Alternattiva Demokratika: ħarsa l-quddiem

May 2011. divorce referendum result

Ir-riżenja ta’ Michael Briguglio hi issa aħbar pubblika. Kif jiġri dejjem, bħala Viċi Chairman ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika jiena issa qiegħed naġixxi ta’ Chairman minn floku. Fil-prattika dan ifisser il-koordinazzjoni neċessarja biex tissejjaħ il-Laqgħa Ġenerali Annwali fil-ġimgħat li ġejjin meta l-membri ta’ AD naħtru team ġdid biex imexxi l-Partit.

Wara ftit iktar minn ħames snin involut b’mod attiv f’Alternattiva Demokratika jiena naħseb li qed joqrob iż-żmien biex nieqaf u nagħmel il-wisa’ għal persuni oħrajn ta’ eta iżgħar li bl-enerġija u l-ideat tagħhom jistgħu jkomplu jibnu fuq dak li hi Alternattiva Demokratika illum. Jekk ma jkunx din is-sena jkun is-sena li ġejja u dan dejjem jekk it-team il-ġdid ikollu bżonn l-għajnuna tiegħi.

Fi ħsiebni nibqa’ attiv ta’ l-anqas sal-Laqgħa Ġenerali Annwali naqdi dmiri lejn il-membri li eleġġewni kif ukoll lejn il-5,506 votant li għoġobhom jivvutaw lill-Alternattiva Demokratika bħala l-ewwel preferenza tagħhom fl-elezzjoni ġenerali. Dan hu obbligu li naqdieh bil-qalb.

Kienu ħames snin ta’ ħidma kbira li fihom ħdimt ma’ tlett Chairmen differenti: Harry Vassallo, Arnold Cassola u matul dawn l-aħħar tlett snin u nofs ma Michael Briguglio. Kull wieħed minnhom ta’ l-kontribut tiegħu għall-bini ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika biex hi dak li hi illum. Ma kull wieħed minnhom ħadt pjaċir naħdem għax kull wieħed minnhom kien dedikat.

Il-ħidma politika mhiex faċli. Tirrikjedi sagrifiċċji li nagħmlu lkoll kemm aħna. Sagrifiċċji li nagħmluhom għax nemmnu li l-ħin dedikat għall-politika huwa investiment fit-titjib tal-pajjiż. Hi ħidma li permezz tagħha nagħtu kontribut biex il-ħajja ta’ madwarna tkun aħjar.

Il-ħajja madwarna tkun ħafna aħjar jekk nagħrfu nirrispettaw iktar lil xulxin: jekk ma nħallux il-preġudizzji li kull wieħed minna ġemma’ matul ħajtu itappnu l-mod kif inħarsu lejn dawk ta’ madwarna. Li inkunu kapaċi ngħidu dak li naħsbu huwa importanti. Imma huwa daqstant ieħor importanti li nkunu kapaċi nisimgħu dak li jrid jgħid ħaddieħor.

Li ninkuraġixxu d-diskussjoni miftuħa hu tajjeb. Imma fil-partiti politiċi b’mod partikolari hu importanti li dawk li jħaddnu ideat minoritarji ma jħossuhomx emarġinati.

Ilni kważi 40 sena attiv fil-politika l-parti l-kbira minnhom fil-Partit Nazzjonalista u kelli l-opportunita li nosserva li f’kull wieħed mill-partiti politiċi jinqalgħu ċirkustanzi li bħala riżultat tagħhom partit jagħmel għadu tiegħu minn dawk li jikkritikawh. Xi kultant minflok ma wieħed japprezza lil min kapaċi joħodha kontra l-kurrent u jlissen il-fehma tiegħu l-partiti politiċi għandhom ħabta li lil dawn jagħmluhom egħdewwa. Din iċ-ċirkustanza  hi riżultat li għadna ma fehmniex biżżejjed li l-partiti politiċi f’dan il-pajjiż huma wieħed mill-ftit postijiet fejn l-ideat jitħabbtu flimkien. L-enerġija li tirriżulta meta jitħabbtu flimkien dawn l-ideat tista’ tkun enerġija pożittiva imma sfortunatament għandna nuqqas ta’ persuni li kapaċi japprezzaw kif din l-enerġija pożittiva tingħaraf u kif tista’ tkun użata.

