M’għandekx għalfejn tagħżel bejniethom

 

 

Meta tiġi biex tivvota, nhar is-Sibt, mgħandekx għalfejn tagħżel bejniethom.

Mhux importanti min hu l-iżjed jew l-inqas korrott.

Mhux importanti min hu l-iżjed jew l-inqas inkompetenti.

Mhux importanti min hu imċappas l-iktar jew l-inqas.

Mhux importanti min kellu jirreżenja, imma ma rreżenjax fuq iżżewġ naħat.

 

Il-każ tal-Panama Papers u l-kumpaniji ta Konrad Mizzi u Keith Schembri hu wieħed ta gravitá kbira. Daqskemm huma gravi l-allegazzjonijiet dwar is-sid ta Egrant Inc. u l-flus li waslu mingħand il-familja ta Aliyev fil-kontijiet fil-Bank Pilatus.

Mhux gravi ħafna ukoll il-fatt li Claudio Grech, l-Onorevoli tal-Partit Nazzjonalista nesa jekk qattx iltaqa ma George Farrugia, dak tal-iskandlu tażżejt?

Mhux gravi ukoll kif Beppe Fenech Adami spiċċa Direttur tal-Capital One Investment Limited u ma kien jaf xejn dwar it-taħwid li qed jirriżulta dwar din l-istess kumpanija?

U xi ngħidu għar-rapporti tal-Awditur Ġenerali dwar il-qaddis miexi fl-art Jason Azzopardi?

U l-villa ODZ li Toni Bezzina ried jibni fl-istess ħin li kien qed jikteb il-politika ambjentali tal-PN?

It-tnejn jgħidu kif għandhom qalbhom ġunġliena għall-ambjent.

Imma t-tnejn iridu l-mina bejn Malta u Għawdex.

It-tnejn iridu l-korsa tat-tlielaq tal-karozzi.

It-tnejn jilgħaqu l-kaċċaturi u n-nassaba.

It-tnejn jappoġġaw il-boathouses tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa (Armier, Little Armier u Torri l-Abjad).

Xhemm xtagħżel bejniethom?

Wara kollox mgħandekx għalfejn tagħżel bejniethom!

Lil hinn mill-ġebla u l-kaċċa

 

Illum l-ambjent sar parti essenzjali mil-lingwaġġ politiku li jużaw il-partiti politiċi ta’ kuljum. Imma jekk dan hux kaz ta’ konvinzjoni jew konvenjenza, hu storja oħra.

L-ippjanar bl-addoċċ tal-użu tal-art tul is-snin flimkien mal-kaċċa irresponsabbli u insostenibbli kienu fuq quddiem fl-agenda ambjentali għal ftit taż-żmien mhux ħażin. Ġa ktibt b’mod estensiv dwar dan. Il-ħarsien tal-ambjent iżda, jfisser ħafna iktar minn hekk, avolja fiċ-ċirkustanzi partikolari ta’ pajjiżna kemm l-ippjanar għall-użu tal-art kif ukoll il-kaċċa ser jibqgħu fuq nett fl-aġenda ambjentali.

Żewġ oqsma li bla dubju ser ikunu fuq quddiem nett fl-aġenda ambjentali tal-pajjiż fix-xhur u s-snin li ġejjin huma l-kwalitá tal-arja u l-iskart li niġġeneraw.   Materji li ilna nitkellmu dwarhom is-snin bħala oqsma kruċjali li għandhom impatt fuq il-kwalitá tal-ħajja.

Il-kwalitá tal-arja f’pajjiżna hi effettwata prinċipalment mill-emmissjonijiet tal-karozzi. Teħtieġ li tkun indirizzata permezz  ta’ strateġija nazzjonali dwar it-trasport li tinkoraġixxi forom alternattivi ta’ aċċess sostenibbli bejn l-ibliet u l-irħula tagħna.

Il-metro li qed tiġi proposta ta’ min jikkunsidraha minkejja li s’issa għad ma hemmx dettalji biżżejjed dwar il-proposta nnifisha. Din il-proposta tal-metro, għandu jkun sottolinejat, tista’ tagħmel sens biss jekk tkun marbuta ma azzjoni simultanja li l-ewwel tnaqqas il-karozzi mit-toroq b’mod sostanzjali u li sussegwentement tassigura li fit-toroq tagħna jkun hemm biss karozzi li jaħdmu bl-elettriku.

