Basics for coalition building

green-light

It happens on the eve of most general elections in Malta. We are once more being bombarded with comments emphasising the need to set up a pre-electoral coalition in order to present a united opposition to Joseph Muscats Labour Party.

The Leader of the Opposition, as a self-appointed messiah, has reiterated many a time that the country can only be delivered from the clutches of corruption if it unites under his leadership in opposition to Joseph Muscat, the Labour Party and all that they represent. It is claimed that he can deliver us from all evil!

In public fora, Simon Busuttil speaks in favour of setting up a coalition against corruption, yet privately – far away from the glaring spotlight – he is actively working on trying to assimilate within the Nationalist Party those whom he thinks can help increase his own partys vote tally. He has successfully recruited Salvu Mallia and is apparently currently in the final stages of the process of assimilating Marlene Farrugias Democratic Party within the Nationalist Party.  

In my view this can in no way be described as the manner in which to go about assembling a pre-electoral coalition of political parties. Rather, it is an attempt by the Nationalist Party at cannibalising other political parties, an exercise which, in fairness, has been going on for years. Just like the Labour Party, the Nationalist Party has, to date, demonstrated that the only coalition that made any sense to them was the one within their own parties, as both of them have, over the years, developed into grand coalitions – at times simultaneously championing diametrically opposed causes.

Real pre-electoral coalitions are assembled in a quite different manner. They should be formed on the basis of a commonly agreed political platform – one which plots an agreed electoral programme as well as the manner in which this should be implemented by the coalition partners.

Given its method of operation to date, I have reasonable doubts as to whether the Nationalist Party is able to compromise on its electoral pledges as well as to whether it can ever agree to take on board (at least) the basic issues championed by the other political parties with which it may seek to form a coalition. If a pre-electoral  coalition is ever to be formed, the coalitions electoral platform must be acceptable to all the constituent elements of that coalition.

An agreed electoral platform would address much more than issues of corruption and governance – on which there is a general common position. An agreed electoral platform would necessarily be all-embracing and range from environmental matters to education, social, economic, fiscal and cultural policy, as well as all other matters so essential in running the country.

A pre-electoral coalition must of necessity be constructed on the basis of this agreed electoral platform, a crystallisation of thought and political direction shared by the political parties forming the coalition. The process to achieve such an agreed shared electoral platform is long and laborious, as a multitude of red lines have to be agreed on or else overcome. It is an exercise that should be based on mutual respect in contrast to the often acrimonious relationship so prevalent in local politics.

By its very nature, a pre-electoral coalition, if formed, signifies a commitment to do away with, once and for all, two-party politics and consequently signifies the substitution of the politics of confrontation with the politics of consensus.

This would be a watershed in Maltese politics and this is the real challenge, if we wish to move forward.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday: 12 February 2017

Political calculation or environmental principle?

calculator

 

Joseph Muscat’s declaration that the Freeport Terminal will not be permitted to expand in Birżebbuġa’s direction due to its impacts on the residential community will inevitably have an effect on the Planning Authority. Viewed in the context of the recent Planning Authority decision not to approve the proposed Ħondoq ir-Rummien development, a pattern seems to be developing.

Given the fact that these two decisions are closely associated with localities that politically support the Labour Party it is still not clear whether this newly discovered sensitivity to restrict development which negatively impacts residential communities is based on political calculation or on environmental principle. This consideration is inevitable, in particular due to the report in this newspaper on 22 June that the Prime Minister had stated, in a discussion with environmental NGO Flimkien għall-Ambjent Aħjar, that he does not care about impact assessments, as residents get used to everything. As far as I am aware, the Office of the Prime Minister never corrected this report.

The Freeport Terminal debate clearly indicates that Birżebbuġa residents are determined to deliver a different message: they have had enough. During the last seven years there has been an ongoing tug-of-war between Birżebbuġa Local Council, MEPA and the Freeport Terminal Management. This has led to a number of improvements, the most important of which was the setting up of a tripartite Environmental Monitoring Committee that has served to build some bridges and to explore solutions to existing problems caused by the operation of the Freeport Terminal.

