L-aqwa sfidi quddiem il-gvern Laburista l-ġdid jidhru ċari għas-snin li ġejjin: il-futur tas-settur finanzjarju; il-futur tal-Air Malta u tat-turiżmu meta u jekk is-sitwazzjoni imwegħra f’diversi punti tal-Mediterran titħaffef; l-immaniġġjar tat-trasport u t-traffiku; il-ħarsien tal-ambjent; il-governanza tajba.
Mhux se jkunu sfidi faċli f’qafas fejn min-naħa, it-tkabbir ekonomiku tal-aħħar snin irid jiġu sostnut, u mill-oħra jeħtieġ niżguraw li l-ekonomija ma “tisħonx” iżżejjed.
Fi żminijiet oħra, biex l-isfidi li resqin jintgħarfu aħjar, il-gvern kien joħroġ “pjan ta’ żvilupp” għal numru ta’ snin. Il-miri tal-pjani rari ntlaħqu… jew inkella ntlaħqu b’mod għal kollox differenti milli jkun ħassel il-pjan. Biss vantaġġ tal-pjani kien li jiffokaw l-attenzjoni tal-gvern u tal-Oppożizzjoni, kif ukoll tas-settur privat, fuq li kellu jsir.
Il-pjani m’għadhomx moda. Bejn l-1987 u l-1989, il-gvern ta’ Fenech Adami kien waqqafhom għal kollox.
***
FI STRASBURGU
Is-seduta tal-plenarja tal-Parlament Ewropew fi Strasburgu fejn iddiskutejna l-karti tal-Panama u l-hekk imsejħa “l-osservanza tal-liġi f’Malta” kienet ħala ta’ żmien. Hekk ipprevedejt li se tkun, hekk ħasbu l-maġġoranza enormi tad-deputati Ewropej li ma attendewx, u hekk ġara. Fost deputati li kienu hemm b’dover, attendew dawk il-ftit li mmuntati mill-propaganda Nazzjonalista, jridu juru lil Malta bħala bejta mmexxija minn nies korrotti li bis-servizzi finanzjarji tal-gżira, qed iċaħħdu lill-gvernijiet Ewropej minn biljuni ta’ taxxi dovuti lilhom billi jagħtu kenn lil min jiskarta l-ħlasijiet li għandu jagħmel.
Il-partit tal-Popolari fil-Parlament Ewropew ilu jaqla’ kritika mill-grupp tas-soċjalisti u d-demokratiċi dwar l-aġir tal-gvern ta’ Orban fl-Ungerija. Sab ix-xoqqa f’moxtha biex jippretendi li Malta taqa’ wkoll taħt l-akkuża li qed turi nuqqas ta’ rispett lejn ir-“rule of law”.
Il-paragun bl-ebda mod ma jreġi.
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DUN ANĠ
Ma nipparteċipax f’attivitajiet tal-Knisja Kattolika imma nsegwi xi jkun għaddej fiha b’interess. Fost oħrajn, fil-midja, bħal dan l-aħħar fil-ġurnal “Il-Leħen”.
Hemm qrajt l-artiklu ta’ dun Anġ Seychell dwar ir-riżultat tal-aħħar elezzjoni. “Il-Leħen” għamel sew li ppubblikah. Imma kemm did-deċiżjoni u kemm l-artiklu qalgħu attakk qawwi minn – nistħajjel – nies devoti u – nistenna – ħielsa minn kull agħbra partiġġjana.
Biss xorta waħda kelli nistaqsi lili nnifsi: Anke jekk fil-kitba tiegħu, dun Anġ kien partiġġjan, għaliex dal-plejtu kollu? Ili s-snin sal-lum naqra kitbiet sottili u anqas sottili tar-reverendu Joe Borg li bl-ebda mod ma tista’ ssejħilhom oġġettivi jew mhux partiġġjani. J’alla jibqa’ jiktibhom, anke jekk ma tantx jidhru li għadhom qed ikunu effettivi bħal fil-passat. Qatt ma qanqlu kritika. Li issa l-erwieħ tajba jiskandalizzaw ruħhom b’li kiteb dun Anġ, tidhirli ħaġa bla sens.

English Version – Challenges

The main challenges that the new Labour administration will have to deal with in coming years are clear: the future of financial servies; the future of Air Malta, and of the tourism sector when and if the difficult situation of other Mediterranean destinations gets sorted out; the management of traffic and transport; environmental protection; good governance.

These are not easy challenges in a context where on the one hand, the economic growth of recent years needs to be sustained, and on the other, we must ensure that the economy does not overheat.

In other times, so as to promote a better recognition of arising challenges, governments would issue a “development plan” covering a number of years.

To be sure, the objectives set out in the plans were rarely achieved… or they were reached in ways that were completely different to those presented by the plans. Yet an advantage of such documents was that they focussed the attention of both government and Opposition, as well as of the private sector, on the tasks that needed to be done.

Plans are no longer in fashion. Between 1987 and 1989, the Fenech Adami administration had abolished them.

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In Strasbourg

The plenary session in the European Parliament at Strasbourg where we discussed the Panama papers scandal and the so-called “rule of law” in Malta was a sheer waste of time. I guessed it would be like so, the vast majority of MEPs who stayed away obviously also thought the same, and that’s how it happened.

Among the parliamentarians who were there to respect the call of duty, some attended who were also fired by Nationalist propaganda. They wanted to show Malta as a nest run by corrupt people who on the basis of the island’s financial services, were determined to deprive European governments of billions of euros in tax charges, by giving refuge to whoever desired to evade payments due.

The European People’s Party at the EP has for quite a while been at the receiving end of criticism from the socialist and democratic group regarding the policies of the Orban government in Hungary. It found an opportunity to indulge in a tat-for-tat exercise by pretending that Malta too was vulnerable to the claim that it is disrespecting the “rule of law”.

There’s nothing to justify this assimilation.

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Dun Anġ

I do not take part in the activities of the Catholic Church but I follow with great interest how it operates. Such as for instance, in the media world, the recent upgrade of the weekly “Il-Leħen” (The Voice).

I read there an article written by the reverend Anġ Seychell about the results of the last election. “Il-Leħen” did well to publish it. But both that decison and the article itself gave rise to a barrage of criticism from (I would guess) devout individuals whom (I would assume) have no partisan allegiance.

Even so, I still had to ask the question: For the sake of the argument, assume that the rev Seychell had been partisan, so what? Why the fuss?

For many years I’ve been reading subtle and not so subtle articles written by the rev Joe Borg which in no way can be labelled as objective or non-partisan. May the rev Borg continue to produce them, even if they do not seem as effective as in the past. Yet they were never criticised on the grounds that good souls now pin to the rev Anġ’s output. That these same souls now cry scandal at the rev Anġ is nonsensical in my view.