Ma jagħmilx sens li tipproponi l-introduzzjoni ta’ metro u fl-istess ħin tibqa’ għaddej bi programm ta’ bini ta’ flyovers jew twessigħ ta’ toroq għax programm ta’ din ix-xorta filwaqt li jnaqqas il-konġestjoni tat-traffiku b’mod temporanju jżid il-kapaċitá tal-istess toroq li jieħdu iktar traffiku u dan minn innifsu jwassal għal iktar konġestjoni tat-traffiku.

L-użu ikbar tar-rota tradizzjonali kif ukoll tal-pedelecs ukoll jagħti kontribut sostanzjali għal iktar mobilitá u anke għal kwalitá tal-ħajja aħjar. Imma dan jeħtieġ investiment sostanzjali fl-infrastruttura. Dan jinkludi mhux biss toroq aħjar għal dawk li jużaw ir-rota imma ukoll faċilitajiet ta’ showers fil-post tax-xogħol flimkien ma postijiet addattati fejn titqiegħed ir-rota fiż-żoni riżervati għall-parkeġġ.

Il-mezzi differenti ta’ trasport pubbliku għandhom ikunu imħeġġa biex jagħmlu użu minn sorsi nodfa ta’ enerġija. Dan jista’ jsir billi, pereżempju l-karozzi tal-linja eżistenti jkunu konvertiti biex jaħdmu bil-metan.

L-iskart li niġġeneraw huwa wġiegħ ta’ ras ambjentali kbira li fl-aħħar qed jingħata iktar attenzjoni. Presentement qed ikun indirizzat l-iskart organiku ġġenerat mill-qasam domestiku. Jekk dan l-iskop jintlaħaq dan jista’ jagħti riżultati tajbin għax l-iskart organiku jammonta għal madwar nofs l-iskart li niġġeneraw mid-djar tagħna. Imma hemm ħtieġa urġenti ukoll li l-awtoritajiet tat-turiżmu jiffukaw ftit attenzjoni fuq l-iskart organiku li jiġġeneraw ir-restoranti u faċilitajiet simili għax dan il-qasam kien traskurat għal ftit taż-żmien mhux ħażin.

Il-qasam tal-iskart jista’ jiġġenera ħafna impiegi ambjentali (green jobs) f’industrija tar-riċiklaġġ li għad tista’ tikber għax għandha potenzjal kbir. Din hi problema li kibret magħna tul is-snin minħabba traskuraġni: nistgħu bi ftit attenzjoni nittrasformawha f’opportunitá li mhux biss tissarraf fi kwalitá tal-ħajja aħjar imma ukoll f’ġid ekonomiku.

ippubblikat fl-Illum  – 28 ta’ Mejju 2017

Green and clean :  beyond land use planning and hunting

It is obvious to everyone that the environment is nowadays an integral part of the political lexicon of all the political parties in Malta. Whether this is out of conviction or out of convenience is,  however, another story altogether. Irrespective of the objective, it is still however positive to observe this development.

Reckless land use planning over the years, as well as irresponsible and unsustainable hunting, have been at the forefront of the environmental agenda for quite some time and I have already written extensively on these topics. Caring for the environment signifies much more than this, even though both land use planning and hunting will, of necessity remain at the top of Malta’s environmental agenda.

However, competing for attention and resources, the quality of the air we breath – as well as the waste we generate – are two specific areas which will undoubtedly be on the environmental action agenda in the months and years ahead. These are areas which the environmental lobby has been emphasising for years on end as being crucial in determining a better quality of life for all.

Air quality has to be tackled head on through the formulation of a transport strategy that seeks to encourage alternative forms of sustainable access between our towns and villages. This will most probably be a combination of various means and actions.

The proposed metro is an option worth considering, even though details are currently not available. The metro will only be feasible if it is linked with focused action on reducing the number of cars from the road and ensuring that all remaining cars on the road, after a reasonable transition, are electric cars. It is useless promoting a metro and simultaneously retaining a substantial programme of road-widening and/or construction of flyovers. Improving the road network will only ease traffic congestion temporarily but it will simultaneously increase the capacity for more traffic leading in turn to more traffic congestion.