There was a time, around two years ago, when pressure was put on Birżebbuġa Local Council to drop its objections to specific operations. I distinctly remember representatives from the oil-rig repair industry  trying to convince the Council of the “benefits” that an oil-rig industry based at the Freeport Terminal could generate.

When these representatives realised that no one was convinced, an amendment to the environmental permit was forced through the then MEPA Board. To their credit, only three of the then board members understood the real issues and voted against the proposal: the two MPs (Joe Sammut and Ryan Callus) and the environmental NGO representative Alex Vella of the Ramblers Association.

The amended environmental permit would have permitted minor repairs to ships and oil-rigs berthed at the Freeport Terminal. However, after the MEPA Board meeting all hell broke loose, leading Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to disassociate himself from its decision and publicly align himself with the minority on the board opposing the changes. He then stated that he was in agreement with “his representative”, Labour MP Joe Sammut.

While the Freeport Terminal, faced with the reaction of residents, eventually relinquished the newly-acquired permit, the internal debate within the Labour Party continued, leading to the recent statement by Joseph Muscat that he is not in agreement with an expansion of the Freeport Terminal operations that would have a negative impact on the Birżebbuġa community.

Irrespective of whether it is a matter of principle or a political calculation which has led the Prime Minister to make such a statement, I submit that this is still a significant turning point that has been achieved as a direct result of Birżebbuġa Local Council’s persistent lobbying. It contrasts with the position taken by the Leader of the Opposition, who looks forward to an increase in the operations of the Freeport Terminal, without batting an eyelid over the resulting, continuously increasing, impact on the residential community.

The Prime Minister’s statement, while being a positive first step, is certainly not enough. It needs to be translated into policy as an integral part of the revised Local Plans currently under consideration. It is also important that the Prime Minister’s newly identified sensitivities are exported to other areas in Malta and Gozo. It is essential that, in a small country such as ours, third party rights opposing “development” are reinforced.

The issue at stake is far larger than Birżebbbuġa or the Freeport Terminal. It is a tug-of-war between those supporting “development” at all costs and our residential communities. The government must, through planning policy, be supportive of all our residential communities without exception.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 31st July 2016

Bejn prinċipji u strateġija

 Jeremy Corbyn PMQT

 

L-elezzjoni ta’ Jeremy Corbyn bħala mexxej tal-Partit Laburista Ingliż heżżet mill-qiegħ il-politika Inġliża. Ħolqot ukoll dibattitu dwar kemm jagħmel sens għal-laburiżmu Inġliż li jagħti iktar każ tal-egħruq tiegħu ħafna iktar milli għamel sal-lum.

F’nofs il-kampanja għall-mexxej laburista, seħħ fatt li kellu impatt mhux żgħir fuq il-kampanja. Il-Gvern Ingliż ressaq għad-diskussjoni fil-House of Commons liġi dwar is-serviżżi soċjali imsejħa l-Welfare Bill.   L-aġent mexxej tal-Laburisti Ingliżi, Harriet Harman, tat direttiva lill-grupp parlamentari biex jastjeni meta issr il-votazzjoni fl-istadju tat-tieni qari. L-abbozz ta’ liġi hi parti minn strateġija tal-Gvern konservattiv Ingliż biex jibda jżarma l-welfare state. Il-partit laburista Ingliż ħassu f’morsa.

Imma 48 mill-Membri Parlamentari Laburisti sfidaw id-direttiva tal-Partit tagħhom u xorta ivvutaw kontra. Fosthom kien hemm Jeremy Corbyn, l-unika wieħed mill-erba’ kandidati għat-tmexxija li għamel hekk. L-oħrajn baxxew rashom.

