Il-ġimgħa li għaddiet, ħarġu kważi fl-istess ġurnata żewġ rapporti dwar il-qagħda ekonomika u soċjali f’Malta – wieħed mill-Kummissjoni Ewropea fil-kwadru tax-xogħol li hi tagħmel biex tassigura li t-tmexxija taż-żona tal-ewro qed issir kif imiss; u l-ieħor mill-Fond Monetarju Internazzjonali. Ingħataw is-solta prominenza fil-midja Maltin, kif forsi jixirqilhom.

Uħud taw emfażi lill-parti tat-tazza “vojta” fir-rapport u oħrajn lill-parti “mimlija”. Dil-logħba ndrat.

Ikun aktar siewi jekk niffokaw fuq il-partijiet tar-rapporti li jressquna għal analiżi kritika tal-mod kif qed tiżviluppa l-ekonomija Maltija. Inżommu f’moħħna li dan l-iżvilupp qed jieħu direzzjoni li hi bla preċedent fl-istorja ekonomika mill-Indipendenza lil hawn – ili nirrepeti dil-ħaġa.

Allura mingħajr ma nibilgħu kull ma l-FMI u L-KE qed jgħidlulna qishom kienu xi Vanġelu, għandna nagħrblu bis-sens u bla esaġerazzjoni l-kummenti tagħhom. Fejn nistgħu ntejbu dak li jinsab għaddej, dażgur, intejbuh!

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ROAD WORKS

Fl-aħħar ġranet għamilt ħafna sewqan mat-toroq tal-pajjiż. Ta’ kull darba kważi, iltqajt għal darba tnejn ma’ avviżi li jħabbrulek li “Road Works Ahead”. Minnufih issib ruħek ta’ spiss f’ġungla ta’ traffiku wieqaf. Erba’ darbiet fir-rotta ta’ bejn B’kara u ż-Żejtun.

Aktar ma jgħaddi ż-żmien, aktar tqum il-mistoqsija: għaġġilna wisq biex insewwu u nibnu t-toroq kollha f’salt?

Nifhem għaliex dil-ħaġa saret, żgur bl-aqwa intenzjonijiet. Il-verità hi li kull sistema tat-traffiku għandha limitazzjonijiet dwar kemm tista’ takkomoda xogħlijiet ta’ tiswija u bini mingħajr ma tispiċċa fgata. Il-gvern qed iwettaq pjan vast ta’ tiswijiet u bini ġdid. Tajjeb li qed isir hekk.

Biss, wieħed ma jistax jistenna li l-affarijiet se jimxu tajjeb waħidhom. Speċjalment meta l-bidliet ikunu qed isiru mal-inħawi kollha, bil-mezzi kollha għad-dispożizzjoni tal-gvern. Nibża’ li resqin lejn il-limitu ta’ kif it-tiswijiet jistgħu jitwettqu fuq l-iskala li għaddejjin biha, mingħajr ma jfuru f’gażiba manja.

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INTERESSATI

Min huma n-nies interessati fl-elezzjonijiet għall-Parlament Ewropew? saqsieni xi ħadd.

Ma kienx l-ewwel wieħed li resaq b’mistoqsija simili. Xorta qgħadt nisimgħu fil-kwiet. Għidli, stedintu.

Ftit jimportahom mir-realtà ta’ pajjiżhom, qalli. Moħħhom biss f’ideal ta’ Ewropa magħquda li ddewwibna lkoll, lilna l-popli Ewropej, f’tgħassida waħda. Kollox jiġi deċiż għalina minn Brussell.

Ikolli ngħid li hemm ħafna li jemmnu bħalu, mhux biss f’Malta imma mal-Ewropa kollha. In-numru tagħhom qed jiżdied.

Iqumu bosta argumenti favur u kontra x’inhuma jsemmu dawn it-talin. Jien li għandi r-reputazzjoni ta’ “Ewro xettiku” naħseb li qed jagħfsu bir-raġun fuq problema akuta fil-binja Ewropea. Imma mhumiex ikopru l-verità kollha dwar id-dilemmi li qed toħloq dil-binja.

English Version – Reports from beyond

Last week, almost on the same day, two reports were published about the economic and social situation in Malta: one by the European Commission in the framework of the programmes it runs to ensure that the management of the eurozone is operating according to the rules set for it; and the other by the International Monetary Fund. They were given the prominence that has become normal in the Maltese media, possibly as they merit.

Some emphasized that part of the report which discussed deficiencies, others that part which concentrated on achievements. Again, it’s a game that has become the norm.

More usefully, we could focus on those parts of the reports which get us close to a critical analysis of how the Maltese economy has been developing. What must be kept in mind is that this development has taken a direction that is without precedent in our economic history since Independence. Actually, I’ve been repeating this message for quite a while.

So, without having to take on board all that the IMF and the European Commission are telling us as if that was the Gospel, it would be better to consider their comments sensibly, without overreacting one way or the other. Surely where improvements in current practice can be made, let us do them!

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Road works

This past week I spent lots of hours driving up and down the roads of this sweet land. On all occasions or almost, once or twice and more, I encountered road signs that signalled “Works Ahead”. Soon after, you’d find yourself stuck in a jungle of jammed traffic. It happened four times in a journey from B’Kara to Zejtun.

With the passage of time, the query does arise: Have we hurried too fast in the effort to repair and rebuild all our roads in one exercise?

I can understand why this happened, no doubt with the best intentions in the world. The truth though is that all traffic systems have bounds that determine how much repair and rebuilding they can carry before they become blocked up. The government is implementing a vast programme of repairs and new construction. It is the approach that we needed.

However, it is also futile to expect that matters will run on their own steam, unattended… especially if changes are being carried out from all corners, and with all the means that government can dispose of. I fear very much that we are rapidly reaching the limit. How can repairs be carried out further at the ongoing rhythm, without skidding into an extensive confusion

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Interested

Who are the people who really care about elections to the European Parliament? That was a question I had to field.

It was not the first time I was faced with a similar query. Insteading of replying, I asked for the person making the question to clarify his views.

As a matter of fact, those who are seriously interested in the elections have little interest in the reality of their own country, came the reply. They are just obsessed with the ideal of a united Europe that would fuse us all European peoples, into a single mess. Brussels would decide everything for us all.

I must say that many share this belief, not just in Malta but Europe wide. And their number is increasing.

However, a lot of pros and cons emerge when European issues come to be addressed in this manner. As one endowed with the reputation of being a “Eurosceptic” I do think they are emphasizing matters that have become acute in the construction of “Europe”. But they are also failing to cover all the reality about the dilemmas that this construction has given rise to.