Jien li għaddejt numru ta’ snin mhux ħażin fit-trunċieri politiċi nikkumbatti l-governanza inkredibbilment ħażina u agħar tal-PN fil-gvern, u ninbagħad għal dan, nibqa’ xxukkjat b’kif il-PN tal-lum irid jippoża tal-paladin tat-tmexxija onesta u miftuħa. L-istess ħaġa kienet ġrat fis-snin tmenin, meta mill-Oppozizzjoni il-PN kien wiegħed li se jnaddaf il-pajjiz bl-għeruq u x-xniexel.

L-għajta tiegħu kienet tidwi dak iż-żmien, anki jekk esaġera d-deni li ra madwaru. Kien għamel wegħdi tal-għaġeb dwar kemm se jmexxi tajjeb. Ma għaddewx ħafna snin qabel dawn taru mar-riħ.

Matul is-snin, rajt u segwejt mill-qrib diversi skandli tal-amministrazzjoni Nazzjonalista. Mexxejt kampanji dwarhom. Qatt ma niftakar li kien hemm xi interess mill-gvern Nazzjonalista li jispjega bis-serjetà fatti li konna npoġġu quddiemu.

L-importanti li tiegħu f’tiegħu, allura m’għandux ikun hemm problema.

Issa l-istess nies u s-segwaċi tagħhom jipproklamaw li se jirriformaw l-amministrazzjoni pubblika. M’għandhomx kredenzjali ġenwini.

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TTIP

Il-ftehim dwar kummerċ u investiment ħieles li l-Unjoni Ewropea u l-Istati Uniti qed jinnegozjaw bejniethom – taħt is-sigla ta’ TTIP – qajjem ħafna kontroversji fl-Ewropa u fl-Istati Uniti.

Hawnhekk mhux daqstant, għalkemm xi ilħna mix-xellug qajmu ftit protesti li ħafna ma tawx kashom. Anzi l-fehma popolari bejn Gvern u Oppozizzjoni, kif ukoll fil-qasam tan-negozju, donnha hi li bit-TTIP se jkun jaqblilna ħafna.

Mentri li rapport kummissjonat mill-istess Kamra tal-Kummerċ Amerikana fl-Ewropa jgħid li Malta se tkun l-uniku pajjiż fl-Unjoni Ewropea li se jintlaqat ħażin mit-TTIP. Issa l-Kamra hi fost l-aqwa esponenti favur il-ftehim.

Nemmen li anki f’dal-każ, m’għandniex niddeċiedu skont id-dommi u l-moda. Għandna nibqgħu għajnejna u moħħna miftuħ għal x’inhu l-interess nazzjonali. Li nżommu ċerti kwistjonijiet dejjem imgeżwra fl-istilel mhijiex idea tajba.

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Nudi f’Ruma

Wieħed jifhem id-daħq li qam minn kullimkien meta ħarġet l-istorja ta’ kif il-gvern Taljan f’Ruma fittex li ma joffendix il-pudur tal-President tal-Iran Rohani. Għatta l-istatwi klassiċi ta’ nudi li l-President kien se jgħaddi minn quddiemhom, u dan fuq insistenza Iranjana.

Tqum il-mistoqsija: Kemm, fil-merħba li jingħata mexxej barrani, għandhom jitwarrbu l-użanzi li huma naturali fil-pajjiż li qed jirċevih imma li hu ma jiggostax?

Meta l-President tal-Iran kien fi Franza xi żmien ilu, in-naħa tiegħu ħabbret li ma jistax jattendi pranzu statali jekk matulu se jisserva l-inbid. In-naħa Franċiza sostniet li dik kienet drawwa Franċiza li ma tistax tiġi skartata.

Fin-nofs, bħal dejjem, fuq kriterji ta’ dinjità nazzjonali daħlu konsiderazzjonijiet ta’ x’jaqbel u ma jaqbilx.

Il-pranzu nbidel f’kolazzjon informali li matulu ma sserviex alkoħol.

English Version – On being saintly

Having spent quite a number of years in the political trenches attacking the incredibly bad governance and worse of the PN in government, and in the process becoming a hate figure, I am shocked at the way by which the PN now is proposing itself as a beacon of honest and open administration. The same thing happened in the eighties when the PN in Opposition had promised to bring back honesty to public administration from the roots up.

In those days, that call resonated even if exaggerated claims were advanced regarding the extent of maladministration. Fantastic promises were made to ensure proper management. Within a few years, all such promises had evaporated.

Over time, I witnessed and followed closely various scandals that plagued the Nationalist administration and led campaigns about them. I do not remember that there was ever any interest on the part of the PN government to provide serious explanations regarding facts we placed before it.

Since its own insiders were usually involved, it failed to see where the problems were.

Now the same people and their followers proclaim their intention to reform public administration. Their credentials cannot be genuine.

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TTIP

The agreememnt on free trade and investment that the European Union and the USA have been negotiating, under the TTIP callsign, has given rise to much controversy in Europe and America.

Controversy has been on the low side here, although voices on the left raised some protests that went unnoticed by many. Indeed, the popular view shared by Government and Opposition, as well as by the private sector, seems to be that Malta stands to gain a lot from TTIP.

However a report commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce in Europe concludes that Malta will be the only member of the EU to be negatively affected by TTIP. Now the Chamber happens to be a foremost lobbyist for the agreement.

I believe that on this one too, we should not base decisions on dogma and fashion. We must remain with eyes and mind wide open to what the national interest consists of. It is counterproductive to keep viewing certain issues always through a halo of stars.

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Roman nudes

One could appreciate the laughter that arose from all sides when the story emerged of how the Italian government had sought not to offend Iranian President Rohani’s sense of modesty. On Iran’s insistence, it covered the classical statues of nudes that the President would have to pass by.

The question is to what extent should usages that are natural in a given country be put aside to accomodate a foreign leader who is being welcomed there, but who does not appreciate the same usages?

When the Iranian President was in France some years back, his side notified he would not be able to attend a state dinner if wine was going to be served. The French side replied that serving wine was a French practice which could not be relinquished.

Then as usual, calculations of the paybacks at stake overcame criteria related to the national dignity.

The state dinner became an informal collation during which no alcohol was served.