Ma kinitx l-ewwel darba għal Jeremy Corbyn li rribella u għamel ta’ rasu waqt votazzjoni. Milli qrajt, din l-istorja għamilha madwar 533 darba kemm ilu membru parlamentari, f’mumenti fejn fuq punt ta’ prinċipju dehrlu li kellu jivvota differenti.

Il-Partit Laburista Ingliż issa huwa mmexxi minn ribell. Għax irribella kull meta l-kuxjenza iddettatlu linja differenti minn dik tal-partit, Corybn hu bniedem li japprezza iktar il-valur tad-diskussjoni interna fil-partit. Diskussjoni li tibda mill-egħruq u titla’ l-fuq ftit ftit sakemm twassal għal deċiżjoni. Dan jikkuntrasta ħafna mal-mod kif ħafna drabi jittieħdu d-deċiżjonijiet fil-politika: jittieħdu fuq nett, u jkunu imposti fuq l-egħruq.

Dan kollu jagħti kredibilità ikbar lil Jeremy Corbyn fl-argumenti li żviluppa waqt il-kampanja għat-tmexxija dwar il-ħtieġa ta’ demokratizzazzjoni ikbar tal-partit. Irnexxielu jimmotiva ħafna nies u kulħadd jattribwixxi lilu, l-mewġa kbira ta’ membri ġodda li resqu lejn il-Partit Laburista Ingliż f’dawn l-aħħar ġimgħat.

Dawn huma kollha persuni li emmnu li Jeremy Corbyn irid li l-Partit Laburista Ingliż, ikun il-partit li jismagħhom kif ukoll li jkun il-vuċi tagħhom. Wegħda li irnexxielu jimplimenta fl-ewwel ġranet tiegħu bħala mexxej bil-mod sempliċi imma dinjituż kif ħa sehem fil-Prime Minister’s Question Time nhar l-Erbgħa. Irċieva ‘il fuq minn 40,000 e-mail bi proposti u mistoqsijiet li minnhom għażel sitta dwar temi ta’ politika soċjali attwali fir-Renju Unit.

Corbyn ġie elett għax wassal messaġġ ċar dwar l-awtentiċità politika tiegħu: li hu jaġixxi skond dak li jemmen u mhux skond kif jaqbel.

Il-Partit Laburista Inġliż għandu dilemma li għadu ma sabx mod kif isolviha mingħajr ma jxellef dak li jemmen. Ix-xellug Ingliż hu maqsum u huwa rappreżentat minn diversi partiti. Dan hu ppenalizzat mis-sistema elettorali Ingliża tal-first past the post, fejn il-Ħodor, per eżempju, kisbu miljun vot, imma siġġu parlamentari wieħed fil-waqt li l-partit skoċċiż SNP b’ftit inqas minn miljun u nofs vot ikkonċentrati fl-Iskozja rebħu 56 siġġu parlamentari.

Rapport dwar l-elezzjoni ġenerali Ingliżi ta’ Mejju li għadda ippubblikat din il-ġimgħa u intitolat “Learning the right lessons from Labour’s 2015 defeat” jidentifika, fost l-oħrajn, li l-voti li l-Labour Ingliż rebaħ f’xi kostitwenzi mingħand kandidati liberali swew biex dawn tilfu s-siġġu u dan intrebaħ mill-Partit Konservattiv. Dan ġara f’numru ta’ kostitwenzi u spiċċa biex dgħajjef lill-allejati potenzjali tal-Partit Laburista Ingliż.

Dan trid tarah fid-dawl tar-riżultati elettorali miksuba tul is-snin fejn qabel ma tfaċċa Tony Blair, il-Labour Ingliż, meta rebaħ, għamel dan bit-tqanżieh. Blair kien rebaħ b’mod komdu tlett elezzjonijiet wara xulxin. Dan sar għax Blair trasforma l-Partit Laburista Ingliż minn wieħed ibbażat fuq twemmin soċjalista għal wieħed fejn iktar ta’ importanza lill-politika neo-liberali b’mod li għal żmien mhux qasir, ma kienx jingħaraf mill-Partit Konservattiv Ingliż. Fi ftit kliem, bosta jqiesu li l-Partit Laburista Ingliż fi żmien Tony Blair biegħ ruħu.

