Id-dmir ta’ kull Oppożizzjoni hu li ssus fuq il-gvern tal-ġurnata biex fost affarijiet oħra tassigura li ssir governanza tajba tal-pajjiż. Dan billi tqajjem diskussjoni dwar problemi ta’ tmexxija ħażina, prepotenza, korruzzjoni, abbuż ta’ poter, konflitt ta’ interess min-naħa tal-awtoritajiet publiċi.

Bħalissa l-Oppożizzjoni Nazzjonalista u l-midja li tappoġġjaha qed jisħqu bil-kbir fuq kwistjonijiet bħal dawn. Lil hinn mill-mertu jew le tal-kontroversji mqajma, tinħass madankollu dilemma fil-qagħda attwali tal-Oppożizzjoni.

Wieħed jista’ jgħid, bir-raġun, li meta l-ekonomija tkun sejra tajjeb, hu diffiċli biex akkużi dwar governanza difettuża jaqbdu wisq art. Bħalissa l-ekonomija Maltija qed tikber b’ritmu inkoraġġanti.

Imma d-dilemma tal-PN hi aktar profonda minn hekk: L-Oppożizzjoni nnifisha ma tinħassx kredibbli.

Għal snin twal, il-PN fil-gvern ra kif injora kull problema ta’ governanza li ffaċċja – u kien hemm ħafna minnhom – jew ra kif jirrombla minn fuqhom. Li l-istess nies iqajmu skandlu issa dwar l-istess suġġetti tinstema’ stramba./

Mhux ta’ b’xejn li l-aktar artikolisti li jappoġġjaw lill-Oppożizzjoni f’gazzetti “indipendenti”, meta jqajmu materji ta’ governanza jinħassu li qed jiżvogaw f’bili u f’rabja frustrata, aktar milli jitħeġġu kontra xi abbuż, allegat jew minnu.

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Schauble u l-Kummissjoni Ewropea

Interessanti l-kontroversja li żviluppat fil-Ġermanja wara l-ftehim li ntlaħaq bejn il-pajjiżi taż-żona ewro u l-Greċja.

Il-ministru Ġermaniż tal-finanżi Schauble ħareġ jgħid li hemm bżonn li l-Kummissjoni Ewropea u l-President tagħha Juncker jitrażżnu fil-mod kif qed jieħdu inizjattivi fil-qafas tal-ewro. Schauble qed isostni li partijiet mill-istrutturi ta’ ħarsien tal-ewro għandhom jitpoġġew għal rashom, barra mill-kontroll jew l-influwenza tal-Kummissjoni. B’hekk id-deċiżjonijiet li jittieħdu jirriflettu biss dak li jgħodd ekonomikament u finanzjarjament għaż-żona u mhux xi kalkoli politiċi li jitkewsu fil-Kummissjoni.

Schauble xejn ma apprezza l-mod kif waqt in-negozjati mal-Griegi, Juncker faqqas “soluzzjonijiet” tekniċi li kienu jmorru kontra l-pożizzjoni tiegħu. Għal li ġej, x’aktarx li se nisimgħu aktar dwar din il-biċċa.

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Bil-kontra

Ili żmien li nnotajt dan l-iżvilupp li kull darba jirrepeti ruħu. Ma nafx x’jaħti għalih u m’inix persważ li hu kumbinazzjoni.

Kemm Malta ilha l-ewwel iżżomm il-munita tagħha marbuta fiss mal-ewro, u wara, kemm ilna bl-ewro, ir-rata tal-inflazzjoni fostna qed titlaq f’direzzjoni opposta għall-medja taż-żona. Meta f’tal-aħħar l-għoli tal-prezzijiet jirranka, f’Malta jbatti; meta, kif qed jiġri issa, l-inflazzjoni fiż-żona ewro tkun ċassa u baxxa, f’Malta l-għoli tal-prezzijiet jaqbad ritmu relattivament għoli.

Jista’ jkun li l-qagħda periferali tagħna taħti għal dan; imma jekk iva, għaliex? X’mekkaniżmi ta’ trażmissjoni jwasslu għalih? Ftit li xejn dan il-“fenomenu” ssemma sa issa.

 

English Version – In a bind

The duty of an Opposition is to monitor the government of the day in order to ensure, among other aims, that governance of the country is conducted on the right lines. It does this by provoking debates about issues of bad management, arrogant decision making, abuse of power, and conflicts of interest on the part of public authorities.

One can hardly deny that currently the Nationalist Opposition and its supporting media are driving hard on such issues. Still, beyond the merits or otherwise of claims made, one can hardly help feeling that actually the Opposition finds itself in a bind. One could argue correctly that when the economy is flourishing, it is difficult to get traction behind accusations of improper governance. As of now, the Maltese economy is growing at an encouraging pace.

However the PN’s dilemma goes deeper than this. The Opposition itself does not sound credible.

For many years, the PN in government sought to ignore all problems of governance that were raised – and there occurred quite a number. Or it just rolled over them. That the same people who did so in the past are now crying scandal seems incongruous.

Which is why hardcore pro-Opposition columnists in the “independent” media, give the impression that their contributions are ridden with bile and angst when they write about alleged or real abuses.

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Schauble and the European Commission

An interesting controversy has erupted in Germany after the agreement between eurozone member states and Greece.

German finance minister Schauble has come out with the claim that there is a need to curtail the ways by which the European Commission and its President Jean Claude Juncker can intervene in euro matters. Schauble is insisting that parts of the euro zone’s protective structures should be set on a stand alone basis, outside the control or influence of the Commission. As a result, the decisions they take would reflect economic and financial factors that are relevant to the zone’s proper management, and not the various political calculations cooked up within the Commission.

Schauble was less than appreciative when during the negotiations with Greece, Juncker devised technical “solutions” that undermined his position. It is likely that in coming months, this story will proceed further.

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In reverse

For some time, one could note that the following pattern has been regularly developing, and though I don’t yet know how to account for it, I am still not persuaded it’s just coincidence:

Since Malta first started to keep a fixed exchange rate for its currency with the euro, and later since it adopted the euro, our inflation rate has trended in a direction opposite to the zone’s average. When the latter shows price acelleration, in Malta indicators point to a price slowdown. When as in the present situation, euro zone inflation keeps on low, in Malta price rises follow a relatively higher trend.

It could be that our peripheral position accounts for this but why? What transmission mechanisms are causing it? The “phenomenon” has not been given much attention yet.