Alternanza tal-poter u tal-ħmieg

Same Shit

 

Waqt il-manifestazzjoni tas-soċjetà ċivili, iktar kmieni illum, uħud ħadu għalihom bil-poster tal-Moviment Graffiti : Same Shit, Different Government.

Alternanza tal-poter bejn PN u PL twassal ukoll l-alternanza tal-ħmieġ. Jekk tivvota bħas-soltu ikollok l-istess riżultati. Ġieli tinduna bihom mill-ewwel u ġieli tieħu ftit taż-żmien. Imma fir-realtà ma hemmx x’tagħżel bejniethom.

Id-differenza qegħda biss fl-attenzjoni ta’ kif jagħmlu l-affarijiet.

PNPL : m’hemmx x’tagħżel bejniethom.

PNPL Pezza Wahda_1200x1200px

Advertisements

Ftit melħ għal Michael Falzon

salt

Waqt li Michael Falzon il-Perit għadu jhewden bil-ġobon tat-toqba u l-kontijiet bankarji fl-Iżvizzera, Michael Falzon is-Segretarju Parlamentari kellimna dwar il-melħ.

Qalilna li għandu rispett lejn l-għaqdiet ambjentali ġenwini. Dwar l-oħrajn qalilna li jeħodhom “with a pinch of salt”.

Id-diffikultà li nara jiena f’uħud mill-għaqdiet ambjentali hi li hemm bosta minnhom li illum il-ġurnata jiddependu minn awtoritajiet pubbliċi biex ikunu iffinanzjati uħud mill-proġetti tagħhom. M’hiex xi ħaġa li bdiet illum, imma osservajt minn xi żmien ilu (ankè qabel l-2013) li hemm uħud li waqgħu fil-muta.

Issa interessanti ħafna dwar kif Falzon jagħraf lil dawk li huma ġenwini minn dawk li m’humiex. Ma nafx jekk Falzon ikejjilx il-ġenwinità minn kemm jaqblu miegħu jew mal-Gvern tiegħu, jew minn kemm jinċensaw il-Gvern jew le.

Għax trid tkun nieqes mill-melħ biex titkellem b’dan il-mod.

Michael Falzon jiskuża ruħu

MFalzon apology

Mela Michael Falzon skuża ruħu. Fi stqarrija li ħareġ illum waranofsinnhar skuża ruħu bla riżervi talli ttradixxa l-fiduċja li bosta kellhom fih.

Huwa tajjeb li Michael Falzon għamel apoliġja pubblika, avolja tard.

Dam tlett ijiem biex għamilha, u għamilha biss għaliex inqabad.

 

Swiss cheese

Swiss cheese 2

Michael Falzon and Ninu Zammit, retired for some years from politics, are back in the news for the wrong reasons. Tax evasion and false declarations.

They have tried to give some explanations. Michael Falzon has attributed his accumulated investments in HSBC Geneve to his professional earnings from overseas clients between 1975 and 1985. Zammit went one further: in addition to professional earnings in approximately the same timeframe, he has stated that they have also accrued as a result of his land dealings.

It is news that Ninu Zammit had substantial earnings from his profession. Back in the 80s, in his income tax return he used to declare that he barely earned a minimum wage. Way back in the 80s a thick book used to be published by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue listing the income declared and the income tax paid in Malta by all taxable persons. I distinctly remember  that the book used to indicate that Ninu Zammit was one of the poorer chaps on the island then!

I do remember some years back reference to the company LENI Enterprises Co Ltd co-owned between Ninu Zammit and another member of his family. Maybe some enterprising journalist could carry out searches into the assets and liabilities of LENI Enterprises Co Ltd which could  possibly lead to some very interesting results.

Politics and dealings in land were never a good mix. History has proven time and again that such a mix generally produces the worst possible cocktail.

Both Falzon and Zammit have avoided criminal proceedings by making use of one of the amnesties launched over the years. By paying a fine and repatriating their Swiss funds they have been absolved of criminal action relative to tax evasion and infringement of currency rules.

Michael Falzon, when cornered,  admitted his role and in anticipation of the full story in the Sunday papers published his side of the story. Ninu Zammit, on the other hand, was arrogant and argued that his financial affairs were now in order and that as he was no longer in politics he should be left alone.

Both Falzon and Zammit occupied ministerial office. Falzon was minister for nine years between 1987 and 1996. Zammit was parliamentary secretary for nine years (1987-96) and a minister for another ten years (1998-2008). During these years, as from 1994, they filed annual declarations in terms of the Ministerial Code of Ethics supposedly declaring their assets. These declarations were filed in the Cabinet Office and subsequently the Prime Minister notified Parliament by presenting a copy of such declarations for its scrutiny.