Din hi l-bidla mill-qiegħ li tfisser l-elezzjoni ta’ Jeremy Corbyn. Il-Partit Laburista Ingliż irid ruħu lura!

L-ideat ta’ Corbyn ġew imfissra min uħud bħala li jikkundannaw lill-Partit Laburista Ingliż għal snin twal fl-Opposizzjoni. Għax għal dawn, dak li temmen huwa sekondarju. L-importanza hi fl-istrateġija, fis-soundbites u fil-komunikazzjoni orkestrata u mhux fl-awtentiċità politika tat-tmexxija.

Issa ma rridx li ninftiehem ħazin: il-metodu kif il-politiku jikkomunika huwa importanti ħafna. Peró m’għandux u qatt mhu meħtieġ li jkunu sagrifikati l-prinċipji fuq l-altar tal-popolarità.

Din hi l-isfida li għandu quddiemu Jeremy Corbyn. Iżda hi sfida li jista’ jegħliba minkejja l-antagoniżmu tal-grupp parlamentari li hu mdawwar bih. Iċ-ċavetta jsibha, mhux biss fl-għeruq tal-partit li tawh l-appoġġ massiċċ tagħhom imma ukoll billi jibni pontijiet ma dawk il-partiti politiċi li jqarrbu l-iktar lejn l-ideat u l-idejali tiegħu. Għax hu possibli li l-prinċipji u l-istrateġija jimxu id f’id.

 

ippubblikat fuq Illum, il-Ħadd 20 ta’ Settembru 2015

Labour & the Environment : it gets better every day!

Marine Protected Areas

The map above indicates the 4 marine protected areas around Malta.

The proposed location of the cruise terminal/yacht centre/luxury villas project at Tas-Simar Qala Gozo is in site Number 2.

Labour’s credentials on environment protection get better every day!

 

Il-votazzjoni kmieni w il-pazjenti bid-dimentia

complaint. San Vincenz

 

Bdiet il-votazzjoni kmieni u magħha bdew l-argumenti. Il-gazzetti online (Times, Independent, Malta Today) qed jikkummentaw dwar il-pazjenti rikoverati fid-djar għall-anzjani li jbatu mid-dimentia.

Dawn il-pazjenti għandhom jew m’għandhomx jivvutaw?

L-ewwel reazzjoni tiegħi hi għalfejn titqajjem issa din l-issue? Fil-każ ta’ min ilu jbati mid-dimentia setgħu faċilment ittieħdu passi ferm qabel illum. Jeżistu mekkaniżmi fil-liġi li jippermettu illi persuna ma tibqax ikollha vot jekk ikun aċċertat minn Bord Mediku illi ma tistax teżerċita l-ġudiżżju meħtieġ biex tiddeċiedi kif għandha tivvota.

Imma jekk dan s’issa ma sarx hi responsabbilta’ tal-Kummissjoni Elettorali li tieħu d-deċiżjoni dwar x’għandu jsir.

Il-Kummissjoni Elettorali timxi b’dan il-mod. Persuna li isimha jidher fir-reġistru elettorali tingħata l-faċilita li tivvota dejjem. Ma jistgħux jiddeċiedu l-qraba jew l-istaff tal-isptar/dar tal-anzjani għaliha. Tiddeċiedi hi x’għandha tagħmel. Jekk il-persuna tagħżel li tivvota waħedha għandha kull dritt li tagħmel dan. Jekk titlob assistenza minn naħa tal-Assistenti tal-Kummissjoni Elettorali li jkunu mal-kaxxa tal-vot dawn jagħtu l-assistenza mitluba. Imma dawn għandhom jingħataw struzzjonijiet ċari mill-persuna li titlob l-assistenza tagħhom. Jekk din il-persuna tkun tidher mifxula u ma jkollhiex idea x’inhu għaddej ma tistax tagħti struzzjonijiet ċari lill-Assistenti tal-Kummissjoni Elettorali. Dawn ma jkunux allura jistgħu jagħtu l-assistenza mitluba għax ma jistgħux jiddeċiedu huma, iżda jridu jwettqu dejjem ix-xewqat tal-votant.