Sfortunatament din hi d-diżgrazzja ewlenija tal-politika Maltija. Flok nikkompetu b’mod pożittiv naħlu wisq enerġija fin-negattivita u fis-suspetti. Ir-riżultat hu li qed naħlu ħafna talenti.

L-awgurju tiegħi hu li nitgħallmu iktar. Li nagħrfu iktar dak li hemm pożittiv f’kull wieħed minnha. M’huwiex faċli. Imma naħseb li hu possibli.

Spekulazzjoni dwar Alternattiva Demokratika

 May 2011. divorce referendum result

Hi normali li fejn l-informazzjoni tkun ftit nieqsa l-media tispekula dwar x’jista’ jkun qiegħed jiġri. Dan tagħmlu biex twassal ritratt tas-sitwazzjoni kif tkun qed tarah hi dak il-ħin.

Hekk qed tagħmel parti mill-media dal-għodu dwar it-tmexxija ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika.

Fit-Torċa hemm artiklu interessanti ta’ Mark Camilleri intitolat Il-bidla u ċ-ċaqlieq ideoloġiku. Hu analiżi tas-sitwazzjoni attwali kif ukoll tal-mixja ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika tul dawn l-aħħar ħames snin. Ir-riflessjonijiet tiegħu huma validi u xejn ma jdejquni. Jistimulaw id-diskussjoni.

Hemm imbagħad artiklu fil-Malta Today intitolat Briguglio decapitates himself after internal criticism. Dan l-artiklu m’huwiex iffirmat. Jieħu spunti selettivi minn diskussjoni interna f’Alternattiva Demokratika u jibni storja fuq dan. L-inċens ma jonqosx. Jikkonkludi li d-deċiżjoni ta’ Michael Briguglio li jwarrab tidher mgħaġġla.

M’għandix dubju li l-awtur ta’ dan l-artiklu jifhem li partit politiku li fih m’hemmx diskussjoni ħajja (u jekk meħtieġ ukoll imqanqla) jkun partit mejjet. Id-dibattitu intern hu pre-rekwizit essenzjali għall-ħidma politika. Fortunatament f’Alternattiva Demokratika matul dawn il-ħames snin kien hemm diskussjoni ħajja u kontinwa.

Hemm imbagħad fil-Malta Today ukoll il-kumment ta’ Salvu Balzan fil-paġna tiegħu. Kumment dwari li donnu pprogrammat li jidher fil-Malta Today kull darba li jkun hemm il-kariga ta’ Chairman ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika battala. Għal darba oħra Salvu jibbottja li jekk jiena nieħu t-tmexxija ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika wara Michael Briguglio dan ikun diżastru madornali.

Hemm imbagħad kumment fil-paġna 7 tal-gazzetta l-Illum iffirmata mill-korrispondent li jiddeskrivi lilu innifsu bħala Il-poodle. Dawn l-osservazzjonijiet huma deskritti b’dan il-mod “Ġabra ta’ osservazzjonijiet bażati fuq il-veritajiet li qatt ma joħorġu għax hekk iridu”.

Mela Il-poodle jgħid ukoll li jiena irrid immexxi l-Ħodor. Jagħti ukoll ftit tal-kulur. Jgħid li fl-1996 meta kont għadni attiv fil-PN kont mort għand Austin Gatt flimkien ma George Pullicino u tlabtu (lill-Austin Gatt) biex jirreżenja.

Issa li kieku fl-1996 tlabt lil Austin Gatt biex jirreżenja ma kontx ser nistħi ngħid li għamilt hekk. Imma sfortunatament dan m’għamiltux.

Dwar it-tmexxija ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika naħseb li f’dan l-istadju ħadd għadu ma jaf xejn għax ħlief għal Michael Briguglio jidher li ħadd għadu ma ħa l-ebda deċiżjoni. Naħseb li jkun għaqli iżda li jkun hemm ħafna demm ġdid.

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

Fil-Parlament ma’ Franco Debono

 

Illum wara nofsinnhar jiena, Michael Briguglio u Ralph Cassar għan-nom ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika ħadt sehem f’diskussjoni  dwar l-abbozz ta’ Liġi li Franco Debono stess ippreżenta fil-Parlament dwar il-finanzjament tal-Partiti Politiċi.