Encouraging the use of bicycles and pedelecs will contribute substantially to improved mobility and a better quality of life, including ever-improving air quality. Substantial investment in the bicycle infrastructure  is however required. This must include the provision of more bicycle friendly roads and shower facilities at places of work as an essential pre-requisite, together with more bicycle parking areas.

Different forms of public transport using clean energy should also be encouraged – for example, converting existing public buses to the use of methane as their primary fuel.

Waste management is another environmental headache, and which has, of late, been receiving more attention. An effort is currently under way to address the organic fraction of the household waste generated. If properly managed this could lead to substantial results as organic waste accounts for around 50 per cent of all the household waste generated. The tourism authorities must, however, seek to focus on the organic waste generated by bars and restaurants as MTA has neglected this matter for far to long.

Proper waste management can result in the generation of green jobs in the recycling industry – which is still in its infancy but holds a lot of potential.  It is an opportunity to transform a problem caused by neglect over the years  into an opportunity which will be both green and clean.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 28 May 2017

Simon Busuttil dwar il-kaċċa

Qed jgħidulna li Simon Busuttil mhu ser jagħmel l-ebda referendum ieħor dwar il-kaċċa (fir-rebbiegħa).

Bħal dak li qallu li Simon Busuttil jew il-PN qatt kellhom x’jaqsmu mar-referendum abrogattiv dwar il-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa!

Ir-referendum abrogattiv dwar il-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa seħħ wara li Alternattiva Demokratika u numru kbir ta’ għaqdiet ambjentali flimkien ġbarna l-firem biex dan ikun jista’ jsir.

Jekk isirx referendum ieħor jew le ma jiddeċidix Simon imma l-votanti meta dawn jagħżlu jekk jappoġġawx petizzjoni oħra għal referendum, dejjem jekk din il-petizzjoni issir!

Ta’ l-inqas issa nafu li Simon Busuttil ivvota favur il-kaċċa. Dan nafuh għax qalilna hu x’ħin kien qed jipprova jilgħaq lill-kaċċaturi.

Nittama li ma jerġax jibda jippoża favur l-ambjent issa li kixef  x’hemm wara l-maskra!

 

Uħud mill-kaċċaturi ma jridux jitgħallmu

2015.09.14_Honey Buzzard_Injured_Shot

Bdejna bl-ewwel inċidenti tal-istaġun tal-kaċċa fil-ħarifa.

Nhar it-Tnejn 14 ta’ Settembru kellna l-ewwel rapport ta’ sparer fuq kuċċard (honey buzzard) bil-qtil u l-feriment ta’bosta għasafar.

Sadanittant illum fil-Qorti kaċċatur mis-Sannat ta’ 21 sena instab ħati li fi Frar li għadda kellu fil-pussess tiegħu żewġ għasafar protetti. Il-Maġistrat waħħlu multa ta’ €8,000 u ħadlu l-liċenzja tal-kaċċa għal dejjem.

Uħud forsi jqiesu din sentenza iebsa (għax il-Qorti ħaditlu l-liċenzja tal-kaċċa għal dejjem). Naħseb li mhux iebsa biżżejjed.

Il-qtil tat-tajr protett hi materja serja ħafna għax dan it-tajr hu fil-periklu li jinqered. U meta jkun inqered, ma jiġix lura. Hemm bżonn li dawk il-ftit kaċċaturi li ma jrid jitgħallmu b’xejn u ser jibqgħu jisparaw bl-addoċċ iduqu ukoll ftit ħabs.

Ir-referendum abrogattiv u l-FKNK

No more Spring Hunting

Minn dak li qed naqra dwar ir-risposta li l-FKNK ippreżentaw fil-Qorti Kostituzzjonali dwar it-talba biex ikun hemm referendum abrogattiv dwar il-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa ma hemm xejn ġdid.

Semplċiment qed jagħtu libsa legali lill-argumenti li nġiebu matul ix-xhur li għaddew.

L-FKNK għad ma tistax taċċetta li f’numru ta’ każijiet , meta l-poplu jixba’ għandu l-għodda biex jiddeċiedi hu. Flok ma d-deċiżjonijiet jittieħdu fil-magħluq f’konfoffa bejn il-kaċċaturi u l-partiti politiċi fil-Parlament dawn issa ser jittieħdu bil-vot tiegħek u tiegħi.

