Naqra dak li jgħidu l-“Ewropej” dwar kif il-gvern Grieg tal-Prim Ministru Tsipras mexxa n-negozjati tiegħu magħhom u nibqa’ mistagħġeb.

Issa lest naqbel li Tsipras u sħabu għamlu ħafna żbalji strateġiċi u tattiċi.

Imma li tgħid li n-negozjaturi Griegi kienu wisq mitfugħa fuq l-ideoloġija u ma wrewx prammatiżmu – analiżi li għamel pereżempju l-President tal-Kunsill Ewropew Tusk – tidhiri ħaġa stramba. U dan waqt li naqbel li Tusk lagħab logħba “kostruttiva” fl-andament tal-affari.

Biss, jekk il-Griegi kienu ideoloġiċi, xi ngħidu għall-Ewropej?

Fost il-premessi tagħhom, insibu: min jidħol fiż-żona tal-ewro, qed jagħmel pass irreversibbli; it-tisħiħ tal-awsterità iwassal għall-fejqan ekonomiku; li żżomm piż ta’ djun fuq pajjiż li b’mod ċar mhux qed jiflaħ aktar, hi t-triq li tiggarantixxi stabbiltà u fiduċja.

Dawn il-pożizzjonijiet u oħrajn bħalhom mhuma xejn jekk mhux ideoloġiċi. Żgur mhumiex prammatiċi.

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Strutturi ta’ gvern

Interessanti d-dibattitu għaddej dwar l-aħjar mod kif jiġu organizzati l-istrutturi li jirregolaw l-iżvilupp tal-art fil-pajjiż u dawk li jipproteġu l-ambjent. Hemm l-argumenti favur u kontra s-sehem tal-politiċi biex jassiguraw kontabilità demokratika; jew tat-teknokratiċi biex iżommu imparzjalità “xjentifika” u “razzjonali”; jew tas-soċjetà ċivili biex tirrifletti l-aspirazzjonijiet ta’ saffi differenti tal-poplu.

U hemm l-argumenti favur u kontra strutturi li jikkonsolidaw kollox fl-istess qies; jew strutturi separati li minn naħa jiddefendu l-iżvilupp, u mill-oħra l-ħarsien tal-ambjent ħalli joħolqu bilanċ deċiżjonali xieraq.

Mhux l-ewwel darba li qamu dawn l-argumenti f’pajjiżna u barra. Se jibqgħu jqumu.

Personalment matul is-snin, sirt pessimist kemm qatt se nistgħu b’għażla jew oħra naslu għal soluzzjoni li taħdem kif għandha taħdem. Tkun xi tkun, se tiddependi fuq ir-rieda tajba ta’ min iħaddimha. Mhux biss il-politiċi, magħsura minn pressjonijiet differenti, li jdardru r-rieda tajba anki meta jibdew biha; imma wkoll l-hekk imsejħa teknokratiċi jew “ambjentalisti”. Tiġri kullimkien, aktar u aktar f’ħolqa ta’ pajjiż bħal tagħna.

Rajtha tiġri kemm-il darba, anki meta l-anqas stennejtha.

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Edogawa

Smajt għall-ewwel darba b’Edogawa Rampo ftit ilu. Kien jikteb rumanzi popolari fil-Ġappun tas-snin għoxrin/tletin tas-seklu l-ieħor. Qrajt tiegħu r-rumanz “Il-Gremxula s-Sewda” li fi żmienu għamel furur. Mara misterjuża u sabiħa, b’tatu’ ta’ gremxula sewda fuq driegħha, tagħmel minn kollox biex tisraq għall-kollezzjoni tagħha djamant favoluż. Tagħmel dan billi tipprova taħtaf lit-tifla tal-propjetarju u tirrikattah li toqtolha jekk ma jgħaddilhiex id-djamant.

Imma biex iwaqqafha, jidħol id-didektiv famuż Akechi. L-avventuri u s-sorpriżi jsegwu bla nifs – l-ebda waħda minnhom mhi kredibbli. Matulhom tifhem għaliex fi żmienu, Edogawa kien kittieb ta’ suċċess kbir.

English Version – Ideology

I read with surprise what the “Europeans” had to say about how the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras carried out its negotiations with them.

Now I would agree that Tsipras & Co. committed a number of strategic and tactical mistakes.

However to claim that the Greek negotiators concentrated too much on ideology and lacked pragmatism seems to me quite strange. The analysis was made for instance by the President of the European Council Tusk, who admittedly played a very “constructive” game while the process was unfolding.

For if the Greeks were ideological in their approach, what can be said about the European negotiators?

Among their premises, were the following: entry in the euro zone is irreversible; strengthening austerity will lead to economic recovery; maintaining the debt burden on a country which clearly cannot bear it any longer, is the correct way by which to guarantee stability and trust.

Such claims and others like them are quite ideological and certainly not pragmatic.

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Government structures

An interesting debate has developed about how best to organize the structures meant to regulate land use and to protect the environment. Arguments are being made for and against the participation of politicians in order to ensure democratic accountability; that of technocrats in order to maintain a “scientific”, “rational” and impartial approach; or that of civil society to reflect the aspirations of different strata of the population at large.

Then we find arguments for and against structures that consolidate all functions under one authority; versus structures that are separately responsible for development and for environmental protection, so as to create the right decisional balance.

It’s not the first time that such arguments have been bandied about here and elsewhere. They will continue to recur in future.

Personally over the years, I have become pessimistic as to whether one can arrive at a solution that will work properly, no matter which option is chosen. Whatever it is or will be, it will depend on the good faith of those in charge of it. It is not only politicians caught between multiple pressures whose good faith eventually curdles, even if it’s fresh when they set out; technocrats and “environmentalists” too become subject to the same syndrome. It happens everywhere; much more so in a thimble-sized country like ours.

I saw it happen many times, even when least expected.

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Edogawa

I got to know for the first time about Edogawa Rampo quite recently. He used to write popular novels in the Japan of the twenties/thirties of the previous century. I read his novel “The Black Lizard” an out and out best seller when first published. A beautiful and mysterious lady, carrying the tattoo of a black lizard on her arm, is prepared to do anything to acquire for her collection a fabulous diamond. She tries to abduct the owner’s daughter and threatens to kill her unless she is given the diamond.

In her way, she finds the famous detective Akechi. Adventures and plot twists follow on each other at breakneck speed – none of them credible. As you follow them, you understand why in his lifetime Edogawa achieved huge success as a writer.