Iltqajna mal-Kumitat Magħżul tal-Parlament immexxi minn Franco Debono u magħmul ukoll mill-Onor. Francis Zammit Dimech u l-Onor Jose’ Herrera. Kienu preżenti ukoll rappreżentanti tal-PN u rappreżentanti tal-PL  u xi mistednin oħra.

L-inizzjattiva hi flokha. Id-diskussjoni tal-lum kienet waħda ta’ natura ġenerali kif jixhdu ir-rapporti fil-media li irrappurtaw id-diskussjoni (Times, Malta Today u Di-ve).

Fil-prinċipju irrid ngħid li Alternattiva Demokratika taqbel mal-proposta ta’ Franco. Irrid imma ngħid li hemm numru ta’ dettalji importanti li jeħtieġu diskussjoni fit-tul u possibilment li l-proposti in kwistjoni jkunu ikkunsidrati mill-ġdid.

Ta’ importanza kbira hi ir-rwol propost għall-Kummissjoni Elettorali biex tirreġistra l-Partiti Politiċi kif ukoll biex tkun ir-regulatur finanzjarju tal-Partiti Politiċi.

Id-diffikulta toħroġ mill-fatt li l-Kummissjoni Elettorali hi maħtura esklussivament miż-żewġ partiti politiċi l-kbar (il-PN u l-PL).  Żewġ partiti li kontinwament jużaw il-proċess elettorali biex jeskludu partiti oħra kif jixhdu l-emendi elettorali li saru tul is-snin liema emendi huma marbutin ma’ Parlament b’żewġ partiti politiċi.

F’laqgħat oħra  ser nidħlu iktar fil-fond fuq id-dettalji tal-abbozz bit-tama li nsibu linja komuni fejn dak li naqblu dwaru insbu kliem addattat li jesprimih.

Wara l-laqgħa Alternattiva Demokratika għaddiet lil Franco Debono bħala Chairman ta’ dan il-Kumitat Magħżul tal-Kamra tad-Deputati proposti għal tibdil fil-Kostituzzjoni dwar l-elezzjoni ġenerali. Imma dwar dan ngħidilkom darba oħra.

Water Sustainability ………… Sostenibilta tal-Ilma

World Environment Day: Water Sustainability a most pressing issue in Malta

In a press conference held in front of the Malta Resources Authority, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that water sustainability is a most pressing issue in Malta.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: “There are various important environmental issues in Malta, including air pollution, noise pollution, rampant construction and waste management. Like such issues, water sustainability deserves top prioritization in Malta’s environmental, economic and social policies”.

“Malta is one of the driest countries in the world, yet sustainable use of water does not yet seem to be a national priority.  We are in a situation where the majority pay their utility bills, whilst others steal water from boreholes. The water issue is ultimately an issue of environmental justice, social justice and economic good-sense. How could it be that we are treating such a scarce resource as if we have unlimited supply of it?”

Malta has mismanaged its water resources for far too long. Focusing on the potential use of recycled Treated Sewage Effluent Carmel Cacopardo AD Deputy Chairman and Spokesman on Sustainable Development and Home Affairs said that the infrastructure for sewage treatment was designed on the basis of the misconception that treated sewage had no economic value. As a result the 24 million cubic metres of treated sewage (estimated data for  2011 : 21,858,000 cm for Malta and 1,982,000 cm for Gozo, excluding rainwater in sewers during the rainy season) so far are being discharged into the sea. Simultaneously 29 million cubic metres of water are produced annually (56% by RO and 44% extracted from the water table).

The recently announced change of policy as a result of which it is envisaged that Treated Sewage Effluent is utilised for various purposes is a positive step.  However it is imperative that TSE of the right quality is available the soonest in order that boreholes all over the country are sealed up after sufficient water of the appropriate quality is available for both agriculture and industry. This said Carmel Cacopardo could lead to a much needed resting time for  the water table.

Last month the Prime Minister announced that a pilot project was in hand in order to examine the impacts of recharging the aquifer with Treated Sewage Effluent.  AD, said Carmel Cacopardo notes that a successful pilot project could lead to a long term sustainable solution to the management of water resources in Malta. This however, he added is not without its pitfalls as it is dependent on a tough enforcement policy ensuring that only permissible liquid waste is discharged into the public sewer.

AD has earlier this week met with Malta Resources Authority officials who confirmed that this is still a major sticking point.