It now results that Michael Falzon and Ninu Zammit through false declarations misguided Prime Ministers, Cabinet and Parliament.  No amnesty has or will absolve them of this.

Up till the time of writing, no public apology has been made by either Falzon or Zammit.

It is also unfortunate that so far, Parliament has no available remedy for  this serious breach of the Ministerial Code of Ethics by these two former Cabinet members.

Pending on Parliament’s agenda is a Bill entitled Standards in Public Life Bill. When approved into law this Bill will provide for the appointment of a Commissioner and a Standing Committee with the authority to investigate breaches of statutory or ethical duties of persons in public life.

In its present format, this Standards in Public Life Bill provides for investigations into ethical breaches such as those committed by Michael Falzon and Ninu Zammit only when the persons committing such breaches are still Members of Parliament.

Article 13 of the proposed Act in fact authorises the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life to examine declarations made pursuant to the Ministerial Code of Ethics. Unfortunately, the proposed Act does not contemplate action against former Members of Parliament.  Nor does it empower investigations on misdemeanours  going back more than two years.

Hopefully Parliament will revisit the Bill and amend it to empower the Commissioner and the Standing Committee to investigate similar cases. Falzon and Zammit should be made to pay for their false declarations to Cabinet and Parliament by being stripped of their Ministerial pensions. Anything less will make the Ministerial Code of Ethics resemble Swiss cheese.

published on The Malta Independent: 25th February 2015

Meta Michael Falzon u Ninu Zammit besqulna f’wiċċna

Minster's declaration

 

L-evazjoni tat-taxxa hi dejjem materja gravi. Jagħmilha min jagħmilha. F’kull żmien.

Imma l-evażjoni tat-taxxa li ammettew Michael Falzon u Ninu Zammit fi tmiem il-ġimgħa hi gravi ferm iktar. It-tnejn li huma, skond kif iddikjaraw lill-medja huma stess, għamlu użu minn amnestija li permezz tagħha ħallsu l-multi dovuti skond il-kundizzjonijiet ta’ dik l-amnestija. Il-multi li ħallsu ħelsuhom minn proċeduri kriminali għal dak li għamlu.

Imma hemm dnubiet ferm ikbar li la Michael Falzon u l-anqas Ninu Zammit għadhom m’għamlux pentitenza għalihom. L-anqas għad ma taw l-iċken indikazzjoni li jidmu minn dak li għamlu.

Mill-1994 lil hawn skond il-Kodiċi tal-Etika tal-Ministri u tal-Membri Parlamentari huma għamlu dikjarazzjonijiet dwar l-assi  li kienu jippossjedu. Bid-dikjarazzjoni tagħhom ta’ tmiem il-ġimgħa Michael Falzon u Ninu Zammit ammettew li għamlu dikjarazzjoni falza quddiem il-Kabinett u quddiem il-Parlament.

Dan hu dnub kbir kontra l-istituzzjonijiet demokratiċi tal-pajjiż. Bid-dikjarazzjoni falza li għamlu quddiem il-Kabinett u quddiem il-Parlament Michael Falzon u Ninu Zammit besqu f’wiċċ kull min wera fiduċja fihom.

L-inqas li nistennew hi apoloġija pubblika. Minflok ikollna ir-reazzjoni arroganti ta’ Ninu Zammit li iddikjara li (issa) għandu kollox regolari u  l-għaliex m’għadux fil-Parlament għandu jitħalla bi kwietu.

Min besaq f’wiċċ l-istituzzjonijiet demokratiċi tal-pajjiż m’għandu l-ebda dritt li jitħalla bi kwietu.

Michael Falzon u Ninu Zammit

Michael Falzon.PN2        Ninu Zammit

Għamel tajjeb Simon Busuttil meta issospenda mill-Partit Nazzjonalista kemm lil Michael Falzon kif ukoll lil Ninu Zammit wara li dawn ammettew li għal xi snin kellhom flus depożitati f’Bank Svizzeru.

L-ammissjoni ta’ Michael Falzon u Ninu Zammit tfisser li waqt li kienu qed jokkupaw karigi Ministerjali, jinsistu ma kulħadd biex josserva l-liġi, huma stess kienu qed jiksruha b’mod sfaċċat.

