Ninsabu fi żmien fejn l-imgħaxijiet fuq fondi mislufa qatt ma kienu aktar baxxi milli jinsabu llum. Veru li dan l-aħħar ċerti imgħaxijiet bdew jippuntaw b’nofs ħajra biex jogħlew. Imma fejn qatt ġara li ċertu self isir b’imgħax negattiv – jiġifieri trid tħallas lil min qed issellef, talli qed issellfu? — qisek qed tikri garaxx fejn tpoġġi flusek.

Xi żmien ilu l-gvernatur tal-Bank Ċentrali kien ilmenta li f’Malta, ir-rati tal-imgħax issettjati mill-banek ma kinux segwew daqstant din it-tendenza. L-imgħaxijiet li qed jiċċarġjaw fuq self li jagħmlu żammewhom għolja sew imqabbla ma’ pajjiżi oħra taż-żona ewro. Min-naħa l-oħra, il-banek naqqsu bil-kbir l-imgħaxijiet li huma kellhom iħallsu. Ftit smajna aktar dwar das-suġġett.

Xi ħadd qalli li l-Gvernatur qed jesaġera; mhux iqis biżżejjed kif il-banek Maltin, fiċ-ċokon taggħom, iġorru spejjeż tqal li banek barranin fil-kobor tagħhom jarawhom piż ħafif. Lanqas tista’ tgħid, ġib il-banek barranin fostna ħalli nibbenefikaw mill-kompetizzjoni. Jaraw is-suq lokali żgħir wisq biex joqogħdu jinqalgħu.

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Asbestos

Ma’ oħrajn fil-Parlament Ewropew għamilt numru ta’ mistqosijiet dwar x’se jiġri mill-ħaddiema tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea li qed jaħdmu f’bini fil-Lussemburgu li hu kkundannat minħabba li fih wisq attrezzi tal-asbestos. Dal-materjal bit-trab fin li joħroġ minnu jattakka l-pulmuni ta’ min jgħix jew jaħdem fil-qrib tiegħu, b’riżultati qerrieda wara numru ta’ snin.

Fl-aħħar, il-Kummissjoni tat data meta se toħroġ lill-ħaddiema minn fejn poġġiethom sa issa. Fost l-impjegati hemm kontinġent ta’ Maltin li ilhom is-snin jaħdmu hemm. Skantajt kif id-data ffissata mill-Kummissjoni mhijiex għada.

Għal ħafna, l-istituzzjonijiet Ewropej, fosthom fuq quddiem nett il-Kummissjoni Ewropea, jitqiesu bħala l-garanzija ta’ serjetà u effiċjenza moderna f’kull qasam tat-tmexxija publika. Ma nafx…

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Ktieb dwar l-ewro

Din il-ġimgħa se nkun nedejt ktieb li diġà ħareġ bħala e book; issa se jieħu wkoll sura stampata. Din hi l-ewwel esperjenza tiegħi li ktieb jidher kemm b’mod elettroniku u kemm bħala stampat.

Jittratta dwar l-iżviluppi fis-saga tal-ewro mis-sena 2012 sal-bidu ta’ dis-sena. Ikompli mal-ewwel ktieb dwar Malta u l-ewro li ħriġt fis-sena 2012, b’kapitli bil-Malti u bl-Ingliż. L-interess li ntwera f’dak il-ktieb, mill-qarrejja l-aktar, mhux mill-midja, impressjonani. Kont naħseb li għalkemm vitali għall-pajjiż, il-kriżijiet taż-żona ewro ftit jinteressaw, għax kollha ekonomija u teknika. Tqarraqt.

Waqt li l-Greċja tinsab f’xifer il-falliment u hemm ċaqliq biex fiż-żona ewro jiddaħħlu riformi ġodda, l-idea li nkompli nsegwi l-istorja tal-ewro sal-lum ma tidhirx ħażina. Żammejt il-linja li l-affarijiet — anki l-aktar komplikati — jiġu spjegati b’mod li jiftiehem.

Dan mhuwiex riklam 🙂

 

English Version – Interest

We’re at a time when interest rates on borrowed funds were never so low. True, recently there have been some weak upward pressures on rates. But when did it ever happen that some borrowings are being held with negative interest rates — meaning you are paying those who borrow from you for doing so? It’s like you’re hiring a garage where to park your money.

Not so long ago, the Central Bank governorcomplained that in Malta interest rates set by the banks were hardly following this trend. Interest charged by them on funds they lent stayed very high compared to other euro zone countries. On the other hand, the banks greatly cut down on the interest they were paying on deposits. There was little follow up on the subject.

I was told that the governor had overstated the case. He did not take sufficiently into account the fact that local banks, given their size, carry hefty expenses that foreign banks consider to be light, given their scale.

Nor is it possible to try and get foreign banks to establish a base here so that consumers can benefit from the resulting competition. Such banks consider the local market too tiny to justify coming over.

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Asbestos

Along with others in the European Parliament I’ve been placing questions regarding the situation of European Commission employees working in Luxembourg housed in a building that has been condemned as unsafe for having too many asbestos fittings. The fine dust that they release clogs the lungs of whoever is living or working close by, with deadly results in a few years’ time.

At last, the Commission has set a date by which to move employees from where it has put them up to now. Among them there is a contingent of Maltese who have been working there for years. Indeed I was surprised that the Commission did not set tomorrow as the date for moving.

Many consider the European institutions, foremost among them the European Commission, as guarantors of a modern sense of purpose and efficiency in all fields of public administration. Now, I wonder…

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Malta and the euro

This week I will have launched a book that has already been published as an e book; now it will exist in a print version. It my first experience of seeing a book appear both electronically and on paper.

Dealing with developments in the saga of the euro from the year 2012 to the beginning of this year, it is a sequel to a first book about Malta and the euro published in 2012, which also carried chapters in Maltese and English. I was impressed then by the interest shown in that book by ordinary readers, not the media actually.

My belief was that though the eurozone crises were of great significance to our country, people were not so keen to follow them because they were overloaded with economic technicalities. I was proved wrong.

As Greece teethers on the edge of bankruptcy and as moves multiply to introduce new reforms in the euro zone, the proposal to carry forward the story of the euro to the present sounds like less than a bad idea. I kept to the base line, that matters — even the most technical — need to be explained as simply as possible.

And this is not meant to be an advert 🙂