Il-kaċċaturi qed jgħidu li huma minoranza ta’ 100,000. Mela għalfejn qed jinbżgħu mir-referendum?

 

Malta’s EU story : the environment

JOINT SEMINAR BY THE OFFICE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT IN MALTA AND THE TODAY PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE

Friday 3 October 2014

address by Carmel Cacopardo

eu-flag

 

Since Malta’s EU accession there has been a marked contrast of interest in issues related to environmental governance.

EU accession has generally had a positive influence on Maltese environmental governance.  A flow of EU funds has been applied to various areas which Maltese governments throughout the years did not consider worthy of investing in.  On the one hand we had governments “occasionally” applying the brakes, seeking loopholes, real or imaginary,  in order to ensure that lip service  is not accidentally translated into meaningful action. On the other hand civil society has, in contrast, and  as a result of EU accession identified a new source of empowerment, at times ready to listen, however slow to react and at times ineffective.

Land use planning and abusive hunting/trapping have for many years been the main items on the local environment agenda. Water, air quality, climate change, alternative energy, biodiversity, noise, light pollution, organic agriculture, waste management and sustainable development have rightfully claimed a place in the agenda during the past 10 years. Some more frequently, others occasionally.

Land use planning has been on the forefront of civil society’s environmental agenda for many years. Abusive land use planning in the 80s fuelled and was fuelled by corruption. It led to various public manifestations in favour of the environment then equated almost  exclusively with the impacts of land development. Many such manifestations ended up in violence. Whilst this may be correctly described as history, it is occasionally resurrected  as in the recent public manifestation of hunters protesting against the temporary closure of the autumn hunting season.

Whilst hunting and land use planning may still be the main items on Malta’ environmental agenda the ecological deficit which we face is substantially deeper and wider.  It is generally the result of myopic policies.

For example it is well known that public transport has been practically ignored for the past 50 years, including the half-baked reform of 2010. This is the real cause of Malta’s very high car ownership (around 750 vehicles per 1000 population). As the Minister of Finance rightly exclaimed during a pre-budget public consultation exercise earlier this week traffic congestion is a major issue of concern, not just environmental but also economic. Impacting air quality, requiring additional land uptake to construct new roads or substantial funds to improve existing junctions traffic congestion is a drain on our resources. May I suggest that using EU funds to improve our road network  will delay by several years the shifting of custom to public transport, when we will have one which is worthy of such a description.

The mismanagement of water resources over the years is another important issue. May I suggest that millions of euros in EU funds have been misused  to institutionalise the mismanagement of water resources. This has been done through the construction of a network of underground tunnels to channel stormwater to the sea.  The approval of such projects is only possible when one  has no inkling of what sustainable management of water resources entails. Our ancestors had very practical and sustainable solutions: they practised water harvesting through the construction of water cisterns beneath each and every residence, without exception. If we had followed in their footsteps the incidence of stormwater in our streets, sometimes having the smell of raw sewage due to an overflowing public sewer, would be substantially less. And in addition we would also avoid overloading our sewage purification plants.

Our mismanagement of water resources also includes the over-extraction of ground water and the failure to introduce an adequate system of controls throughout the years such that  most probably there will be no more useable water in our water table very shortly. In this respect the various deadlines established in the Water Framework Directive would be of little use.

Whilst our Cabinet politicians have developed a skill of trying to identify loopholes in the EU’s acquis (SEA and Birds Directive) they also follow bad practices in environmental governance.

It is known that fragmentation of environmental responsibilities enables politicians to pay lip service to environmental governance but then creating real and practical obstacles in practice.

Jean Claude Juncker, the President elect of the EU Commission has not only diluted environmental governance by assigning responsibility for the environment together with that for fisheries and maritime policy as well as assigning energy with climate change. He has moreover hived off a number of responsibilities from the DG Environment to other DGs namely Health and Enterprise.

In Malta our bright sparks have anticipated his actions. First on the eve of EU accession they linked land use planning with the Environment in an Authority called MEPA with the specific aim of suffocating the environment function in an authority dominated by development. Deprived of human resources including the non-appointment of a Director for the Environment for long stretches of time, adequate environmental governance could never really get off the ground.

Now we will shortly be presented with the next phase: another fragmentation by the demerger of the environment and planning authority.

