Is-summit “informali” Ewropew ta’ Malta ġie u mar. Kif mistenni, l-konklużjonijiet ma kinux kolossali. Hemm wisq fatturi li qed jiċċaqlaqu u jinbidlu kemm fi ħdan l-Unjoni Ewropea, kemm barra minnha.
Filfatt kien ikun imprudenti kieku ttieħdu ċerti deċiżjonijiet issa, meta kulħadd għadu inċert dwar fejn se jkun sejjer tassew il-President Trump bil-politika tiegħu, u meta pajjiżi ewlenin tal-Unjoni qed jaffaċċjaw skadenzi elettorali diffiċli.
Madankollu, l-progress li sar fil-qasam tal-politika tal-immigrazzjoni mhux ta’ min imaqdru – fih is-siwi tiegħu għax mal-kontinent dil-materja tqajjem tensjonijiet politiċi splussivi.
Maġġoranza kbira tal-pajjiżi Ewropej sostnew rieda biex ikomplu jimxu fuq il-binarji ta’ għaqda li nedew sa issa. Ma għandhomx alternattiva ħlief li jagħmlu dan b’pass kajman.
IT-TIMES OF MALTA
Tat-“Times of Mlta” kellhom problema mal-Managing Director tagħhom. Ġie mixli li ħawwad biex kuntratti kbar li kellhom jingħataw għall-bini ta’ stamperija ġdida jinħadmu b’korruzzjoni. L-akkużi li saru fuq hekk, taw bidu għal tempesta politika u medjatika li għadha miexja.
Tat-“Times” jippriedkaw dwar trasparenza. Imma diffiċli tgħid min hemm warajhom tabilħaqq; l-istess ħaġa tgħodd għall-Malta Independent wara kollox. Ilhom xhur jieħdu sehem f’kampanja biex jiskreditaw il-gvern, għax skont huma jaħbi kollox għax għandu ħafna x’jaħbi.
Għamlu inkjesta dwar l-istorja tal-managing director tagħhom. Tellgħu u tellagħhom quddiem il-qrati. Issa ftehmu, bejniethom, fil-privat.
Ir-rapport tal-inkjesta għandu jiġi pubblikat. Tat-“Times” ma jistgħux jinħbew wara l-argument li huma soċjetà privata.
Il-midja jew huma organu ta’ kumnikazzjoni publika, l-hekk imsejjaħ “fourth estate” jew huma biss biżniss privat. Bir-rifjut li jippubblikaw ir-rapport tal-inkjesta, tat-“Times” tilfu l-kredibilità meta jitħajru jikkritikaw in-nuqqas ta’ trasparenza ta’ ħaddieħor.
Il-Presidenza Maltija tal-Unjoni qed tikkawża dwejjaq u danni lir-residenti u n-negozji tal-Belt. Biex isibu fejn jipparkjaw ir-residenti qed ikollhom jagħmlu wegħda, meta ma jkollhomx imorru l-Furjana u lil hinn minnha.
Sadattant, in-nies qed tibqa’ lura milli żżur il-Belt minħabba l-problemi tat-trasport u allura ħwienet u ristoranti qed jitilfu x-xogħol.
Il-ħsieb li dawn l-isfortuni għandhom jibqgħu jinħassu għal ħames xhur oħra jservi biex itaqqal id-dwejjaq.
Ma naħsibx li l-affarijiet setgħu saru mod ieħor. Matul il-presidenza kellhom jiġu f’pajjiżna mexxejja u ministri tal-pajjiżi membri kollha, u anki oħrajn minn barra l-Unjoni. Bilfors iridu jingħataw ħarsien serju.
Fi Brussell ukoll, meta dan isir, il-belt tispiċċa fgata. Biċ-ċokon tal-gżira, dan l-effett jirranka. Biss ta’ min jirrifletti dwar x’kumpens – anki simboliku – jistgħu jingħataw iċ-ċittadini u n-negozji tal-Belt b’għarfien tal-inkonvenjenti li qed iġarrbu.
English Version – As expected
The European summit held in Malta has come and gone. As expected, no conclusions with colossal implications were agreed. The situation within and outside the EU is too fluid, too many factors have been changing.
In fact it would have been imprudent to take certain decisions as of now, when all are still unsure as to the destination at which President Trump intends to arrive with his policies, and when leading EU countries are heading towards difficult electoral timetables.
Even so, the progress achieved on issues of migration policycan hardly be downplayed – it carries weight, considering that the issue is one which generates explosive political tensions right across the continent.
A majority of European countries have confirmed their intention to continue to follow policies on the lines that weredeveloped up to now. They thus have no alternative; they must step slowly.
At the “Times of Malta” they ran into a problem with their Managing Director. He was accused of maladministration. Big contracts concluded in the building of a new printing press were allegedly awarded in a corrupt manner. The accusations made on this issue led to a political and media storm that is still rolling.
“The Times” has specialised in preaching about transparency. Still, it is difficult to really tell who is behind their organization (which also holds for “The Malta Independent” after all). They have for past months been riding a campaign to discredit the government which, by their standards apparently, has been keeping everything it does under wraps because it must have lots to hide.
The paper launched an internal inquiry about the case of its managing director. They took him to court. He did likewise. Now a private agreement has been reached between the parties.
The report of the inquiry should be published. “The Times” cannot shelter behind the claim that it is a private company.
The media either serve as an organ for public communication, the so-called “fourth estate”, or they are a private business. With their refusal to publish the report of the inquiry they themselves commissioned, “The Times” have lost credibility when they feel the inclination to criticise the lack of transparency of others.
Editorial Note: The Malta Independent’s shareholding is transparent and can be publicly verified at the registry of The Malta Financial Services Authority.
The Maltese presidency of the EU is causing difficulties and losses to residents and businesses in Valletta. Residents are experiencing huge problems finding where to park, and indeed they must sometimes go to Floriana and beyond to find a parking space.
Meanwhile, people are keeping back from visiting Valletta because of transport problems – which is making shops and restaurants lose business.
The idea that these misfortunes will have to be endured for another five months simply helps to make them feel more unendurable.
I doubt whether things could have been organized differently. During the presidency, leaders and ministers from all member states, as well as those from countries outside the Union, were bound to visit Malta. Necessarily, they needed to be given full protection.
In Brussels too, when this happens, traffic congestion is the order of the day. In a small island like ours, this and associated impacts escalate.
Perhaps one could consider whether the residents and businesses ofValletta merit some compensation – even if it is symbolic – in recognition of the inconveniences they have to live with.