Skont ħabib tiegħi, l-aqwa tagħlima dis-sena ma ħadnihiex mill-iżviluppi dwar l-ewro jew fil-Lvant Nofshani jew ma nafx minn fejn aktar, imma mill-ballun.

Skont hu, l-iskandlu li għadu sejjer fil-FIFA juri b’mod eżemplari kif il-flus għandhom is-saħħa li jimmodernizzaw u jkabbru b’mod inkredibbli linja ta’ attività sportiva. Permezz tal-marketing jagħmluha popolari mad-dinja kollha, biex imbagħad jikkorrompuha minn ġewwa.

Bla dubju, fl-aħħar għoxrin/tletin sena, id-diriġenti tal-FIFA wettqu strateġija brillanti biex bis-saħħa tat-teknoloġiji tat-telekomunikazzjoni jikkonvertu b’suċċess il-futbol mondjali, aktar milli diġà kien, f’magna ta’ qligħ finanzjarju enormi.

Fil-proċess, l-istess diriġenti riedu jippreservaw it-tmexxija tagħhom bil-poteri li tathom. Saru klikka ta’ nies li lesti jxaħħmu u jixxaħħmu. Żelqu minn kull proċess serju ta’ kontabilità, ħlief dak ta’ bejniethom, ħbieb tal-kap tagħhom.

Hu mudell ta’ tmexxija mafjuż. Ittanta lil ħafna nies… fil-politika, fl-ekonomija, fil-kriminalità u issa fl-isport.

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Futur tal-ewro

Il-programm tal-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew li bih f’kull pajjiż qed jinxtraw kull xahar b’kollox mas-60 biljun ewro f’ċedoli ta’ self tal-gvernijiet ma ħeġġiġx l-inflazzjoni fiż-żona ewro. Bil-maqlub.

Madankollu, il-valur tal-ewro fis-swieq internazzjonali waqa’ sew. L-esportazzjoni Ewropea kibret. Mhux il-konsum intern. Bħalissa l-Ewropa qed tirreġistra bilanċi favorevoli ħafna fil-kummerċ tagħha ma’ barra: tbigħ ħafna aktar barra, milli tixtri.

Suppost li bil-valur baxx tal-ewro, il-prezz ta’ x’l-Ewropa tixtri minn barra qed jisplodi. Imma le. Il-prezz taż-żejt tant tbaxxa li anki hu, għalkemm immarkat fid-dollari mhux fl-ewro, qed jikkontribwixxi għad-diflazzjoni fiż-żona tal-ewro.

Sadattant, l-investiment baqa’ fjakk. U l-qgħad, speċjalment fost iż-żgħażagħ għoli wisq.

X’għandu jsir?

Fil-fehma tiegħi: investiment qawwi publiku li żgur iġib warajh l-investiment privat.

Għaliex ma jsirx?

Ir-regoli ta’ tmexxija taż-żona ewro ma jippermettuhx.

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Kaċċa

Nifhem li Oppożizzjoni għandha kull interess tagħmel kaċċa għall-abbużi, tagħtihom pubbliċità u tippersonalizzahom.

Xorta hemm regoli ta’ mġiba li jridu jiġu segwiti f’dil-ħaġa. L-allegazzjonijiet li jsiru jridu jkunu marbuta tajjeb mar-realtà, u mistħarrġa sew.

Lil hinn minn hekk, tattikament wieħed irid joqgħod attent li l-kwistjonijiet li jitqanqlu jkunu serji u qawwija. Wisq kwistjonijiet, b’uħud minnhom tar-rix, iqanqlu sfiduċja f’kampanja sħiħa kontra korruzzjoni jew abbuż ta’ poter li tkun qed issir.

Akkużi trivjali jimminaw fl-effett tagħhom, oħrajn li jkunu aktar serji.

Il-kaċċa għall-abbużi tibqa’ ħidma ewlenija (u meħtieġa) ta’ Oppożizzjoni f’demokrazija parlamentari. Hemm parametri importanti li jiddeterminaw sa fejn għandha titwassal.

M’iniex konvint li l-Oppożizzjoni preżenti fil-Parlament Malti qed tosservahom. Żball: aktar u aktar meta l-istess Oppożizzjoni għadha ġġorr wisq tbajja’ mill-imgħoddi tagħha ta’ żmienha fil-gvern.

English Version – Money and the ball

A friend of mine claims that the best lesson we had this year did not result from developments in the euro zone or the Middle East or wherever, but from football.

In his view, the ongoing FIFA scandal shows in an exemplary manner how money has the potential to modernise and hugely empower a given area of sports activity. Through marketing it can then popularize it on a global scale, following which it corrupts the sport from the inside.

There’s hardly any doubt that during the last twenty to thirty years, FIFA leaders have carried out a brilliant strategy by which, building on modern telecom technologies, they successfully converted world football into a machine generating enormous financial profits, well beyond the levels that had been achieved previously.

In the process, the same leaders took care to keep hold over their positions and all the associated powers. They became a clique of insiders, ready to bribe and get bribed. They evaded all due process of accountability, except that of their fellows, all friends of their chief.

It was management à la mafia – a model that has tempted many people, in politics, economics, organized crime and now sport.

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Euro futures

The quantitative easing programme by which the European Central Bank is purchasing in all euro countries every month government bonds for a total of 60 billion euros, has not encouraged price rises in the euro zone. To the contrary.

Yet, the euro has depreciated significantly in international currency markets. There has been a marked increase in European exports, unmatched by internal consumption. Today, Europe is registering a very favourable balance in its external trade, selling much more to the outside world than it is buying.

Given the euro’s depreciation, the cost of Europe’s external purchases should have rocketed. Not so. The price of oil has dropped so deeply that even though it is set in US dollars, it too is contributing to deflation in the euro zone.

Meanwhile investment remains weak, while unemployment, especially among the young, remains too high.

What should be done?

My vote is for public investment, which should surely trigger in its wake private investment.

So what makes it a non-starter?

Eurozone management rules in practice, forbid it.

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Hunt

I understand that an Opposition has every interest to hunt for abuses, while publicizing and personalizing matters.

Still rules of appropriate behaviour apply when doing so. Allegations made have to be grounded in real life issues and must be well researched.

Beyond these concerns, tactically it has to be ensured that matters raised are of serious and considerable import. Too many questions raised, some about frivolous incidents, generate lack of confidence in any general compaign being waged against corruption or abuse of power.

Trivial accusations undermine others whose effect could be much more fundamental.

The hunt for abuses will remain a principal and necessary function of the Opposition in a parliamentary democracy. Its reach is however determined by some important parameters.

I am not convinced that the current Opposition in the Malta Parliament is keeping within such parameters.

If so, that is a mistake, given that the same Opposition still carries too much negative baggage, dating from its past as government of the day.