Hawn Malta ftit tajna kasha. Imma hi deċiżjoni iebsa. Il-gvern qal li m’hemmx problema – aħna favur. Forsi mhijiex ħaġa daqshekk ħafifa.
Is-CETA – il-ftehim bejn l-Unjoni Ewropea u l-Kanada dwar kummerċ u investiment “ħielsa” – waslet għal deċiżjonijiet ta’ ratifika min-naħa taz-zewġ firmatarji. Il-kontroversji dwarha ma naqsux, l-aktar meta tpoġġiet ras imb’ ras mat-TTIP, il-ftehim tal-istess tip imma ħafna aktar importanti, li l-Unjoni Ewropea riedet tinnegozja mal-Istati Uniti ta’ zmien Barack Obama. It-TTIP qajjem ukoll kontroversji kbar. Minn qabel il-wasla ta’ Trump spiċċa moribond. Is-CETA seta’ għereq miegħu.
Baqa’ fil-wiċċ. Fil-Parlament Ewropew irridu nivvotaw dwaru dil-ġimgħa. Bħall-gruppi politiċi oħra fil-Parlament, is-soċjalisti u d-demokratiċi qed jaqblu biex jivvotaw favur is-CETA.
Jien wieħed minn dawk li mhumiex komdi b’dan. It-trejd unjins kollha tista’ tgħid tal-Ewropa ( u tal-Kanada) ħarġu kontra s-CETA.
U s-soċjalisti se jkunu favuru?

Korruzzjoni
F’bosta mill-pajjizi tal-Ewropa, jekk mhux kollha, il-korruzzjoni saret tema qawwija, anzi taħraq. Mhux fir-Rumanija biss, fejn għexieren ta’ eluf ta’ dimostranti ħarġu jipprotestaw kontra l-mod kif il-gvern ipprova jgħattiha u jiskolpaha.
Fi Spanja, l-iskandli dwar korruzzjoni mill-gvern tal-popolari għadhom għaddejja, b’kull ftit taz-zmien tfaqqa’ xi storja ġdida. Fi Franza, l-problemi tal-kandidat tal-lemin Francois Fillon bl-akkuzi ta’ impjiegi fittizji għal martu u uliedu ħarbtulu ċ-ċansijiet tajba li kellu biex jingħazel President ta’ Franza. It-taħwid li għaddej fit-tmexxija ta’ Ruma taħt id-drezzjoni “friska” u riċenti taċ-Cinque Stelle saret telenovela Taljana. L-istejjer mhumiex jonqsu ġejja mill-Awstrija, l-Olanda, l-Ġermanja. F’Malta, għandna min iqajjem stejjer li uħud jixirqilhom, huma wkoll, investigazzjoni.
Imma fil-politika Ewropea, l-korruzzjoni hi xi ħaġa li takkuza biha lill-partit oppost. Meta tmiss lil tiegħek, tippreferi x’aktarx li tħares in-naħa l-oħra.
Snin ilu, kont ipproponejt li ndaħħlu sistema ta’ maġistrat inkwirenti fuq korruzzjoni li jkollu poteri ta’ investigazzjoni u pulizija tiegħu. M’hemmx mod ieħor kif tegħleb il-korruzzjoni. Ħadd ma qabel, mill-membri tal-ġudikatura ’l isfel.

Gwerra tal-klassi
Fi zminijiet oħra, kienet ħaġa normali li nitkellmu dwar il-konflitti politiċi f’termini ta’ “gwerra tal-klassi”. Veru, kien kunċett marksista uzat bil-kbir mill-partiti komunisti.
Il-kunċett innifsu, kienu jgħidulna, iservi biss biex iqanqal mibegħda – “odju” kienet il-kelma preferita – mingħajr ma jitfa’ dawl fuq kif soċjetà tinbena u tieħu l-ħajja madwar strutturi parteċipattivi. Ftit ftit, l-espressjoni mietet fuq iz-zokk.
Imma l-gwerra tal-klassi baqgħet għaddejja. Bla spjegi zejda dwar xinhi, imma b’ħafna kliem li jagħtuha l-ħajja fil-midja soċjali, f’firxa wiesgħa ta’ referenzi li jitilqu mill-pastizzi sad-diskors falz dwar xinhu korrett u xinhu kundannabbli.

English Version – CETA

In Malta it has been given scant notice. But the decision it requires is a tough call. The government says there’s no problem – we stand for it.

However the matter is not so simple.

CETA – the agreement between the EU and Canada about “free” trade and investment – has arrived at the ratification stage on the part of the two sides. Controversies about the deal were numerous, especially when it was placed in the shadow of TTIP, the agreement that followed the same model but was vastly more important, which the EU was negotiating with the US when Barack Obama was President. TTIP too gave rise to huge controversies but was dead in the water well before Trump’s arrival. Likewise, CETA too could have sunk.

But no, it survived. This week in the European Parliament we’re expected to vote on it. As have other political groups, the socialists and democrats have decided to vote in favour of CETA.

I find myself among those who feel uncomfortable with this. Practically all trade unions in the EU (as well as in Canada) have come out aganst CETA.

How can socialists vote for it?

***

Corruption

In many, if not all, European countries, corruption has become a strong – indeed a burning – issue. And not just in Rumania, where demonstrators in their scores of thousands have protested against the way by which the government tried to cover and decriminalise corruption.

In Spain, corruption scandals leading back to past governments by the Popular Party keep erupting ever so often. In France, the problems faced by the right wing candidate for the French Presidency Francois Fillon as he got accused of having provided fictitious jobs for his wife and sons, have overturned his good prospects of becoming President. The maladministration in Rome under the “fresh” and recent leadership of the Cinque Stelle movement has become an Italian soap opera.

Reports do not fail to come in from Austria, Holland, Germany, among others. In Malta we do get corruption reports, some of which merit serious investigation.

However in European politics, corruption is something you bring up when it concerns the other side. When it flits over to your side, you prefer not to notice.

Years ago, I proposed that we introduce a system by which an inquiring magistrate would have real powers of investigation in matters of corruption as well as his/her own police team. Nobody, starting with members of the judiciary and going down the line, would agree with this.

***

Class struggle

In the past, it was a done thing to discuss political conflicts in terms of a “class struggle”. Yes, it was a Marxist concept largely deployed by Communist parties.

Indeed the very idea, we would be told, served only to ignite social confrontation – “hatred” was the preferred word – without showing how a society is formed and how it comes alive around structures of participation. Slowly, use of the expression died out.

Yet, the class struggle is still proceeding. About it nothing much is noted. But what is mostly said in the social media for instance, brings it back to life over a wide range of topics, from the consumption of pastizzi, to the manipulative discourse about what is correct and what should be condemned.