Kif nistgħu nippretendu li n-nies tosserva l-liġi jekk dawn l-exMinistri kien jiksruha b’mod daqshekk sfaċċat? Mhux biss kisru l-liġi, imma fuq kollox ittradew lil min ħatarhom f’kariga ta’ responsabbilta Ministerjali.

 

 

Meta il-Partit Laburista ried €5 għal kull vot kull sena

five euroLabour's 5 euro proposal 

source: the price tag of democracy

Id-dibattitu fil-Parlament, f’dawn il-ġranet, dwar il-finanzjament tal-partiti politiċi hu wieħed li ilu ħafna snin biex isir. Tul is-snin kien hemm ħafna tkaxkir tas-saqajn li ippospona din id-diskussjoni.

Biżżejjed insemmu r-rapport Galdes tal-1995 li dwaru baqa’ ma sar xejn.

Il-bieraħ ġie fi tmiemu l-fażi tat-tieni qari, jiġifieri d-diskussjoni dwar il-prinċipji tal-liġi. Smajna minn kollox. Kien hemm diskorsi utli li bla dubju taw kontribut biex id-diskussjoni tkun waħda matura. Fosthom id-diskorsi ta’ Mario de Marco, Michael Falzon u Owen Bonnici.

Kien hemm ukoll bosta diskorsi li saru għall-gallarija. Ma taw l-ebda kontribut partikolari ħlief li rrepetew il-paroli li ilna nisimgħu. Bl-intenzjoni unika li jiskurjaw il-punti politiċi.

Il-liġi tipproponi limiti dwar x’donazzjonijiet jistgħu jirċievu l-partiti politiċi. Tobbliga lill-istess partiti illi jkollhom verifika tal-kotba kif ukoll tintroduċi miżuri biex il-partiti politiċi jkunu reġistrati.

Alternattiva Demokratika ilha sa mit-twaqqif tagħha fl-1989 titkellem dwar dawn il-miżuri.

Il-liġi preżentment quddiem il-Parlament hi imsejħa liġi dwar il-finanzjament tal-partiti. Iżda titkellem fuq kollox ħlief dwar il-finanzjament tal-partiti. Il-Gvern diġa ddikjara li l-finanzjament pubbliku tal-partiti politiċi mhux fuq l-aġenda għalissa. Qed jgħid li dan il-finanzjament  pubbliku jkun fuq l-aġenda iktar tard, meta tkun bdiet titħaddem din il-liġi u tkun bdiet tagħti l-frott.

Filwaqt li Alternattiva Demokratika dejjem tkellmet favur il-finanzjament tal-partiti politiċi mill-istat tajjeb li niftakru li sa Marzu 2013 anke l-Partit Laburista kien idoqq din id-diska.  Il-proposta tal-Partit Laburista qabel Marzu 2013 kienet ta’ finanzjament pubbliku ta’ €5 għal kull vot kull sena. Issa l-Partit Laburista bidel il-posizzjoni tiegħu.  Anke l-PN bidel il-posizzjoni tiegħu: sa Marzu 2013 kien kontra l-finanzjament tal-partiti politiċi mill-istat imma issa mirakolożament hu favur!

M’hemmx serjeta’ da parti kemm tal-Partit Laburista kif ukoll tal-Partit Nazzjonalista għax dawn konvenjentement jibdlu l-veduti tagħom skond jekk ikunux fil-Gvern jew fl-Opposizzjoni.

Li m’humiex jgħidu kemm il-PN kif ukoll il-PL hu li kull sena fil-budget kull wieħed miż-żewġ partiti fil-Parlament jingħataw €200,000 bejniethom. Dawn il-flus ilhom jeħduhom sa mill-1994. Għall-bidu kienu jeħduhom dwar il-ħidma politika tagħhom in konnessjoni mal-Parlament Ewropew. Iktar tard l-applikabilita’ tal-fondi ġiet imwessa’ għall-ħidma internazzjonali tal-Partiti. Dan ifissser li bejniethom il-partiti fil-Parlament s’issa ħadu €4 miljuni. Dawn ukoll huma flus mit-taxxi li dwarhom ma kellhomx diffikulta biex idaħħluhom fil-but.

Jiena ltqajt diversi drabi mal-Ministru Owen Bonnici u miegħu iddiskutejt il-liġi li qed jipproponi. F’isem Alternattiva Demokratika tajtu ukoll proposti dettaljati dwar kif il-liġi proposta tista’ tkun aħjar.  Il-liġi hi pass tajjeb il-quddiem. Imma mhiex biżżejjed. Tista’ tkun ukoll aħjar.