Finally Carmel Cacopardo pointed out that Water Services Corporation has produced a “ (Master) Plan for the Use of Treated Sewage Effluent for the maltese Islands. A National  Reclamation project.” Dated May 2009 this Masterplan has been made public earlier this year in Parliament.  AD, stated Cacopardo, queries why this Masterplan has not been subject to a public consultation and being examined in terms of the Strategic Environment Assessement Directive of the EU.

Jum Dinji tal-Ambjent: Sostenibbilta tal-Ilma l-aktar kwistjoni urgenti f’Malta – AD

F’konferenza stampa li saret quddiem l-ufficini tal-Awtorita’ Maltija tar-Rizorsi, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party qalet li s-sostenibbilita’ tal-ilma hija l-aktar kwistjoni urgenti f’Malta.

Michael Briguglio, ic-Chairperson tal-AD, qal: “Hemm diversi kwistjonijiet ambjentali importanti f’Malta, inkluz it-tniggiz ta’ l-arja, tniggiz akustiku, il-kostruzzjoni rampanti u l-gestjoni tal-iskart. Bhal dawn il-kwistjonijiet, is-sostenibbilta’ tal-ilma jisthoqqa prijorita’ gholja fil-politika ambjentali, ekonomika u socjali ta’ Malta.”

“Malta hi wahda mill-iktar pajjizi niexfa fid-dinja, izda il-politika sostenibbli dwar l-ilma mhux qed tinghata. Qeghdin f’sitwazzjoni fejn il-maġġoranza tal-poplu jħallsu l-kontijiet tad-dawl u l-ilma, waqt li ohrajn jisirqu l-ilma li jiġi mill-boreholes. Il-kwistjoni ta’ l-ilma hi wahda ta’ gustizzja ambjentali, gustizzja socjali u sens tajjeb ekonomiku. Kif jista’ jkun li rizorsa hekk skarsa qed tigi trattata qisha xi wahda bi provvista bla limitu?”

Malta ma haditx hsieb ir-rizorsi taghha tal-ilma ghal zmien twil. Huwa u jiffoka fuq il-potenzjal ghall-uzu tad-drenagg ippurifikat,  Carmel Cacopardo, Vici Chairman u Kelliemi ta’ AD ghall-Izvilupp Sostenibbli u l-Intern qal: “l-infrastruttura ghat-trattament tad-drenagg kienet iddisinjata fuq l-impressjoni zbaljata li dan l-ilma hekk prodott ma kellux valur ekonomiku. Bhala rizultat ta’ dan 24 miljunmetru kubu ta’ drenagg ippurifikat (stima ghall-2011: 21,858,000 mk ghal Malta u 1,982,000 ghal Ghawdex, apparti l-ilma tax-xita fid-drenagg meta taghmel ix-xita) s’issa qed jintefa l-bahar. Fl-istess hin 29 miljun metru kubu ta’ ilma qed ikunu prodotti kull sena (56% bl-RO u  44% estratt mill-pjan).”

“It-tibdil recenti fil-politika tal-Gvern li bhala rizultat taghha nistennew li d-drenagg riciklat ikun utilizzat ghal skopijiet diversi huwa pass pozittiv. Imma huwa essenzjali li ilma riciklat ta’ kwalita tajba ikun prodott mill-iktar fis biex ikun possibli li jinghalqu l-boreholes kollha wara li jkun hemm bizzejjed ilma ta’ kwalita’ ghall-agrikultura u l-industrija.  Dan, qal Carmel Cacopardo jista’ jwassal ghas-serhan tant mehtieg tal-ilma tal-pjan.”

“Ix-xahar li ghadda l-Prim Ministru habbar li progett pilot kien qed jezamina l-impatti li jirrizultaw jekk l-ilma tal-pjan ikun rikarikat b’ilma riciklat mid-drenagg. Alternattiva Demokratika tinnota li jekk dan il-progett pilota jirnexxi dan ikun jista’ jwassal ghal soluzzjoni sostenibbli u fit-tul tal-immanigjar tar-rizorsi tal-ilma f’Malta.  Dan imma, zied jghid, irid jiffaccja diffikultajiet kbar, principalment il-htiega ta’ id tal-hadid biex jigi assigurat li fid-drenagg  jinxtehet biss skart likwidu permissibli. “

“Alternattiva Demokratika iktar kmieni din il-gimgha iltaqghet ma ufficjali tal-Awtorita’ Maltija tar-Rizorsi li ikkonfermaw li din id-diffikulta ghadha ma gietx meghluba.”