In the short time available I have tried to fill in the gaps in the environment section of the document produced by The Today Public Policy Institute. The said document rightly emphasises various achievements. It does however state that prior to EU accession the environment was not given its due importance by local policy makers. Allow me to submit that much still needs to be done and that the progress made to date is insufficient.

Bit-tromba flok bis-senter

birds through binoculars

 

Il-bieraħ il-Pulizija tellgħu il-Qorti 10 persuni, deskritti bhala kaċċaturi, in konnessjoni mad-dimostrazzjoni fil-Belt kontra s-sospensjoni tal-istaġun tal-kaċċa fil-ħarifa, kif ukoll dwar l-inċidenti vjolenti fil-Buskett. (Nota: s’issa għadu ma ttella’ ħadd il-Qorti fuq l-inċidenti tal-Buskett. Dawk imtella’ l-Qorti s’issa huma dawk li kienu involuti fl-inċidenti l-Belt. Il-Pulizija għadha qed tinvestiga.)

L-akkużi jinkludu li attakkaw kif ukoll li weġġgħu ġurnalista u żewġ fotografi.

Naħseb li ħadd minn dawk li jinstabu ħatja m’għandu jintbagħat l-ħabs. L-aħjar sentenza tkun waħda ta’ servizz fil-komunita, 100 siegħa kull wieħed bit-tromba jħarsu lejn għasafar ta’ kull xorta. Birdwatching taħt superviżjoni.

Fiċ-ċirkustanzi naħseb li dik tkun l-iktar sentenza ġusta: bit-tromba flok bis-senter. Bla dubju n-natura tista’ tkunilhom ta’ għajnuna kbira biex jikkalmaw ftit kif ukoll biex ikollhom ftit ċans japprezzaw dak li qed jikkampanjaw biex joqtlu.

Wara l-vjolenza fil-Buskett: ir-referendum dwar il-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa

referendum

L-inċidenti tal-ġimgħa l-oħra kienu gravi. Kemm il-qtil tat-tajr protett kif ukoll l-attitudni irresponsabbli ta’ dawk il-200 kaċċatur li ddemostraw il-Belt waranofsinnhar u iktar l-azzjoni vjolenti tat-30 ruħ minnhom li baqgħu sejrin sal-Buskett u sawtu lil dawk li kienu qed josservaw l-għasafar fil-Buskett.

L-attutudni tal-FKNK kienet waħda ambivalenti. Min-naħa l-waħda tiddisassoċja ruħha minn dak li ġara. Imbagħad min-naħa l-oħra qalet li “tifhem il-frustrazzjoni tal-kaċċaturi”.  Minkejja dan, imma, n-nies hemm barra ma jifhmux l-affarijiet kif qed jippruvaw ipinġuhom l-FKNK.

 

Fost il-kummenti tan-nies spikkaw dawk dwar ir-referendum abrogattiv li dwaru l-proċess skond il-Liġi miexi kif suppost. In-nies trid iktar informazzjoni dwar ir-referendum u tixtieq li dan isir illum qabel għada.

Wara li nġabru l-firem għar-referendum, dawn ġew ivverifikati mill-Kummissjoni Elettorali li infurmat b’dan lill-Qorti Kostituzzjonali. Ir-Reġistratur tal-Qorti Kostituzzjonali nhar it-3 ta’ Lulju 2014 ħabbar li kien hemm 41,494 firem validi biex jissejjaħ referendum abrogattiv dwar l-Avviż Legali 221/2010 liema avviż legali jippermetti li permezz ta’ deroga ssir kaċċa għas-summien u l-gamiem fir-rebbiegħa.

Dan l-avviż tar-Reġistratur tal-Qorti Kostituzzjonali jfisser li dakinhar tal-avviż beda jgħodd iż-żmien għall-oġġezjonijiet: hemm fil-fatt tlett xhur ċans u dawn jagħlqu fl-aħħar tal-ġimgħa d-dieħla, nhar il-Ġimgħa 3 t’Ottubru 2014.

Wara li jidħlu l-oġġezzjonijiet, li bla dubju ser jippreżentaw (kif għandhom kull dritt) il-kaċċaturi, tibda l-aħħar fażi tal-mixja legali. L-ewwel dawk li qed jikkoordinaw il-proċeduri tar-referendum iwieġbu l-oġġezzjonijiet, u mbagħad il-Qorti Kostituzzjonali, wara li tisma’ dak li jkollhom xi jgħidu l-avukati tagħti d-deċiżjoni tagħha.