Ċertament li hi ħafna l-bogħod mill-€5 kull sena għal kull vot li l-Partit Laburista kien jipproponi qabel Marzu 2013.

ippubblikat ukoll fuq iNews is-Sibt 15 ta’ Novembru 2014

Garanzija biex min seraq, igawdi dak li seraq

Bajja 2.2003 GPullicino jiltaqa' mal-Assocjazzjoni

Fir-ritratt ta’ hawn fuq li hu meħud minn Il-Bajja No.2 ta’ April 2003 jidher George Pullicino, dakinnhar Segretarju Parlamentari, jippoża mal-kumitat inkarigat mill-boathouses tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa wara waħda mil-laqgħat fejn min seraq l-art pubblika fl-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa ingħata l-appoġġ mill-politiċi li huma eletti fil-Parlament.

Id-dibattitu fil-pajjiż dwar il-kmamar tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa kif ukoll (ftit inqas) dwar dawk fil-Bajja ta’ San Tumas ilu għaddej. Min hu kontra, min hu favur u min jiġi jaqa’ u jqum.

Il-każ huwa wieħed li jattakka s-soċjeta demokratika fl-egħruq tagħha. Għax il-messaġġ ċar li ilu jidwi hu li quddiem il-liġi m’aħniex kollha xorta. Fl-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa (L-Armier, Little Armier, it-Torri l-Abjad) u fil-Bajja ta’ San Tumas il-prinċipju tas-Saltna tad-Dritt (r-Rule of Law) idub u jisparixxi.

Min seraq l-art, bniha bla permess u anke seraq l-elettriku ser ikun ippremjat.

Alternattiva Demokratika biss tkellmet ċar kontra dan l-abbuż. Ftehemu kemm mal-Partit Laburista kif ukoll mal-Partit Nazzjonalista. Fil-Gvern għal 25 sena l-Partit Nazzjonalista ma rnexxilux jerfa’ subgħajh biex iġib sens ta’ ordni. Ipprova darba l-Perit Michael Falzon meta kien Ministru tal-Ippjanar u l-Kabinett bagħtu jixxejjer! Falzon riċentement kiteb fil-gazzetti li dakinnhar tgħallem li l-voti huma iktar importanti mill-prinċipji!

Waqt li l-Perit Michael Falzon ried iwaqqa’ dak li kien illegali, Ministri oħrajn ftehmu ma min b’mod sfaċċat u fid-dawl tax-xemx sfida l-liġi. Dawn dejjem irraġunaw li bl-appoġġ tal-PN u l-PL ħadd ma jista’ għalihom! Fl-aħħar jidher li ser jirnexxilhom.

Il-PN irnexxilu jipproteġihom għal 25 sena sħaħ. Fil-futur qarib il-Labour fil-Gvern jidher li ser jissiġilla din l-sfida kbira għall-liġi u l-ordni fil-pajjiż.

Messaġġ ċar li l-Labour Party ta’ Malta qed jagħti (bl-appoġġ tal-PN). Il-Labour fil-Gvern jiggarantilek li tgawdi dak li sraqt.

Il-lejla fuq Times Talk niddiskuti dan is-suġġett mal-preżentaturi Mark Micallef u Herman Grech u mistednin mill-partiti politiċi l-oħra.

lokalitajiet minn fejn joriginaw dawk li ghandhom il-boathouses f'idejhom 2010

Il-lista ta’ hawn fuq hi estratt minn Il-Bajja Nru 30 ta’ April 2010 u turi l-lokalitajiet fejn joqgħodu dawk li għandhom il-boathouses f’idejhom.

Is-skiet tal-PN dwar l-Armier

Armier shanty town

Wara d-deċiżjoni tal-Imħallef Ellul fuq l-abbużi fl-Armier il-PN għadu sieket.

Tajjeb li nfakkru li l-abbużi tollerati minn Gvern immexxi mill-PN m’humiex biss dawk li jitkellem fuqhom l-imħallef Ellul fis-sentenza tiegħu. Hemm ħafna iżjed.

L-ex Ministru Falzon kien spjega f’artiklu miktub minnu fil-Malta Today li hu kien resssaq proposta għat-twaqqiegħ tal-bini illegali fl-Armier iżda l-Kabinett ma appoġġaħx.

Sadanittant il-PN jibqa’ sieket, konxju li hu responsabbli għall-istat attwali tal-irregolaritajiet fl-Armier.

L-inqas li nistennew hi apoloġija. Minflok għandna skiet li jtarrax. Il-politika ġdida ta’ Simon Busuttil.

