Fi ħdan iż-żona tal-ewro kiber inkwiet dwar pronostku li sejjer żmerċ: ir-rata tat-tkabbir ekonomiku għat-tielet kwart ta’ dis-sena ħarġet anqas minn dik imbassra. Dan qed jipperikola l-miri li l-Kummissjoni Ewropea poġġiet għall-pajjiżi membri taż-żona fir-rigward tat-tmexxija finanzjarja tagħhom.

Raġuni għar-riżultati anqas sbieħ milli mistennija jintqal li hi l-inċertezza politika u ekonomika, in parti minħabba l-aġir tal-Amerikani favur il-protezzjoniżmu u l-konfront bejnhom u ċ-Ċina. Żviluppi politiċi fost il-pajjiżi Ewropej infushom fl-aħħar ġimgħat jistgħu qed isaħħu t-tendenzi ta’ dwejjaq fit-tmexxija ekonomika taż-żona.

Nibqa’ dubjuż dwar it-triq li qed insegwu bħalissa fit-tmexxija ekonomika – dik li nqisu l-ekonomija qisha ajruplan li jrid jitmexxa skont numri li jkejlu kif qed iduru l-muturi li jmexxuh u jabbinawhom ma’ numri dwar il-pożizzjoni tiegħu fl-ajru u l-kondizzjonijiet atmosferiċi li jiltaqa’ magħhom waqt li jtir. Ir-realtà ekonomika u soċjali hi ħafna aktar komplikata minn hekk.

Kurżità f’dan kollu: it-tkabbir ekonomiku Malti sploda ’il fuq waqt li tal-oħrajn għotor. Dnub li aħna daqshekk żgħar għax is-suċċess Malti ma kellu l-ebda impatt fuq ir-riżultati ekonomiċi tal-żona tal-ewro kollha.

KAMPANJA

Qbilt li noħroġ kandidat għall-elezzjonijiet tal-Parlament Ewropej ta’ Mejju li ġej u qisni mort lura bi flexbekk fil-kampanja li kont għamilt l-ewwel darba li ħriġt għal elezzjoni parlamentari. Dik tas-sena 1987.

Kont ħallejt għal tard wisq, mhux l-anqas għax bħala President tal-Partit Laburista kif kont dak iż-żmien, kelli responsabbiltajiet oħra li ma stajtx u ma ridtx inwarrab. Kelli għalhekk nara kif se nwassal il-messaġġ b’rizorsi limitati, l-aktar ta’ nies li joffru l-għajnuna tagħhom. Biss l-aktar iebes f’sitwazzjoni hekk issib li hu n-nuqqas ta’ żmien biex fih titlaqa’ wiċċ imb’wiċċ ma’ familji u kostitwenti. Minn laqgħat bħal dawn, wieħed jieħu s-sentiment ta’ xinhu għaddej tassew fost il-poplu. Anqas ma jkollok ħin għalihom, anqas jista’ jkollok kampanja effettiva.

SIĠAR

Ma smajniex wisq aktar fl-aħħar ġimgħat dwar il-qagħda tas-siġar f’pajjiżna. Baqgħu jiġu sagrifikati għall-ħtieġa li jkollna totorq usa’? Inżammu l-wegħdi li saru biex jitħawlu siġar ġodda minflok dawk li kellhom jinqalgħu?

Il-problema f’qasam bħal dan hu ta’ kif se żżomm sorvelja serja fuqu. Jekk tħalliha f’idejn il-gvern, hu min hu, se ssib li l-problema tintesa jew tinżamm ħajja skont l-esiġenzi tad-dibattitu politiku, hekk kif jiċċaqlaq minn xahar għall-ieħor.

Jekk tafda f’idejn il-volontarjat, ikollok riżultati siewja sakemm ikunu qed imexxu nies li ġenwinament jimportahom. Meta jmutu jew iwarrbu, l-attiviżmu jistaġna. Dar-riskju jibqa’ hemm – forsi jiżdied – meta l-istess volontarjat ikun imwieżen minn xi sussidju tal-istat.

English Version – Forecasts

The growth rate for the third quarter of the year has been lower than the one projected. This is putting at risk financial targets set by the European Commission for member states of the zone,

One reason why results have been less positive than expected is claimed to be an ongoing political and economic uncertainty, due in part to American enthusiasm for protectionism and the US-China standoff on trade matters. Political developments of the past few weeks within the European countries themselves could be fuelling further concerns about the economic state of the zone.

I remain doubtful as to the approach currently being taken in economic management. The economy is conceptualised like it’s an aeroplane that has to be operated according to numbers which measure how the engines that drive it are running, while cross referencing them with other numbers that detail the plane’s position when in flight and the atmospheric conditions that envelop it as it flies. Economic and social realities tend to be much more complex than that.

A curious sidenote in the wider picture is Malta’s economic growth rate. It has increased spectacularly, while that of others wobbled. It is a pity we are so small in size for our performance made no impact on the outturn of euro economic aggregates.

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CAMPAIGN

Having agreed to present my candidature for the European Parliament elections in May 2019, I feel now like I’ve reverted, in a flash back, to my first campaign for parliamentary election. That was in 1987.

I had postponed matters till it was too late, not least because as President of the Labour Party, as my role then was, I had to carry out other tasks which I could and did not want to put aside. I therefore had to see about getting my “message” across with limited resources, mostly by way of helpers. However the strongest constraint that one finds in such a situation is the limited time available for meeting families and constituents face to face. It is during meetings of this sort that one gets a feel for what is really going on among people. The less one has time for them, the less effective one can be.

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TREES

We have hardly heard much in past weeks about the state of trees in Malta. Are they still being sacrificed on the grounds that we need wider roads? Have the promises that were made to plant new trees to replace those that had to be cut down been implemented?

The problem with an issue like this comes when considering how to keep it under serious review. If this is left for government to handle, no matter which government it is, the likelihood is that problems will be forgotten or kept alive according to the requirements of political debate, and according to how these shift from month to month.

If it is entrusted to some voluntary organization, meaningful results will be obtained so long as people who are genuinely interested continue to run it. When they die or depart, activism could stagnate. That risk will persist, indeed perhaps increase, if a voluntary organization functions with the support of a government subsidy.