gozo’s isolation is a positive feature, which, once lost, will never be regained.

Once Gozo is permanently linked with the mainland it will be an integral part of it, for better or worse. In particular, one would have to consider whether a permanent link would impact negatively the contribution of tourism towards the Gozitan economy.

Certainly, with an easier access, Gozitan consumers could tap the retail outlets of northern Malta. With Dr Said being responsible for consumer protection this could be an added bonus.

Whether the proposal is a bridge or a tunnel, a land based or an amphibious airplane. all come at a cost and leave considerable impacts. Costs are not just economic but social and environmental too.

A tunnel excavated below the seabed will undoubtedly eliminate visual intrusion into the Comino and Ċirkewwa landscape but it will certainly cause another rubble mountain resulting from excavating through at least six kilometres of rock under the seabed as well as additional kilometres to create the tunnel’s points of access on land. This rubble mountain could be anything between 1.5 and two million cubic metres of excavated rock depending on the actual design of the tunnel and its selected route.

The experience of various Nordic countries has been mentioned. At the time of writing a similar project has just been approved by the Danish Parliament to link the Danish island of Lolland to Fehmarn, a German island. Both islands are already linked through bridges to their respective countries. When finalised, this project would reduce the duration of a rail journey between Hamburg and Copenhagen by 33 per cent, from 4.5 hours to three hours. The tunnel will be 18 kilometres long. Works are projected to commence in 2014 and will take about six years to conclude. Costs are estimated to be in the region of 32 billion kroner, that is €4.2 billion. The projected tunnel across the Fehmarn strait will not be of the excavated type but prefabricated sections will be laid on the seabed.

The costs of these types of projects are indicative as there are a lot of variables involved. The Channel Tunnel between England and France, for example, overshot its final estimates based on actual designs by over 80 per cent.

Geologist Peter Gatt, commenting on The Times (February 3), pointed out that the Gozo Channel’s geology is riddled with faults. In addition, he pointed out there are areas of the seabed around Comino where clay abounds. This, it was pointed out, compounds the issue of expenses relative to civil engineering solutions, which have to be based on a thorough examination of the geology of the Gozo Channel.

There are a large number of caves in the areas. In addition, as pointed out by marine biologists, the Gozo Channel contains various marine protected areas.

On the basis of the above, it would seem the cost of the projected tunnel would be substantially higher than the €150 million guesstimate of Dr Said. The Fehmarn strait projected tunnel costings point towards an estimate of between €1 billion and €1.5 billion for the Gozo Channel tunnel, that is between six and 10 times the Said guesstimate. This estimate could become more precise when all the constraints, foremost being those of a geological and environmental nature, have been identified.

The government is unfortunately approaching the issue of identifying the suitable missing link between Malta and Gozo in a very amateurish and populist manner. It has so far failed to produce a strategy addressing the interlinking of transport between Gozo and the north of Malta. When such a strategy has been produced it should be subjected to a strategic assessment as laid down by the Strategic Environment Assessment Directive of the European Union. The social, environmental and economic impacts of the various options on both Malta as a whole and Gozo as a region would thus have been identified and analysed.

The necessary decision can then be taken in the interest of the whole community.

It has to be clear to all that if we are to arrive at a solution in identifying the suitable missing link the populist approach utilised so far should be discarded.

Published in The Times of Malta, February 12, 2011