Fl-ahhar nett  Carmel Cacopardo gibed l-attenzjoni li l-Korporazzjoni tas-Servizzi tal-Ilma ipproduciet  ‘(Master) Plan for the Use of Treated Sewage Effluent for the Maltese Islands. A National  Reclamation project’. Datat Mejju 2009 dan il-pjan kien ippubblikat fil-Parlament iktar kmieni din is-sena. Alternattiva Demokratika, qal Cacopardo, tistaqsi l-ghaliex dan il-pjan ma kienx soggett ghal konsultazzjoni pubblika kif ukoll ghaliex ma giex ezaminat ai termini tal-iStrategic Environment Assessement Directive tal-Unjoni Ewropea.

Kunsilli Lokali 2012 : il-kandidati ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika

“Raise in Honoraria for Cabinet Ministers Uncalled For” AD

Press Release/Stqarrija Stampa 9/6/2011

 Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that the raise in salaries for Cabinet Ministers, as proposed by the Nationalist Government is uncalled for.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said that “it is ironic that whilst workers were given a miserable 1.16 Euro weekly increase in the last budget, and when Malta’s COLA mechanism is not reflecting real cost of living increases, the same Government is giving a 500 Euro weekly increase to Cabinet Ministers.”

“AD agrees with the Labour Party proposal for a Commission to study Ministers’ and MPs’ salaries. However, we also believe that parliament should be reformed in order that it can become a full-time professional institution, and not one made up of part-timers, many of whom consistently fail to attend parliamentary sittings. We believe that salary increases and adjustments of Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament should be related to the quality of the work delivered by office holders and MPs.”

 

“Iż-Żieda fil-paga tal-Ministri tal-Kabinett barra minn lokha” AD

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party qal li ż-żieda fil-paga li ingħatat lill-Ministri tal-Kabinett, hekk kif proposta mill-Gvern Nazzjonalista hija barraminnlokha.

Michael Briguglio, iċ-Chairperson tal-AD, qal li “hija ironika li filwaqt li l-ħaddiema ġew mogħtija żieda miżerabbli ta’ €1.16 fil-ġimgħa fl-aħħar budget, u meta l-mekkaniżmu tal-COLA ma jirriflettix il-vera żieda fl-għoli tal-ħajja, l-istess Gvern qed jagħti €500 żieda lill-Ministri tal-Kabinett.”

“L-AD taqbel mal-proposta tal-Partit Laburista biex titwaqqaf Kummissjoni biex tanalizza s-salarji tal-Ministri u tal-Membri Parlamentari.  Iżda aħna nemmnu wkoll li hemm bżonn issir riforma fil-Parlament biex dan isir istituzzjoni professjonali li tiffunżjona fuq bażi full-time minflok ma kif inhu llum magħmulminnparlamentari li jahdmu part-time u li ta’ sikwit jonqsu milli jattendu s-seduti parlamentari.  Aħna nemmnu li żidiet jew bidliet fis-salarji tal-Ministri tal-Kabinett u Membri Parlamentari ghandhom ikunu relatati mal-kwalita u l-livell tax-xogħol li jagħtu dawn l-istess Ministri u Membri Parlamentari.”

World Environment Day: “Government’s environment policy is beyond repair” : AD

World Environment Day: “Government’s environment policy is beyond repair” AD  

On occasion of  world environment day, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that one should reflect on what has been carried out, what has been omitted and on what was just done for the sake of it in terms of environmental policy. Whilst the Environment was projected to be one of the foundations for political action of GonziPN it is now clear to everyone that it is cracked and beyond repair.  

Carmel Cacopardo, AD spokesperson for Sustainable Development and Local Government, said that “environment responsibilities for GonziPN is like a political football with responsibilities moving on from one Minister to another. Environmental responsibilities are fragmented in various Ministries increasing the difficulty for implementation of policy.   

Focusing on the water situation one still observes the large quantities of water in our streets which are channelled towards the sea almost every time it rains. This happens notwithstanding laws which have been on the statute book for over 130 years which require water harvesting measures in every building. MEPA still issues compliance certificates relative to buildings which are not provided with a rainwater well however it shifts the blame onto MRA.

