Kull azzjoni twassal għal riżultati li wħud ikunu mistennija, oħrajn le. Dan jiġri meta deċiżjonijiet meħuda jseħħu f’sitwazzjoni fejn il-kondizzjonijiet li jiddeterminawha jkunu magħrufa u stabbli. Aħseb u ara meta l-azzjoni tiġri b’mod li għalih ma jeżisti l-ebda preċedent u ftit li xejn jista’ jsir tbassir dwar x’se jiġri fil-futur.
Il-qagħda dwar il-Brexit hi bħal tal-aħħar. Ir-Renju Unit ħiereġ mill-Unjoni Ewropea imma kif dan se jsir u b’liema konsegwenzi ftit qed jitbassar. Ħlief li l-qagħda tar-Renju Unit u anki tal-Unjoni se jeħżienu.
Wieħed jista’ jaqleb il-problema ta’ taħt fuq. Jekk bħala konsegwenza mhux mistennija jiġri assolutament il-maqlub? Jekk bil-Brexit, ir-Renju Unit u l-Unjoni Ewropea, b’konsegwenza mhux mistennija, t-tnejn jissaħħu…?
F’das-sens, eżerċizzju interessanti jkun dak li wieħed jara kif jista’ jiżviluppa xenarju hekk, mill-fatti li nafu bihom sa issa.
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Mill-Awstrija
Id-deċiżjoni tal-qorti kostituzzjonali Awstrijakka li tikkanċella l-elezzjoni presidenzjali li saret ftit ilu hi serja għal aktar mir-raġuni li tissemma ta’ spiss – jiġifieri li l-lemin estrem ingħata ċans ieħor biex itella’ l-kandidat tiegħu fl-ogħla kariga tal-istat, anki jekk hi l-aktar ta’ natura ċerimonjali.
Il-qorti ħadet id-deċiżjoni tagħha għax qablet li tassew saru irregolaritajiet wiesgħa fit-tmexxija tal-elezzjoni. Dan sar b’dannu tal-lemin estrem.
Issa, hi ħaġa ċara li dak li sar hu anti-demokratiku għall-aħħar. U ftit tista’ targumenta li kien il-lemin estrem li wettqu… kontra l-istess interessi tiegħu.
Waħda mill-agħar akkużi li ssir kontra l-lemin estrem hi li ma jirrispettax id-demokrazija.
F’daqqa waħda, veru jew le, qed jidher li mhux hu biss jagħmel hekk; anki l-forzi miġmugħa kontrih u li jisħqu kif dak li janimahom l-aktar hu l-ħarsien tad-demokrazija.
B’konklużjoni bħal din, il-periklu għad-demokrazija fl-Ewropa jitqies ħafna aktar profond milli konna naħsbu.
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Anqas diversifikazzjoni
Nerġa’ ngħidha: is-snin li ilna membri tal-Unjoni Ewropea servew ukoll biex inaqqsu d-diversifikazzjoni tal-ekonomija tagħna, mhux biex iżiduha.
Terġa’, infrastruttura bażika li neħtieġu biex insostnu r-rabtiet tagħna ma’ barra, jew naqset relattivament jew mhiex taħt kontroll nazzjonali għax tiddependi għal kollox mit-tbandil tas-suq globali skont prinċipji neo-liberali. Niddubita kemm das-sostenn seta’ jkun possibbli mingħajr intervent dirett u mġedded tal-istat, ħaġa li bir-regoli ta’ tmexxija ekonomika li nsegwu mhix permissibbli.
Waqt li seħħ dat-tnaqqis ta’ diversifikazzjoni fl-ekonomija, il-kontradizzjonijiet ma naqsux, kważi mingħajr ma ntbaħna bihom. Bħall-insistenza tas-settur turistiku, l-ewwel biex pajjiżna iħalli l-linji tal-ajru low cost joperaw lejn Malta, imbagħad biex l-Air Malta tinżamm fl-ajru akkost ta’ kollox – ħaġa li l-Unjoni Ewropea ma tippermettix.

English Version – Unintended Consequences

Any action will give both expected and unexpected results. This happens even when decisions are taken in situations which are determined by known and stable conditions. It happens to a greater extent when events occur in ways for which precedents do not exist and about which it is difficult to forecast future developments.

Brexit falls in the latter category. As the UK exits from the EU, few reliable forecasts are being made regarding how this is going to be done and with what consequences – apart from negative expectations about both the UK and the EU.

However one can turn the problem upside down. How about if, as an unexpected consequence, the result is absolutely the opposite of the negative outcomes being feared? Say, if with Brexit, both the UK and the EU end up in better shape…?

In this perspective, an interesting exercise would be to see how such a scenario could develop on the basis of the facts that are currently available.

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Out of Austria

The decision by Austria’s constitutional court to cancel the presidential election that took place recently is a worrying development for more than the reason which is most mentioned – namely that the far right has been given another opportunity to elect its candidate to the highest appointment in the state, even if the post is mainly ceremonial.

The court took its decision because it agreed that material irregularities had been committed when the elections were being run. These were not to the benefit of the far right.

Now it’s quite clear that what happened was fundamentally anti-democratic. And one can hardly argue that the far right was responsible for this, against its own interests.

One of the worst allegations made against the far right is that it is disrespectful of democracy.

Suddenly, correctly or not, the perception has become that the far right is not alone in being like so; the same holds apparently for the political forces assembled to oppose it, while they claim that what most motivates them is the need to safeguard democracy.

Given such a perception, the threat to democracy in Europe could be considered as much deeper than one had imagined.

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Less diversity

I’ll repeat: the years that have passed since we joined the EU have also served to reduce diversity in our economy, not increase it.

Moreover, the basic infrastructure we need to maintain our ties with the outside world, has either diminished in relative terms, or has come to depend greatly on the fluctuations occurring in global markets according to neoliberal rules of play. I doubt whether such maintenance could have been possible without direct and renewed interventions by the state, which are not permissible under the rules defining economic management that we must follow.

While a reduction in economic diversity was proceeding, contradictions did not fail to emerge, almost without our noticing. Like the insistence of the tourism sector, first that Malta allow low cost airlines to operate here; then that at all costs, Air Malta should be kept in the air – something which the EU does not sanction.