Fin-negozjati li saru fl-imgħoddi dwar it-tneħħija ta’ tariffi fuq prodotti fl-Ewropa, bdiewa u ħaddiema industrijali riedu jżommu l-protezzjoni. Kienu jakkużawhom li riedu biss iħarsu l-“privileġġi” tagħhom b’dannu għall-konsumaturi li kellhom igawdu enormement mill-benefiċċji tas-suq wieħed Ewropew.

Is-suq wieħed ġab miegħu benefiċċji u danni. Bosta ħaddiema tilfu l-impjieg tagħhom u qatt ma ġabuh lura. Imma llum hemm kunsens, jew hekk jintqal, li l-benefiċċji jegħlbu d-danni.

Biss għadna qed nitkellmu dwar suq wieħed fin-negozju tal-oġġetti. Meta niġu għal suq wieħed fis-servizzi mal-Ewropa kollha, smajna ħafna paroli imma l-progress baqa’ fjakk. Mhux l-anqas fil-qasam tal-professjonijiet fejn ta’ spiss iqumu l-irwiefen kollha meta xi gvern jipprova jilliberalizzahom.

Baqgħu jeżistu bosta regolamenti differenti minn pajjiż Ewropew għal ieħor dwar ir-rikonoxximent ta’ professjonisti per eżempju, li ma jħalluhomx jiċċaqalqu minn pajjiż għal ieħor.

Mid-dehra, dwar suq wieħed Ewropew, dak li kellu jgħodd għall-bdiewa u l-ħaddiema tal-fabriki ma jgħoddx għall-professjonisti.

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Falliment

Li l-Greċja tfalli qed jittieħed dejjem aktar bħala possibbiltà. Hekk jidher tal-anqas jien u nikteb dan.

Meta dal-prospett reġa’ tfaċċa l-ġimgħa l-oħra, s-swieq finanzjarji xejn ma ħadu ġost. Il-valur tal-ishma u ċedoli finanzjarji oħra qala’ daqqa. Ilu ħafna jintqal li fl-aħħar snin iż-żona tal-ewro bniet ilqugħ sodi għall-kriżijiet li jistgħu jinqalgħu f’pajjiż jew ieħor. Tant li anki jekk il-Greċja tfalli mhix se tikkawża diżastru għall-bqija taż-żona ewro.

Biss, fid-dinja reali ma tistax tikkalkola minn qabel kull effett ta’ kull ġrajja li tinqala’. Veru li meta tħares lejn kif żviluppat iż-żona tal-ewro fl-aħħar snin, ikollok tammetti li ddaħħlu miżuri impressjonanti biex iżommuha għaddejja, jiġri x’jiġri.

Xorta, il-biża’ għadu ma għebx: jekk il-Greċja jew xi pajjiż ieħor jirrokka, it-theżżiża għall-bqija taż-żona ewro tista’ tkun kbira wisq.

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Veloso u Gil

Kienet sorpriża sabiħa nsir naf minn xandira tal-aħbarijiet televiżivi tal-BBC li Gaetano Veloso u Gilberto Gil se jkunu flimkien qed jagħtu ġirja ta’ kunċerti mal-Ewropa. Smajt bihom ilu ħafna minn ħbieb żgħazagħ Brażiljani li semmgħuli l-mużika tagħhom ta’ dak iż-żmien.

Ma kontx naf li għadhom attivi.

Il-mużika popolari tagħhom, tipikament Brażiljana imma lesta tindiehes ma’ tradizzjonijiet oħra u “titgħallem” minnhom, kienet qawwija, sentimentali, anki politika. Tant li għar-reġim militari Brażiljan tas-snin sittin tas-seklu l-ieħor Veloso u Gil kienu proskritti, anke jekk ma segwewhomx bl-istess ħdura li snin wara, fiċ-Ċili, ntweriet lejn Victor Jara.

Veloso u Gil rnexxielhom jaħarbu lejn Londra. Kien minn hemm li bdew jikkoperaw bejniethom.

Dnub li f’Malta baqgħu mhux daqstant magħrufa.

 

English Version – Free movement of services

During long past negotiations to remove European tariffs on products, farmers and industrial workers wanted to retain protection. They were accused of only trying to defend their “privileged” position at the expense of consumers who were bound to benefit enormously from the creation of a single European market.

The latter brought costs and benefits. Many workers lost their jobs and never found other employment. But today, we are told, there is a consensus that benefits have outweighed costs.

Even so, the reference still is to a single market in the trade of products. We were fed very fine words regarding the development of a single market in services across Europe but progress has been slow. Not least in professional services, where all hell breaks loose when governments try to liberalise.

Across Europe, too many different regulations apply, regarding for instance the recognition of professional qualifications. They prevent holders from being able to move freely across frontiers.

Apparently in the establishment of a single European market, what had to make sense for farmers and industrial workers, should not apply equally to providers of professional services.

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Bankrupt

As I write this at least, it seems that the bankruptcy of Greece is increasingly being considered as likely.

When that prospect re-emerged last week, financial markets went glum. The values of shares and other financial instruments got a beating. Constantly we’ve heard the refrain in recent years that the euro zone had set up strong protective structures to contain the crises arising in this or that country. So even if Greece goes bankrupt, it won’t be a disaster for the rest of the euro zone.

However in the real world, it is impossible to calculate beforehand all the repercussions of events that might occur. Yet one must acknowledge that considering how the euro zone has developed, impressive decisions were taken to ensure that it remains operative, no matter what happens.

The fear persists that if Greece or some other country hits a rock, the rest of the euro zone could be hit too hard.

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Veloso & Gil
It was such a nice surprise to learn from a clip on the BBC’s world TV news that Gaetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil are organizing a joint concert tour in Europe this summer.

I first got to know about them a long time ago from young Brazilian friends. They made me listen to Gil’s and Veloso’s music of those days.

Their style was typically Brazilian, popular and quite ready to mimic other traditions as well as “learn” new things from them. It was robust, sentimental, also political stuff. And so the military regime that ran Brazil during the second half of the sixties of the previous century outlawed Veloso and Gil, even if they did not pursue them with the same savagery that years later, in Chile, was the lot of Victor Jara.

Veloso and Gil managed to find refuge in London. That’s where they started to cooperate.

What a pity they’re not so well known in Malta.