Nistennew deċiżjoni tal-Qorti Kostituzzjonali bejn Diċembru u Jannar. Wara, jekk il-Qorti Kostituzzjonali tiddeċiedi li r-referendum abrogattiv għandu jsir (u s’issa ma jidher li hemm l-ebda raġuni għala m’għandiex tgħid li għandu jsir) ikun possibli li tiġi stabilita d-data tar-referendum abrogattiv. Din tkun mhux qabel ma jgħaddu tlett xhur mid-deċiżjoni tal-Qorti Kostituzzjonali, imma mhux iktar tard minn sitt xhur mill-istess deċiżjoni.

It-triq hi ftit twila, imma jeħtieġ li nieħdu paċenzja ftit ieħor.

Fl-aħħar m’għandix dubju li ser naslu biex il-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa f’Malta tispiċċa darba għal dejjem. Il-vjolenza m’hu ser taqta’ qalb ħadd. Pjuttost qed tiftaħ għajnejn iktar nies li sa ftit ilu kienu bierda u li issa iktar minn qatt qabel qed jirrealizzaw il-gravita’ tas-sitwazzjoni.

Wasalna hawn minħabba li ż-żewġ partiti politiċi fil-Parlament tul is-snin baxxaw rashom għal dak li riedu l-kaċċaturi. Huwa bis-saħħa tar-rieda popolari u b’mod partikolari dawk il-41,494 firma li nġabru mill-għaqdiet ambjentali u Alternattiva Demorkatika li fl-aħħar ser ikun possibli biex flimkien inħassru dak li għamlu l-PN u l-PL: biex il-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa f’Malta tispiċċa darba għal dejjem.

submission of referendum signature requests

 

Questions for Karmenu Vella

Junker + Vella

 

Extract from Today’s European Voice

Five nominees with questions to resolve at Commission hearings

Political alliances in the European Parliament will protect some nominees during confirmation hearings, and leave others at risk.

5) Karmenu Vella

Wrong country, right group, sensitive portfolio (environment and fisheries), wrong profile.

Hearing: Monday 29 September, 2.30pm

Vella will face two concerns during his hearing: discontent over the portfolio he has been given and discomfort over his political history in Malta. Juncker’s decision to merge environment and fisheries has not gone over well and Vella will face demands from MEPs on both the environment and fisheries committees to guarantee that he will not give their policy area short shrift. MEPs on the environment committee are concerned about the mandate letter sent by Juncker to Vella, which they see as prioritising an agenda of deregulation. Juncker’s request that Vella “carry out an in-depth evaluation of the birds and habitats directives and assess the potential for merging them into a more modern piece of legislation” is particularly sensitive because Malta has been in repeated and continued violation of these laws because of bird hunting. A group of the EU’s biggest environmental campaign groups wrote to Juncker last week and warned: “The environment portfolio has been given to a commissioner whose government is under intense international criticism for failing to implement EU bird conservation legislation, which the commissioner will now be in a position to amend.”

Vella may also face questions about his time as part of the Labour government of Dom Mintoff  in the 1980s – a time of political turmoil in Malta. There have been allegations in the Maltese press against Vella of political thuggery, tax evasion and corruption. None of these allegations has been proven but Vella will probably face a few questions. In part, these allegations are the product of Malta’s brand of intensely tribal politics, but faith in Malta has been damaged by the loss from the last college of commissioners of John Dalli, the Maltese commissioner forced to resign during the last term over allegations of corruption.

On the other hand, it will count to Vella’s advantage that his government belongs to the S&D group. Neither the S&D nor the EPP is expected to pursue an aggressive line of questioning. But colourful anecdotes from Vella’s time in Maltese politics could be red meat for Eurosceptic MEPs, who could use the opportunity to attempt a resurrection of Dalligate. The European Conservatives and Reformists group would also have nothing to lose by going after a centre-left MEP. This would likely not translate to a majority voting against Vella’s nomination, and the numbers are still in his favour. But if questions over his political past cause Vella’s hearing to go off the rails, he may find support from the EPP and S&D groups is brittle.