Fl-Ewropa bħalissa, 1 fil-mija taċ-ċittadini jgawdu 40 fil-mija tal-ġid ekonomiku. Sadattant, 40 fil-mija taċ-ċittadini Ewropej igawdu biss minn 1 fil-mija tal-ġid. L-inugwaljanzi kibru.

L-ekonomiji rpiljaw, uħud bil-kbir. It-tendenza biex il-fqar jiftaqru u l-għonja jistagħnew, kompliet. Anzi irrankat, hawn min jgħid.

X’inhu jqanqal dawn ir-riżultati tal-mistħija f’Ewropa li tiftaħar bil-mudell soċjali tagħha? Kulħadd jistqarr bil-qawwi li s-sitwazzjoni mhijiex tollerabbli.

F’Malta, b’riżultat tal-politika tal-gvern, avvanzajna biex il-fruntieri tal-faqar jitreġġgħu lura. Tkun ħaġa interessanti li l-qagħda tagħna titqabbel mal-istampa Ewropea. X’inhu l-persentaġġ ta’ ċittadini Maltin li jgawdu bejniethom minn 40 fil-mija tal-ġid? U x’persentaġġ ta’ ċittadini jgawdi biss minn 1 fil-mija tal-ġid?

ENERĠIJA NADIFA U AWTONOMA

Jeżisti interess vitali biex l-enerġija li nużaw ma żżidx il-karbon fl-atmosfera u ssaħħan aktar il-klima tad-dinja.

Il-ġimgħa l-oħra, il-Kummissjoni Ewropea varat programm biex gżejjer Ewropej jikkordinaw ħidma ħalli jipproduċu enerġija nadifa b’meżżi “awtonomi”, jiġifieri li jinsabu fl-istess gżira. L-avvanzi fit-teknoloġija qed iressquna lejn soluzzjoni ta’ din l-isfida.

Għalhekk, tkun ħaġa tajba jekk il-gżejjer Ewropej jiksbu aċċess għall-aħħar żviluppi teknoloġiċi skont l-esperjenza ta’ gżejjer oħra. Tkun ta’ għajnuna għalihom jekk isiru jafu kif proġetti ta’ enerġija nadifa jsiru aktar effettivi permezz ta’ miżuri finanzjarji u amministrattivi. U l-biċċa ssir tagħmel aktar sens jekk il-gżejjer jingħataw skont il-ħtieġa, assistenza teknika għat-twettiq tal-proġetti tagħhom.

Il-programm tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea, li se jkollu baġit ta’ 10 miljun ewro, hu maħsub biex jilħaq dawn l-għanijiet. Ittellaq fuq inizjattiva tal-uffiċċju tiegħi fi Brussell bl-appoġġ tal-uffiċċju ta’ deputat Ewropew Kroat …

ĊESRI U KLEOPATRA

Fis-sena 1945, mid-dramm “Ċesri u Kleopatra” ta’ George Bernard Shaw sar film b’Claude Rains bħala Ċesri u Vivien Leigh bħala Kleopatra, direzzjoni Gabriel Pascal. Ma ddejjaqtx narah bħala you tube għax jidher ċar li sar ħafna ħsieb biex jittella’ bil-galbu. GBS ilu li ma baqax moda, anke jekk ċerti battuti fini tiegħu għadhom jinħassu sovversivi u qliel.

Ċesri hu preżentat bħala ġeneral li bi ftit riżorsi, biħsiebu jissottometti l-Eġittu għall-ħakma Rumana – l-istess ħaġa li pprova jagħmel Napuljun sekli wara. Biex jasal għall-għanijiet tiegħu, juża lil Kleopatra li għadha wisq żagħżugħa, ħalli bħala s-sultana tal-pajjiż, taċċetta f’isem l-Eġizzjani, il-kontroll ta’ Ruma.

In-nisġa tikkomplika ruħha bir-relazzjoni bejn Ċesri u l-prinċipessa, fejn hu donnu qed juriha kif “tmexxi”. Ir-relazzjoni tfakkrek f’Pygmalion/My Fair Lady fejn “għaref” anzjan jgħallem mara żagħżugħa dwar l-imġiba li għandha taddotta. Dis-sitwazzjoni tittawwal wisq. Ir-reċtar taż-żewġ protagonisti jinħass repetittiv u teatrali għall-gosti tal-lum, anke monotonu.

English version – Who’s on top?

Today in Europe, 1 percent of all citizens are the beneficiaries of 40 per cent of the economic wealth being generated. Meanwhile, 40 percent of European citizens benefit from just 1 per cent of that wealth. Inequalities have indeed grown.

European economies have picked up, some in a big way. Yet, the tendency for the poor to get poorer and the rich richer is still in effect. Some say it too has accelerated.

What is giving rise to these shameful outcomes in a Europe that used to boast about its social “model”? One and all claim that the situation has become intolerable.

In Malta, on the back of government policies, we have moved forward to roll back the frontiers of poverty. It would be a good exercise to compare our present situation with the overall profile in Europe. What is the percentage of Maltese citizens who are enjoying 40 per cent of the economic fruits? And what percentage enjoy just 1 per cent of them?

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Clean and autonomous energy

It is vital to ensure that the energy we make use of does not release more “carbon” in the atmosphere, thereby contributing further to climate warming.

Last week, the European Commission launched a programme intended to help European islands coordinate their initiatives to produce clean energy by “autonomous” means – methods that is, which are run from the islands themselves.

Technological advances are getting us closer to a solution of this challenge.

It would therefore be a good idea were European islands to have access to the latest technological developments on the basis of the experiences that other islands have already been through. It would also give a boost to their efforts if they get to know how to underpin clean energy projects with the correct financial and administrative incentives in order to improve the effectiveness of projects. Again, the overall process would become more meaningful if islands have access, according to their needs, to technical assistance when implementing projects.

The EC programme will start with a budget of 10 million euros to achieve these aims. Glad to say that it was launched following an initiative undertaken by my Brussels office supported by the office of an MEP from Croatia…

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Caeser and Cleopatra

In the year 1945, George Bernard Shaw’s play “Caesar and Cleopatra” was made into a film with Claude Rains as Caesar and Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra, director Gabriel Pascal. I saw it in you tube format and was not disappointed, since clearly huge pains were taken to make the production a valid effort. It’s been a long while since GBS fell out of fashion but some of his clever putdowns in dialogue still carry a subversive and cruel pinch.

Caesar is projected as a general who with limited resources, is determined to bring Egypt under Roman control – a strategy which centuries later, was copied by Napoleon. To achieve his goal, he manipulates Cleopatra – still a very young woman – to get her to accept the Roman yoke in the name of all Egyptians and as queen of their country.

The story line is complicated by the personal relationship that develops between Caesar and the princess during which he seems to be trying to guide her towards a “leadership” role. That reminds one of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady, where an oldish “wise one” trains a young woman to behave in a certain way. This basic tension ends up overplayed. Actually by contemporary standards, one might feel that the two protagonists are too repetitive and theatrical in their acting, if not monotonous.