Fuq dan il-blog, dwar l-istess suġġett,  ara ukoll dawn il-posts :

24 ta’ Ġunju 2008 : Il-boathouses fl-Armier.

21 ta’ Jannar 2012 : Parties in Cahoots with squatters.

17 t’Awwissu 2012 : Armier cowboys should not be rewarded.

23 t’Ottubru 2012 : Pajjiż tal-cowboys : israq u tkun ippremjat.

24 t’Ottubru 2012: Il-boathouses tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa : meta l-Ministru riedhom jaqgħu

2 ta’ Frar 2013 : Armier illegalities and amnesties.

Armier illegalities and amnesties

Armier shanty town

In its electoral manifesto, the Nationalist Party is proposing an amnesty relative to land use planning irregularities. It is the second amnesty in six months because, in August 2012, the Government published the rules for another amnesty: relaxed rules in respect of properties that did not follow sanitary regulations.

Existing sanitary regulations already provide the health authorities with discretionary authority when there are minor variations in the sanitary requirements of buildings. The August 2012 amnesty sought to address the gross violations of the law by addressing primarily cases where the dimensions of backyards varied by up to 33 per cent from the permissible dimensions. Now the size of backyards in properties is a requirement based on two considerations: the need for ventilation and access to natural light.

The reasons brought forward to justify this sanitary amnesty were that owners/developers were encountering difficulties to sell properties that do not conform to legal requirements.

The PN in government applied an ‘innovative’ solution: when facing difficulties, lower standards. Rules and standards are considered by the PN to be red tape and unnecessary bureaucracy, which could be dispensed with. Instead of ensuring the rule of law on such basic and elementary matters, the PN in government rewarded those who ignored the basic rules.

The PN proposal for a 2013 amnesty on land use planning irregularities is carefully worded. It says a lot and says nothing at the same time. It speaks of pre-Mepa reform (2010) and states that this amnesty will apply to irregularities in place before that date.

At the time of writing, Labour has announced its proposals on Mepa. Labour too wants an amnesty to consider the sanctioning of building irregularities.

What the PN manifesto does not say is that the Nationalist government is being consistent as it never had the political will to enforce planning regulations. The fact that pending enforcement actions have accumulated to thousands, a number pre-dating 1992, is clear testimony to this. Available data is scarce but in 2009, in reply to parliamentary question 10,537, the Prime Minister had stated that there were 7,373 pending enforcement actions. The number has since increased.

This accumulated backlog of enforcement action is proof of the incompetence of those whom the PN in government entrusted with the implementation of land use planning policy. It also spells out the achievements of a number of ministers responsible for Mepa in the past years, Lawrence Gonzi included.

Mepa needs adequate resources and a clear policy direction, which the PN in government has failed to identify and which the PL, being in cahoots with developers, is incapable of ensuring.

The Greens’ manifesto outlines a number of measures that need to be taken to bring environmental governance back on track.

Not compromising with illegalities and the political will to act heads the list. The clearest example being the commitment to demolish the shanty town at Armier. Both the PN and the PL are committed to assist the squatters at Armier who have taken over public land and illegally built over 900 boathouses on the Mellieħa peninsula.

Way back in 2003, on the eve of another election, the PN-led government had agreed to transfer to Armier Developments Limited, the squatters’ holding company, 26 hectares of public property. The agreement between the Government and the squatters’ holding company indicates a lease for 65 years against payment of €366,000 per annum.

The newsletter Mill-Bajja, published by the squatters, in October 2007 had referred to a meeting with the then Leader of the Opposition, Alfred Sant. It said that he had promised to honour an earlier agreement with the squatters, which was entered into way back in 2002. Labour’s spokesmen have, time and again, emphasised that they are in sympathy with the squatters

It is clear that both the PN and the PL openly and unashamedly support the illegalities at Armier.

The PN in government had the opportunity to tackle the issue during the past 25 years. When faced with a proposal to act, it refused. Former Minister Michael Falzon is on record (MaltaToday, February 15, 2009) as stating that he had submitted a proposal, to pull down the Armier shanty town, for Cabinet’s endorsement in the early 1990s. It was shot down.

The only way that we can get some sense in land use planning in Malta is through the election of Green MPs. The others have repeatedly proven that their quest for votes surpasses their commitments to act in the public interest.

It is indeed no coincidence that AD chairman Michael Briguglio was threatened by means of an anonymous letter received earlier this week. The threats were directly linked to AD’s commitment to act and sweep away the Armier illegalities. The status quo is under threat.

The basic message is getting through: with AD you know where we stand.

published in The Times, February 2, 2013