This week the Prime Minister inaugurated the sewage purification plant at Ta’ Barkat limits of  Xgħajra. It was a good step but it was only done in order to fulfil EU obligations and not out of an environmental conviction. Substantial financial resources were applied with the resulting purified waters being dumped directly into the sea as to date the government is still considering this water as having no economic value.”

Water has been mismanaged throughout the years and unfortunately the current government does not indicate any change of that direction.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said that “AD therefore wishes to focus on this matter of concern on the 2011 World Environment Day. In line with the vision of sustainable development and ecological modernisation, we believe that the importance of water should be seen through the combination of environmental, social and economic dimensions.”

Jum Dinji ta’ l-ambjent: “Il-politika ambjentali tal-Gvern hi mfarrka” AD  

Fl-okkazzjoni tal-jum dinji ghall-ambjent, Alternattiva Demokratika qalet li dan il-jum għandu jservi ghal riflessjoni fuq dak li sar,  dak li kellu jsir u ma sarx, jew inkella sar biex wieħed jgħid li taparsi sar. Meta wieħed iżomm f’moħħu li l-ambjent suppost li hu wiehħed mit-tliet pilastri ta’ GonziPN u jagħti ħarsa ftit lura biex jara kif dan il-pilastu ħadem, isib li mhux talli kien hemm falliment sħiħ f’dan il-qasam, imma l-pilalstru ta’ GonziPN ixxaqqaq u qed jitfarrak ftit ftit.

Carmel Cacopardo, Kelliemi ta’ l-AD għall-Iżvilupp Sostenibbli u Gvern Lokali, qal li “l-ambjent għall-GonziPN sar qisu ballun politiku: ir-responsabbilta’ għalih tgħaddi minn Ministru għal għand ieħor. Illum ir-responsabiltajiet ambjentali huma  mifruxa bejn ħafna Ministeri b’mod li tiżdied id-diffikulta biex din titwettaq.

Nieħdu is-sitwazzjoni tal-ilma. Volumi kbar ta’ ilma għadhom isibu ruħhom fit-triqat u jintremew fil-baħar wara kull ħalba xita. Dan minkejja liġijiet tal-pajjiż li ilhom magħna il-fuq minn 130 sena li jgħidu li kull binja irid ikollha bir biex fih jinħażen l-ilma tax-xita. Minkejja dan il-MEPA xorta għada toħroġ compliance certificate lil dawk li meta jibnu ma jkollhomx dan il-bir! Il-MEPA twaħħal fl-MRA.

Din il-gimgħa rajna l-ftuħ uffiċjali mill-Prim Ministru tal-impjant tat-tisfija tad-drenaġġ f’Ta’ Barkat limiti tax-Xgħajra.  Ħaġa tajba, għalkemm din saret biss minħabba l-obbligi tal-UE u mhux minħabba xi konvinzjoni. Ammont sostanzjali ta’ riżorsi finanzjarji ġew użati biex filwaqt li d-drenaġġ jissaffa l-ilma msoffi jintefa’ l-baħar, għax skond il-Gvern dan l-ilma m’għandux valur ekonomiku.

Tul is-snin l-ilma gie użat hażin u ma jidhirx li dan il-Gvern fi ħsiebu jibdel id-direzzjoni.

Michael Briguglio, Chairperson ta’ AD, qal li “għalhekk, Alternattiva Demokratika tħoss li għandha tiffoka fuq l-importanza ta’ l-ilma fl-okkazjoni ta’ Jum L-Ambjent 2011. Permezz tal-viżjoni favur żvilupp sostenibbli u modernizazzjoni ekologika, AD temmen li l-importanza ta’ l-ilma għandha titqies permezz tad-dimensjonijiet ambjentali, soċjali u ekonomiċi”.

Ir-referendum dwar id-divorzju : Riflessjonijiet (4) Flimkien kollox possibli

Il-kampanja referendarja favur id-divorzju kellha l-appoġġ ta’ persuni ta’ kull kulur politiku.