Is-sistema elettorali tagħna allura tipprovdi salvagwardji biżżejjed biex tħares id-dinjita tal-votant. Kollox jiddependi fuq l-integrità personali tal-Assistenti tal-Kummissjoni Elettorali.

Id-diffikulta dwar l-Assistenti tal-Kummissjoni Elettorali hi li fil-każ ta’ referendum ikollhom rapprezentanti biss mill-Partiti Politiċi fil-Parlament. Il-promuturi tar-referendum, kif ukoll dawk li jopponu, huma injorati kompletament.

Allura biex tkun imħarsa d-dinjita’ tal-pazjenti niddependu fuq il-partiti rapprezentati fil-Parlament, apparti fuq l-integrità personali tal-Assistenti tal-Kummissjoni Elettorali.

Taking care of tax evaders

HSBC Geneve

 

Joseph Muscat and the Labour Party pride themselves with emphasising that this Government has removed the statutory limitation (prescription) relative to corruption when holders of political office are criminally prosecuted.

It certainly was a step in the right direction. It still however requires the test of time to verify whether it is compatible with the human rights provisions of our Constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights as was explained by former Strasbourg Judge Giovanni Bonello in his article Bribery and Genocide : the same? (Times of Malta April 20, 2013)

Such a clear stand against corruption contrasts with the provisions of Legal Notice 256 of 2014 entitled Investment Registration Scheme Regulations 2014 which launched the latest amnesty that can be utilised by Maltese citizens who evaded payment of income tax. Camouflaged through the use of Orwellian terminology as an “Investment Registration Scheme”, this amnesty, as others before it, did not treat holders of political office any differently from other tax evaders. It afforded them the same opportunities to be able to “regularise” their position absolving them from having committed an economic crime.

Apparently, this government considers tax evasion to be a crime which is substantially inferior to corruption. In fact, the recent cases brought to light by Swiss Leaks have revealed the ease with which former Cabinet Ministers have wriggled out of their tax evasion crimes that they had successfully concealed for around 40 years, including when in office.

During all these years, most of the funds which were accumulated in various bank accounts until they ended in an HSBC Genève account, reaped interest at varying rates depending on market conditions, which, as a result, increased the quantum of the undeclared funds. Had both the funds originally invested as well as the accumulated interests  been appropriately declared to the tax authorities in Malta , they would have been subject to between 35 per cent and 65 per cent  taxation in terms of Income Tax legislation. Yet the Investment Registration Scheme of 2014 allows self-confessed tax evaders off the hook subject to a  maximum 7.5 per cent registration fee! They even get a discount if they repatriate the funds! Apparently it pays to be a tax evader.

There are, however, some matters  which are not at all clear, yet.

Before insisting on his imaginary “right” not to be pestered by the press, former Minister Ninu Zammit had informed The Malta Independent on Sunday  that all his affairs were now “regularised”, having  made use of the 2014 amnesty to reap the benefits of his hoard stacked in Genève. He was also reported as having stated that the sources of his hoard was income derived from his professional activity  as well as various deals in landed property.

It is public knowledge that Zammit’s land deals were negotiated through the Malta registered limited liability company by the name of LENI Enterprises Limited of which he was both a shareholder and a director.  It is logical that any income from land deals would not only have a bearing on Ninu Zammit’s tax status but also on the reported performance and possible tax liabilities of LENI Enterprises Limited. In this respect, the  company’s financial reporting would certainly make very interesting reading.  Have its audited accounts been submitted to the Malta Financial Services Authority or its predecessors in terms of law?  Who has certified these accounts? What about the role of the auditors of LENI Enterprises Limited?  Is there the need to revisit the audited accounts of LENI Enterprises Limited due to the fact that at least one of its directors has benefited from the latest tax evasion amnesty?

