Tajjeb kemm hu tajjeb, il-baġit għas-sena 2016 bħal ta’ qablu u bħal dawk li jiġu warajh, se jiddependi għas-suċċess tiegħu minn kemm il-gvern jirnexxilu jimplimentah tajjeb. Meta ngħid il-gvern hawn, infisser dawk l-istrutturi amministrattivi u politiċi inkarigati mit-twettiq ta’ proġetti ġodda li l-baġit qed iħabbar, kif ukoll mill-attivitajiet regolari tal-gvern.

M’għadux aktar biżżejjed li ministeru jew dipartiment ikun immexxi tajjeb – hu bħala hu. Aktar ma għaddew is-snin, aktar ġara li kważi kull ħidma governattiva jkollha tinvolvi aktar minn struttura governattiva waħda jew tnejn.

Issa ħafna dipartimenti tal-gvern baqgħalhom ħafna x’jagħmlu biex joperaw bl-effiċjenza li jistenna l-poplu – għadhom marbuta ma’ stili qodma ta’ tmexxija, minkejja li f’ħafna minnhom il-fajls tal-karta nbidlu b’dawk elettroniċi.

Jidher li għadha sfida iebsa dik li dipartimenti u ministeri jingħaqdu flimkien fuq proġetti ġodda li biex jirnexxu, jeħtieġu kordinament sħiħ bejniethom. Aktar ma jgħaddi z-zmien, aktar jidher li n-nuqqas ta’ kordinament hu difett ewlieni fl-operat tal-gvernijiet Maltin.

Jalla l-baġit tal-2016 iservi wkoll biex dil-problema tingħeleb.

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Ir-Russja fis-Sirja

Ma nħoss l-ebda sens ta’ skandlu għall-intervent tar-Russja fil-gwerra ċivili tas-Sirja. L-Istati Uniti u diversi pajjizi Ewropej għamlu l-istess ħaġa qabel ir-Russi. Tal-aħħar għandhom interessi vitali daqs tal-Punent, li jinsabu mhedda mill-konflitt Sirjan.

Tajjeb jew ħażin, ir-Russja targumenta li l-intervent tagħha hu legalment aktar sod minn ta’ ħaddieħor. Ġie mitlub mll-gvern tas-Sirja li sal-lum għadu membru sħiħ tal-Ġnus Magħquda. U jekk jitneħħa Assad, il-Punent lil min irid ipoġġi minfloku?

Ilu li wasal iż-żmien biex jinstab xi arranġament dwar kif l-Ewropej, l-Amerikani u r-Russi jiftehmu bejniethom dwar it-theddida tat-terroriżmu barbaru li splodiet fl-aħħar snin. In-naħat kollha għandhom ħtija għall-impass ta’ bejniethom, mhux kif jippretendu tal-Punent, li r-Russja biss. Din għandha tingħata għarfien serju bħala pajjiż kbir b’interessi leġittimi fiż-żoni li jdawruha.

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Morand

Paul Morand baqa’ magħruf l-aktar għat-tmiem tal-karriera tiegħu. Serva bħala ambaxxatur taħt il-gvern ta’ Vichy tul it-Tieni Gwerra Dinjija. Fi tmiemha, baqa’ fl-“eżilju” fl-Iżvizzera. Snin twal wara, għalkemm elett bħala kittieb fl-Akkademja Franċiza, il-gvern ta’ De Gaulle impedieh milli jidħol fiha.

Kellu stil ta’ kitba luċidu u dirett. Qrajt “L-Ewropa Tinnamra” tiegħu, miktub fis-snin għoxrin tas-seklu l-ieħor: ġabra ta’ novelli li jiddeskrivu s-soċjetà Ewropea wara t-tmiem tal-Ewwel Gwerra Dinjija, waqt li l-Bolxevisti saħħew il-poter tagħhom fir-Russja u l-Ġermanja żżerżqet lejn in-Nażiżmu.

Jirrakkonta intriċċi bħal ta’ Scott Fitzgerald min-naħa l-oħra tal-Atlantiku, ġieli bil-qawwa sardonika ta’ Curzio Malaparte – taħlita pikkanti.

Dnub li l-għażliet soċjo-politiċi ta’ Morand kienu daqshekk dubjużi.

English Version – Coordination

Good as it is, the budget for 2016 like its predecessors and those which will follow, depends for its success on how well the government manages to implement its proposals. The reference to the “government” in this instance covers those administrative and political structures that are tasked with carrying out new projects launched by the budget, as well as with the government’s ongoing activities.

It is no longer quite enough for individual ministries and departments to be well run. What happened over the years was that increasingly, almost all government initiatives needed to involve more than one or two government agencies.

Actually many government departments must improve greatly their operations if they can satisfy popular expectations regarding their efficiency. They are still keyed to old style management methods, even if most have switched from using paper files to digital ones.

It seems like it’s too difficult a challenge when departments and ministries have to coalesce around new projects that to succeed, demand stringent coordination between them. With time, it has become apparent that lack of proper coordination between different agencies is a major defect in the operations of successive Maltese administrations.

Let’s hope that the 2016 budget will also manage to help overcome this problem.

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Russia in Syria

I fail to be scandalised or upset because Russia has intervened in the Syrian civil war. The US and sundry European powers did the same before the Russians. The latter have interests that are just as vital for them as those of the West, and they are equally under threat as a result of the Syrian conflict.

Rightly or wrongly, Russia argues that its position rests on a more solid legal basis than that of others. It was asked to intervene by the Syrian government which to date is still a full member of the UN. And if Assad is removed, Russia asks, who would the West want to replace him with?

Europeans, Americans and Russians are taking too long to arrive at an arrangement by which they can agree to present a common front against the threat of a barbaric terrorism that has exploded in recent years. All sides carry some responsibility for the impasse in which they find themselves – and not just the Russians, as the “West” would like to pretend. Russia needs to be given full recognition as a major power with legitimate interests in the areas that surround it.

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Morand

Paul Morand’s fame came to be defined mostly by how his career ended. He served as ambassador under the Vichy government during the Second World War. Following that, he remained in Switzerland as an “exile”. Many years later, as a writer, he was elected to the Academie Francaise. The French government under de Gaulle did its best to prevent him from taking his place.

He wrote with lucidity, straight to the point. I just finished his “Galant Europe”, written during the twenties of the previous century: a collection of short stories that describe European society after the end of the First World War, when the Bolsheviks were consolidating their power in Russia and Germany was sliding towards Nazism.

His stories resemble Scott Fitzgerald’s from the other side of the Atlantic, told sometimes with the sardonic power of Curzio Malaparte. It’s an intriguing mix.

What a pity that Morand’s socio-political preferences were so unappetising.