Għalkemm Alternattiva Demokratika kienet l-uniku partit politiku illi esprima ruħu bla riżervi favur l-introduzzoni tad-divorzju sa mill-1989, irid ikun rikonoxxut li l-Partit Laburista kien kważi hemm ukoll. Il-Labour kien f’posizzjoni skomda għax bħala partit ta’ massa ma riedx igerrex lil dawk li jappoġġawh iżda ma jaqblux mad-divorzju. F’dan is-sens id-dikjarazzjonijiet pubbliċi tal-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni favur id-divorzju rinfurzati minn dikjarazzjonjiet simili mingħand diversi membri parlamentari laburisti għenu mhux ftit biex l-IVA jirbaħ ir-referendum.

Minkejja li l-PN iddikjara ruħu kontra d-divorzju, numru kbir ta’ partitarji nazzjonalisti injoraw dan il-fatt u għamlu ta’ rashom: appoġġaw l-IVA u ftaħru fil-pubbliku li għamlu dan. Speċi ta’ ħassew sodisfazzjon mhux biss li kienu qed jivvutaw favur id-divorzju talli fuq kollox kienu qed jagħtu daqqa ta’ sieq lill-element konfessjonali fil-PN.

Il-moviment favur l-IVA twieled f’dan is-sens ta’ spirtu ta’ kollaborazzjoni bejn persuni ta’ fehmiet politiċi differenti iżda bi skop identiku. L-identifikazzjoni flimkien ta’ Evarist Bartolo mill-Partit Laburista, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando mill-PN flimkien ma’ Michael Briguglio uYvonne Arqueros Ebejer minn AD kienet okkazzjoni ftit rari f’dan il-pajjiż. L-eliminazzjoni  tal-fruntieri li jifirdu fil-bidu nett tal-kampanja referendarja kien messaġġ li rari nisimgħu fil-politika Maltija.

Huwa eżempju prattiku ta’ kif tista’ issir il-ħidma politika. Dak li huwa rari f’Malta f’pajjżi oħra jiġri iktar spiss għax jeżistu konverġenzi fuq diversi materji. B’sens ta’ rieda tajba m’għandi l-ebda dubju li hu possibli li jinħolqu ħafna iżjed opportunitajiet ta’ kif flimkien kollox huwa possibli.

Japan tragedy is an eye opener on nuclear energy – AD

 

 

The crippling of a number of nuclear facilities in Japan as a result of the mega-earthquake and subsequent tsunami should be an eye-opener for those who still advocate the use of nuclear energy.

Carmel Cacopardo AD Spokesman on Sustainable Development and Local Government stated that on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, (which occurred on the 26th April 1986) the myths on the safety of nuclear energy have been shattered once and for all.

As a result of the Japanese nuclear crisis and in particular after various explosions in the Fukushima nuclear power station various European governments have decided to revise their use of nuclear energy. In Germany as a result of the continuous campaigning of the Greens  German Chancellor Angel Merkel has decided to re-examine plans to extend the life of Germany’s 17 existing nuclear power stations and announced the temporary closure of its two oldest ones. Switzerland has likewise announced putting on hold plans its plans for new nuclear power stations whilst  Austrian Minister for the Environment has called for checks on the safety of nuclear facilities. 

In the light of the above Carmel Cacopardo added that “it is very fortunate that the agreement between Nicolas Sarkozy on behalf of the French Republic and Colonel  Gaddafi on the supply by France to Libya of  nuclear technology to be used for the desalinisation of water along Libya’s Mediterranean coast  has not to date materialised. In the ongoing civil war in Libya access to and misuse of nuclear material would be an added worry.”

Prof. Arnold Cassola, AD Spokesperson on EU and International Affairs, stated; “The Maltese Government should take note of the statement of  Italian Minister Romani who has affirmed that, despite the catastrophe in Japan, Italy will not go back on its nuclear programme. The Maltese Government should take the necessary steps at EU level to ensure that the Berlusconi government through its construction of a nuclear facility in Sicily does not put the safety of all the people living in the central Mediterranean region at risk.” .”

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: ‘The Japanese tragedy confirms that we are living in a global society of man-made risks, as is the case with nuclear energy. Such energy might solve short and medium term problems related to demand for energy, but is ultimately unsustainable because of the dangers it presents, and because global supply of uranium – its basic raw material, is limited., while the long term storage of the highly radioactive nuclear waste remains a major source of concern .  Global subsidies towards nuclear energy should be progressively diverted towards clean alternative energy such as solar and wind energy. Such energy has unlimited supply, is totally safe and does not contribute towards climate change’.