As far as I am aware,  Legal Notice 256 of 2014 only absolves self-declared tax-evaders resident in Malta from their non-observance of income tax legislation. Other crimes could still be actionable .

Such other crimes would include false declarations to Cabinet in terms of the Ministerial Code of Ethics. There may also be other issues should these result from the investigations which the Commissioner of Inland Revenue is currently carrying out on the basis of the information which is now known.

There is however one important thing which we should never underestimate. The benevolence of the state towards tax evaders has no limits. It knows how to take care of these small details too.

 

published in the Malta Independent on Sunday – 1st March 2015

Il-kaċċaturi jikxfu l-maskra

 

estevan mallia + Kastiljaglenn briffa sfida

(kummenti fuq MaltaToday online)

 

Xi kaċċaturi l-bieraħ kmieni wara nofsinnhar organizzaw dimostrazzjoni l-Belt u wara baqgħu sejrin sal-Buskett.

L-insulti ma naqsux. Fil-Buskett , għall-ħabta tal-5.00pm madwar 30 kaċċatur wara li telqu mill-protesta li kellhom il-Belt, attakkaw ukoll in-nies.

Fuq is-sit tal-Malta Today online ma naqsux il-kummenti li jħeġġu iktar vjolenza.

 

Huwa forsi l-mument addattat biex kull min fil-passat kien jagħti l-appoġġ lill-kaċċa u lill-kaċċaturi jaħsibha sewwa dwar dak li fil-fatt qiegħed jappoġġa. L-inċidenti tal-bieraħ kienu serji. Setgħu weġġgħu serjament in-nies.

Tajjeb li niftakru li dan mhux l-ewwel inċident. Kien hemm fil-passat inċidenti vjolenti oħra li kienu jinvolvu lil dawk il-kaċċaturi li malajr tisħnilhom rashom.

Fil-ġimgħat li ġejjin tibda l-kampanja tar-referendum biex tispiċċa l-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa.

B’dak li għamlu l-bieraħ, il-kaċċaturi ta’ rashom sħuna, bdew il-kampanja referendarja fuq togħma morra. Il-kampanja referendarja għandha tkun waħda paċifika bbażata fuq ir-raġuni. Sfortunatament, iżda, dejjem jidher iżjed ċar li ma tantx hemm ma min tista’ tirraġuna.

Bid-deċiżjoni tal-Gvern fi tmiem il-ġimgħa li jwaqqaf temporanjament l-istaġun tal-kaċċa tal-ħarifa ngħata messaġġ li wara kollox l-irkatt bil-vot mhux dejjem għandu effett. Jista’ jkun li fl-aħħar il-Partit Laburista ukoll beda jiftaħ għajnejħ li l-appoġġ li kien qiegħed jagħti lill-kaċċaturi kien wieħed żbaljat.

Kuraġġ hemm spazju għal kulħadd fil-Koalizzjoni kontra l-Kaċċa fir-Rebbiegħa.

Joseph Muscat u l-Kaċċa: dak li tiżra’ taħsad

storks in Malta 2014

L-inċidenti dejjem iktar spissi ta’ qtil ta’ għasafar protetti huma l-konsegwenza loġika tal-messaġġi ta’ Joseph Muscat lil kaċċaturi.

Il-messaġġ li Muscat u l-Partit Laburista dejjem taw lill-kaċċaturi kien wieħed ċar u sempliċi ħafna biex jinftiehem : il-Partit Laburista jipproteġi l-kaċċa w il-kaċċaturi. Bħala riżultat ta’ dan il-messaġġ uħud mill-kaċċaturi fehmu li issa għandhom id-dritt li jagħmlu li jridu. Avolja mhux kollha jaħsbu hekk, dik hi l-attitudni ġenerali.

