Ħabib qalli kif qara jew sema’ li xi ħadd kiteb jew tkellem dan l-aħħar dwar x’inhi l-aħjar soluzzjoni tat-tul għat-trasport f’Malta u Għawdex, kif ukoll bejn iż-żewġ gżejjer. Mhux aktar toroq wiesgħa jew mina, imma sistema ta’ metro li taħt l-art u l-baħar minn Marsaxlokk tibqa’ sejra sar-Rabat ta’ Għawdex.
Fakkartu kif il-proġett kien issemma mill-PN fl-aħħar elezzjoni bħala proposta tiegħu għall-futur, qabel dak il-partit intilef minn sensieh u telaq isterikament fuq akkużi bla rażan u bażi kontra l-Prim Ministru. Fakkartu wkoll kif snin ilu, l-imprenditur Anġlu Xuereb ħareġ bi proposta simili, waqt li aċċetta li ma kinitx vijabbli għalkemm mil-lat publiku qiesha tal-akbar ħtieġa.
L-ispiża għal proġett bħal dan tkun fenomenali. Biss illum, l-ispiża li l-pajjiż qed iġorr biex isostni l-għadd kbir ta’ karozzi fit-toroq hi wkoll enormi u se tibqa’ tiżdied għall-futur.
Forsi jaqblilna nagħmlu aktar somom dwar l-għażliet li jinsabu quddiemna fl-oqsma tat-trasport, inkluż dwar xinhi l-aħjar rabta ma’ Għawdex?
Ir-riżenja mill-gvern Franċiż tal-ministru għall-ambjent Nicolas Hulot m’għamlitx ġid lid-dehra tal-President Macron fit-tmexxija. Il-President innifsu, kif ukoll il-gvern tiegħu tilfu sew mill-popolarità tal-bidu. Dan ġara sa issa fil-każ ta’ kull President Franċiż wara li jkun inħatar, iżda mhux b’daqstant qawwa.
Bħala raġuni għar-riżenja, Hulot fisser kif il-ħarsien ambjentali kien priorità baxxa tal-gvern għalkemm donnu aċċetta li ħaġa hekk isseħħ fl-amministrazzjoni ta’ kull pajjiż ieħor. Hu li dejjem qabel irrifjuta l-karigi politiċi li offrewlu, ma kienx lest li jservi ta’ paraventu għal sitwazzjoni fejn il-miri ambjentali waqt li nżammu modesti, xorta ma kinux se jintlaħqu, b’diżastru għall-qagħda klimatika tad-dinja.
Il-biża’ hu li mhux biss Hulot għandu raġun imma li d-diżastru jseħħ aktar kmieni milli qed jipprevedi.
Fl-aħħar ġimgħat, kelli esperjenza kurjuża. Qrajt rumanz li kont sirt nafu daqs sittin sena ilu, meta smajtu jinqara fuq il-cable radio. Allura, kien għoġobni ħafna. X’kien se jidhirli minnu llum?
“Manwel Gellel” miktub minn Ġuze Cardona hu rumanz storiku li jittratta is-sitwazzjoni f’Malta fl-ewwel snin tal-okkupazzjoni Brittanika wara li l-forzi Franċiżi ġew imblokkati għal sentejn u mkeċċija. Kien żmien ta’ inċertezza kbira dwar il-futur tal-gżejjer. L-Ingliżi ħatru mexxejja fl-irħula Maltin li kemm jista’ jkun ixaqilbu lejhom. Gellel, il-bniedem li poġġew fit-tmexxija ta’ Ħal-Qormi, inzerta maskalzun.
Wegħedt li nagħti rendikont tal-impressjonijiet tiegħi dwar ir-rumanz f’daħla għall-edizzjoni ġdida li d-dar ta’ pubblikazzjoni SKS se joħorġu. Se tkun it-tieni edizzjoni tal-ktieb mill-bidu tas-snin sittin tas-seklu l-ieħor.
English Version – Metro rather than a tunnel
A friend mentioned how he had read or heard what somebody had written or said about the best long-term solution to the transport problems in Malta and Gozo, as well as between the two islands. Wider roads and a tunnel are not the real solution, but a metro system that runs underground and under the sea from Marsaxlokk straight to Rabat in Gozo.
I reminded him how the project had been highlighted by the PN prior to the last election as a proposal for the future, before that party lost its bearings and hysterically launched wild and baseless claims against the Prime Minister. I also reminded him how years ago, entrepreneur Angelo Xuereb made similar proposals. He had acknowledged though that while being greatly in the public interest, these were not commercially viable.
The capital outlay for such a project would indeed be phenomenal. However, as of now, the country is carrying enormous costs to keep going the huge number of cars on our roads. Such costs will continue to increase in the future.
Could it be that perhaps we had better do some more sums in order to evaluate the options that are available in the transport sector, including the issue of how to better link up with Gozo?
The resignation from the French government of the environmental minister Nicolas Hulot hardly improved the image of President Macron’s leadership. Both the President himself as well as his administration have lost quite a chunk of the popularity they started with. To be sure, this happened to all previous Presidents after their inauguration, though not with such a big bump.
To justify why he resigned, Hulot explained how environmental protection had become a minor priority for the government. He also seemed to acknowledge that the same happened too in the administrations of most other countries. Previously, Hulot had always refused offers to assume executive political responsibilities. Now he was not prepared to serve as a screen for a situation where environmental goals would be kept modest.Even so, they would still not be achieved, which would contribute to a climatic disaster for the world as a whole.
The fear is that Hulot’s claim is correct. And that the disaster he predicts could happen earlier than he foresees.
In past weeks, I underwent a curious experience. I read through a novel that I got to know about sixty years ago, when it was being read on cable radio. At the time, I liked it tremendously. What would I think of it now?
“Manwel Gellel” is a historical novel written by Ġuże Cardona that deals with the situation in Malta during the first years of the British occupation, just after the French army having been blockaded for two years, was forced to leave. Huge uncertainties still prevailed regarding the future of the islands. To the extent possible, in Maltese villages the British nominated civic leaders who would toe their line. The man they placed in charge of Ħal-Qormi’s management happened to be an out and out rascal.
I agreed to give an account of my impressions of today about the novel in an introduction to the new edition that the SKS publishing house will be issuing. It is only the second one since the beginning of the 1960’s.