Wara l-kjass finanzjarju li ħarbat l-Ewropa mill-2008 ’l quddiem, l-avvanz lejn għaqda bankarja fiż-żona tal-ewro kien mistenni u x’aktarx neċessarju. Ġab miegħu sorvelja aħjar tat-tmexxija tal-banek ewlenin Ewropej, regoli aktar strinġenti dwar kif bank iħaddem il-flejjes li jindokra u mekkaniżmu Ewropew biex jilqa’ għall-banek li jidħlu f’diffikoltà.

Dan kollu ġie jfisser spejjeż ogħla ta’ tmexxija mill-banek involuti, kif ukoll naħseb jien, prudenza akbar fil-mod kif il-banek jappoġġjaw investiment ġodda – li mbagħad bilfors ikollu effett ta’ brejk fuq dawn l-investimenti. Dwar jekk dat-tieni effett hux iseħħ għadha tonqosna l-informazzjoni.

Dwar li l-ispiża ta’ tmexxija tal-benek għoliet hemm informazzjoni, inkluża f’Malta. Tidher ikkonfermata mill-fatt li iva, ċerti spejjez biex banek ilaħħqu mar-regolamenti ġodda żdiedu sew, f’ċerti każi bi tnaqqis tal-profitt.

L-ironija għall-banek Maltin hi li għalkemm tpoġġew taħt ir-regolamentazzjoni Ewropea ġdida, bl-ispejjeż akbar li ġabet magħha, huma kienu skansaw l-effetti tal-kriżi finanzjarja. L-operat tagħhom kien baqa’ ristrett għall-ispazju Malti u “iżolat” mis-suq bankarju Ewropew.

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X’impjiegi?

Żagħżugħ kitibli biex jara nistax ngħinu jsib impjieg għax kemm ilu li ggradwa mill-Università baqa’ ma sabx xogħol.

Ieħor ilmenta miegħi li x-xogħol li għandu bħalissa m’għandu x’jaqsam xejn ma’ dak li studja għalih u mħallas bil-ftit.

Mingħand terġa’ ieħor smajt kif ilu s-snin issa bix-xogħol iva, imma maqbud fi prekarjat li ma jistax joħroġ minnu.

Veru li l-qagħda tal-impjiegi qed titjieb sew u jalla tibqa’ sejra hekk. Imma wasal iż-żmien li nirriflettu dwar il-kwalità tal-impjiegi, mhux l-anqas fost iż-żgħażagħ. F’ċerti setturi bħall-kontabilità, l-informatika u l-istatistika m’hemmx problemi għax l-offerta ta’ impjiegi hi ogħla mill-provista ta’ nies imħarrġa fihom.

Mhux kulħadd jista’ jsir accountant, inġinier informatiku jew espert statistiku. Jeħtieġu sforzi akbar favur żgħażagħ u oħrajn li jinsabu maqbuda f’ċirku vizzjuż fejn fi żmien ta’ aktar impjiegi, jew huma bla xogħol jew effettivament qed jiġu esplojtati.

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Talent u aktar

It-tenur Joseph Calleja jixraqlu tifħir mhux biss għat-talent manjifiku tiegħu imma wkoll għal kwalità ammirevoli oħra li ma tantx issibha f’pajjiżna. Juriha bl-inizjattiva li jieħu biex jappoġġja artisti ġodda Maltin fil-linja artistika tiegħu – u jagħmel dan b’għajnuna fl-istudji u l-ħidmiet tagħhom tal-bidu, kif ukoll billi jagħtihom prominenza fil-wirjiet li jtella’.

Fil-biċċa l-kbira – fl-oqsma tal-politika, tan-negozju, tal-professjonijiet, tal-Università, tal-kultura – min jinsab “minn fuq” mhux talli ma jimportahx minn min għadu qed “jibda”, talli jqisu b’għira jew bħala theddida, u b’mod fin jew goff skont il-każ ta’ spiss jara kif ifixklu. Mhux Calleja.

 

English Version – Banks

In the wake of the financial crisis that has disrupted European economies as of 2008, progress towards a banking union within the euro zone was to be expected and was probably necessary. It launched a better supervision over how Europe’s leading banks are managed, more stringent rules over how banks deploy the funds at their disposal and a European mechanism to counter the difficulties that banks run into.

All this has meant higher administrative costs for banks and as I would imagine, has generated a greater prudence in the ways by which banks evaluate new investments, which then serves to brake such investments. We still lack data about whether this second effect is in place.

However information is available about the running costs of banks, including in Malta. It seems to confirm that yes, certain costs incurred by banks to keep in line with new regulations have increased significantly, in some cases leading to a cut in profits.

The irony from the perspective of Maltese banks is that though they too have been placed under the new European regime, with the higher expenditures it involves, the financial crisis never hit them at all. Their activities had throughout been restricted to Malta and “isolated” from the European banking market.

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Jobs?

A young man wrote to ask whether I can help him find a job as he has remained unemployed since graduating from University some months ago.

Another complained that the work he now holds is badly paid and has nothing to do with what he studied for.

Yet another one told me that though he has been working for the past few years, it’s been in precarious employment from which he can find no exit.

It is true that the job situation has improved greatly and long may it continue to do so. Yet the time has come for reflection about the quality of jobs available, not least for young people. In some sectors like accountancy, information technology and statistics there are no problems, for job offers exceed the supply of people trained in the relevant sectors.

Still, not everybody can become an accountant, a digital engineer or statistician. Greater efforts need to be made to help young people and others who are caught in a vicious circle: at a time when new jobs are being created, such people remain unemployed or effectively subject to exploitation.

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Talent plus

Beyond his magnificent talent, tenor Joseph Calleja merits praise too for another admirable personal quality of his, one which is rarely found in this country. He displays it by taking the initiative to support new Maltese performers in his artistic line of activity – doing so by helping them in their studies and early efforts, as well as by giving them prominence in his own shows.

Mostly those who find themselves “at the top” in Malta – in politics, business, the professions, the University, culture, whatever – fail to care about others who are at the start of their career. More, they frequently look down at them with envy or consider them as a threat, and nicely or with no holds barred, as the case may be, try to put obstacles in their path. Not Calleja.