Il-konsegwenzi ta’ dan kollu huma dawk li naraw madwarna kontinwament. Abbużi. Wieħed wara l-ieħor.

L-egħluq temporanju tal-istaġun tal-kaċċa fil-ħarifa mit-3.00pm tal-lum s-Sibt 20 ta’ Settembru sal-11 t’ Ottubru 2014 hu pass tajjeb. Imma hu pass li Muscat qed jieħdu tard ħafna, għax min laħaq rabba’ l-arja issa bil-mod biex ineħħiha. Għal dan jaħti biss Joseph Muscat.

M’għandix dubju li matul il-ġranet li ġejjin ser nisimgħu iktar rapporti dwar inċidenti diversi. Il-Gvern kellu jiċċaqlaq għax l-opinjoni pubblika qed tirreaġixxi għall-abbużi li hawn madwarna. Dan hu pass tajjeb. Forsi Joseph Muscat xi darba jiġi f’sensieh.

Kif jista’ Karmenu Vella jitfi s-switch?

switching off

 

Karmenu Vella hu ferħan bl-inkarigu li ngħata minn Jean-Claude Juncker. Imma meta tara l-affarijiet sewwa huwa ċar li m’għandux wisq biex jifraħ.

Jiena bħala ambjentalist naħseb li l-proposta ta’ Juncker hi waħda żbaljata u nantiċipa kritika qawwija fil-Parlament Ewropew u fil-kumitati relattivi. Dan diġa jinħass mill-kummenti li qed jinstemgħu fil-kurituri diversi ġo Brussels.

L-ewwel nett l-oqsma ta’ responsabbiltà li Juncker għazel li jgħabbi fuq Karmenu Vella mhux biss huma wisq, imma iktar minn hekk jagħtu l-messaġġ ta’ tnaqqis tal-importanza tal-oqsma kollha: l-ambjent, il-politika marittima kif ukoll is-sajd. L-għażla tar-responsabbiltajiet ta’ Karmenu Vella kienet deċiżjoni politika ta’ Jean-Claude Juncker. Hi għażla li tfisser li dawn it-tlett oqsma ser ikunu emarġinati.  Dan hu messaġġ ħażin li qed jagħti Jean-Claude Juncker.

Hu messaġġ li ma jirriżultax biss mid-daqs tal-portafoll imma ukoll mill-fatt li l-ħidma ta’ Vella biex tasal għad-diskussjoni fil-Kummissjoni trid il-kunsens ta’ wieħed mill-Viċi Presidenti tal-Kummissjoni prinċipalment fuq kriterji ekonomiċi u ta’ kompetittivita u dan bħala riżultat tal-proposta tal-clustering tar-responsabbiltajiet fil-Kummissjoni. Dan ser ifisser li jista’ jinħonoq il-leħen ambjentali fil-Kummissjoni. Dan ikun pass kbir lura li jieħu lill-Unjoni Ewropeja lura snin kbar.

Kien ikun ħafna iktar għaqli kieku, kif qed tinsisti l-World Wildlife Fund, inħoloq cluster ta’ Kummissarji taħt id-direzzjoni ta’ Viċi President responsabbli mill-Iżvilupp Sostenibbli. Imma din donnha li għal Jean-Claude Juncker mhiex materja ta’ importanza.

Karmenu Vella hu bniedem raġjonevoli. Tista’ tiddiskuti miegħu b’faċilita. Filwaqt li dan hu importanti ħafna, mhux biżżejjed.

F’karriera politika ta’ kważi 40 sena Karmenu Vella ftit li xejn kien espost għall-politika ambjentali . Li taqra d-dossiers li jħejjulek fuq materji differenti jista’ jkun ta’ għajnuna imma qatt ma hu ser jirrimedja, f’kamp daqstant vast u kultant ikkumplikat bħalma hu dak ambjentali.

