Tonio Borg : lejlet il-vot

Il-Parlament Ewropew għada jivvota dwar jekk in-nomina mill-Gvern Malti ta’ Tonio Borg bħala Kummissarju Ewropew hiex waħda aċċettabbli.

Bl-appoġġ tal-Partit Popolari, l-Konservattivi, l-partiti tal-lemin (inkluż dawk ta’ Bossi u Le Pen) u numru mdaqqas mill-grupp soċjalista probabilment li jkun approvat b’mod partikolari wara d-dikjarazzjoni li iffirma. L-opposizzjoni ġejja mill-Liberali, mill-Ħodor, minn parti mis-Soċjalisti (fuq quddiem MEPs nisa u LGBT) u l-bqija tax-xellug.

Intqal ħafna dwar il-kandidatura ta’ Tonio Borg. Kull min ikkritikah għamel dan mill-ottika tiegħu.

Da parti ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika ikkritikajna n-nomina tiegħu bħala waħda li m’hiex addattata u dan in vista tal-posizzjonijiet politiċi li ħa matul il-karriera politika tiegħu. Hemm politiċi oħra li huma inqas kontroversjali u li ma ħadux posizzjoni ta’ konfront kontra l-gays u kontra d-divorzju . Il-posizzjoni ta’ Tonio Borg favur politika inumana dwar l-immigrazzjoni ġiet manifestat bl-appoġg da parti tiegħu għall-ftehim ta’ Berlusconi ma Gaddafi li bih bagħat l-immigranti lura fil-Libya għas-swat u t-tortura. Ġiet manifestata ukoll meta bagħat lura l-immigranti mill-Eritrea li spiċċaw sparixxew jew ġew ittorturati u dan kif ikkonkludew l-Amnesty International u l-UNHCR.

Filwaqt li hu floku li jingħad li matul il-hearing ta’ tlett siegħat li kellu fil-Parlament Ewropew Tonio Borg wera li kellu konoxxenza tajba tad-dikasteru  assenjat lilu naħseb li jkun għaqli li jkun emfasizzat li fi tlett siegħat ma tistax tħassar dak li tkun għamilt matul karriera politika sħiħa. Tista’ tipprova tispjega imma trid tkun konsistenti. Jekk ma tkunx ma tistax tikkonvinċi.

Matul it-tlett siegħat tal-hearing Tonio Borg impressjona li kien teknikament kompetenti. Iżda diversi li kellhom dubji dwar kemm il-passat hu mera tal-futur baqgħu bid-dubji. Għalhekk talbuh jagħmel dikjarazzjoni.

Id-dikjarazzjoni li Tonio Borg iffirma tiftaħ beraħ l-issue tal-abort. Il-PN tkaża meta MEPs mill-PL ivvutaw favur riżoluzzjoni fil-Parlament Ewropew li kellha referenzi mill-iktar indiretti għall-abort u dan fil-kuntest ta’ għajnuna lill-pajjiżi li qed jiżviluppaw. Kienu l-akkolti ta’ Tonio Borg fil-kampanja ta’ emendi kostituzzjonali dwar l-abort li fetħu l-kanuni. Issa naraw kemm huma lesti li jitkellmu fil-pubbliku dwar id-dikjarazzjoni ta’ Tonio Borg u kemm din tfisser appoġġ inkondizzjonat għall-abort fejn l-Unjoni Ewropea tista’ tagħmel dan.

Bid-dikjarazzjoni li iffirma Tonio Borg issa intrabat pubblikament li jpoġġi l-kuxjenza tiegħu fil-ġemb u jimplimenta dawk ir-rizoluzzjonijiet li ivvutaw favur tagħhom tal-Labour!

Dikjarazzjoni bħal din mhux kulħadd jagħtiha l-istess piz. Għax daqqa ta’ pinna ma tħassarx dak li temmen.

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Tonio Borg: his nomination and Malta’s reputation

Stephen Calleja heads the editorial team at Standard Publications, publishers of the Malta Independent as well the The Malta Independent on Sunday.

He considers himself to be “independent” so much that he did not bat an eyelid in accepting to present a TV discussion programme on the PN political TV station NET TV: l-Iswed fuq l-Abjad. Its independence can be attested by considering his choice of speakers and his myopic consideration of the  issues discussed.

In today’s edition of the Independent on Sunday Mr Calleja speaks of “restoring Malta’s reputation” when discussing the consideration by the EU institutions of Tonio Borg’s nomination as John Dalli’s successor on the EU Commission.

Calleja’s point is that The Green’s criticism of Tonio Borg’s nomination and credentials will tarnish Malta’s reputation.

It seems that those defending Tonio Borg’s nomination, including Mr Calleja, consider that he has only one positive point, that he is Maltese and they expect all to rally behind this nomination on the basis of his nationality.

Calleja fails to give due weight that Tonio Borg has destroyed his own candidacy by his utterances and actions as a Minister. His actions on immigration  when he supported Berlusoni’s agreement with Gaddafi’s Libya to send back immigrants to Libya to be tortured is compounded by the 2002 Eritrean refugee mishap documented by Amnesty International amd UNHCR. Tonio Borg as Malta’s Minister for the Interior  was responsible for sending back Eritrean immigrants. Some were tortured others disappeared.

Tonio Borg’s utterances against tenancy rights of same sex couples during the rent reform debate in Malta’s Parliament may have been forgotten by Stephen Calleja.  Calleja may even consider as unimportant the fact that Tonio Borg defied the referendum result and opposed divorce legislation.

In view of Tonio Borg’s record as pointed out above I do not consider that his nomination was the appropriate one.

When Lawrence Gonzi, notwithstanding the above decided to proceed with Tonio Borg’s nomination he was gambling Malta’ reputation.  He should have nominated someone else. There are plenty of suitable candidates amongst Malta’s  404,000 population.

It is on Lawrence Gonzi’s doorstep that Stephen Calleja should direct his criticism. But obviously, as he is “independent” he will find considerable difficulty in doing so.