Fuq kollox imbagħad Karmenu Vella jappartjeni lil partit politku li m’għandux kredenzjali ambjentali li qatt jista’ jiftaħar bihom. Għadu ħiereġ minn kampanja elettorali fejn bħala parti mill-Partit Laburista Karmenu Vella ta appoġġ inkundizzjonat lill-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa u lill-insib, posizzjonijiet li huma dijametrikament opposti għar-responsabbiltajiet li hu propost li jerfa’. Anzi għandu l-inkarigu ċar u speċifiku minn Juncker li jibda l-proċess ta’ reviżjoni u konsolidament tad-Direttivi bażici dwar l-Għasafar u l-Habitats. Safejn naf jiena ma naħsibx li Juncker irid jintroduċi l-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa fl-Unjoni Ewropeja kollha!

Kif jista’ Karmenu Vella jitfi s-switch  ta’ posizzjonijiet politiċi li m’humiex kompatibbli mal-linja politika ambjentali tal-Unjoni Ewropeja?

Herman Grech tat-Times dan kollu jiddeskrivieh bħala riżultat tas-sens ta’ umoriżmu ta’ Juncker.

Fuq dan il-blog jiena diġa emfasizzajt li hemm dan il-kuntrast inkwetanti bejn ir-responsabbiltajiet assenjati lil uħud mill-Kummissarji (fosthom Karmenu Vella) u l-politika tal-pajjiż li qed jaħtarhom.

Altru li għandu biex jieħu pjaċir Karmenu Vella.

Malta: Repubblika tal-Banana fil-Mediterran

The Banana Republic of Malta

Bil-mod il-mod qiegħed jidher ċar it-twemmin politiku tal-Partit Laburista ta’ Joseph.

Alfred Sant għaddielu partit li ried jittrasforma lil Malta bħala Svizzera fil-Mediterran. Joseph jidher li hu iffukat biex jittrasforma lil din ir-Repubblika bħala r-Repubblika tal-Banana fil-Mediterran. Anzi, fl-Unjoni Ewropeja.

Ir-Repubblika tal-Banana oriġinali għandha l-oriġini tagħha fl-Amerika Ċentrali u hi deskritta fil-kitba tal-awtur Amerikan O.Henry biex jiddiskrivi r-Repubblika fittizija ta’ Anchuria fil-ktieb tiegħu Cabbages and Kings, ġabra ta’ novelli ispirati mill-perjodu li hu għex fil-Honduras, maħrub mill-ġustizzja Amerikana in konnessjoni ma’ frodi ta’ bank.

Fil-politika d-deskrizzjoni Repubblika tal-Banana tfisser li fit-tmexxija tal-pajjiż l-interessi privati ta’ dawk li jmexxu u ta’ madwarhom jiġu qabel il-ġid komuni. Terminu li intuża spiss dwar diversi pajjiżi fl-Amerika Latina u Ċentrali.

Fir-Repubblika tal-Banana l-Prim Ministru jikri lilu innifsu bħala Prim Ministru l-karozza privata tiegħu stess. Kif qed jagħmel Joseph Muscat.

Fir-Repubblika tal-Banana fl-ewwel jum tas-setgħa jixkupa lil kulħadd mit-tmexxija tad-Dipartimenti tal-Gvern. Qiesu sar kolp ta’ stat. Kif għamel Joseph Muscat. Inkluż fl-Armata ta’ Malta.

Issa għandna l-aħħar waħda.

Fir-Repubblika tal-Banana meta tinqabad tmexxi Lukanda illegali bħal-Lukanda Damiani f’Buġibba qiesu ma ġara xejn. Jekk inti Direttur tal-Awtorita’ tat-Trasport  tista’ tibqa’ hemm bħala Direttur għax l-etika fit-tmexxija tal-korpi pubbliċi hi biss materja ta’ interess akkademiku.

Repubblika tal-Banana  …………….. fil-Mediterran. L-aħjar fl-Ewropa!