Hux ta’ min li jkollna rendikont ċar fl-aħħar ta’ fejn jinsab il-proġett ta’ Smart City?

Matul is-snin, smajna ħafna dwaru. Il-wegħdi u l-prospetti sbieħ kienu faru minn kullimkien. Suppost li tellaq f’pajjiżna era ġdida ta’ xogħol f’teknoloġiji għolja tal-elettronika, kompjuters u informatika. Il-kelma moda minbarra “smart” innifisha kienet “hub” (kelma li għadna nuzaw): fus – ċentru ta’ ħidma liema bħala.

Meta xi ħadd kien jażżarda jikkritika x’kien għaddej, kien donnu qed jattakka l-Kalċi Qaddis li madwaru kienu jikkongregaw ir-Re Arturu u l-kavalieri tal-mejda t-tonda. Naf għax kont wieħed minn dawk li kkritikaw, għalkemm issa li nħares lura, nifhem kemm messni kont aktar kritiku.

Naħseb li l-poplu jixraqlu jsir jaf x’sar minn dawk il-wegħdi kollha. Mhux biss għax l-istat kellu sehem kbir fit-twettiq (?) tal-proġett. Imma wkoll biex nitgħallmu, forsi, mill-iżbalji li saru. La qegħdin fiha, l-istess ħaġa tgħodd għal proġetti oħra, bħal ngħidu aħna Chambrai f’Għawdex.

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Problema bil-Kanada

Ir-ratifika mill-Unjoni Ewropea tal-ftehim bejn l-Unjoni u l-Kanada dwar kummerċ u investiment x’aktarx li se taħbat ma’ skoll. Il-ftehim fih klawsola dwar kif tilwim bejn investituri barranin u stati membri tal-Unjoni għandu jitressaq quddiem tribunali ta’ natura privata. Klawsola bħal din qed tiġi kkontestata bil-kbir fil-każ ta’ ftehim bhal tal-Kanada li qed jiġi negozjat bejn l-Unjoni Ewropea u l-Istati Uniti.

Qed jintqal bir-raġun li l-klawsola tfisser li kumpaniji barranin jistgħu permezz tagħha jfixklu stat sovran milli jiddeċiedi dwar bidliet fil-liġijiet tiegħu. Dan għax ikun ċaqlaq il-premessi li fuqhom il-kumpaniji jkunu investew.

L-argument qed iqum li jekk il-ftehim Kanadiż jitħalla kif inhu, se jiftaħ il-bieb beraħ biex l-istess klawsola tiddaħħal fit-trattat mal-Amerikani.

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Abort

Ħaġa waħda għadni ma fhimtx fir-raxx ta’ stqarrijiet li kollha jiġbdu lejn l-istess naħa u li f’Malta jikkostitwixxi d-“dibattitu” dwar l-abort. Qed jintqal li l-abort għandu jkun ipprojbit u kriminalizzat f’kull każ? Anki meta l-abort isir biex tkun salvata l-ħajja tal-omm?

Nemmen li f’każ bħal dan l-abort għandu jkun permess. Id-deċiżjoni qiegħda bejn mewt għal tarbija li għadha ma ffurmatx jew mewt għall-omm. Għalija ħaġa ċara kif għandha tittieħed id-deċiżjoni, sakemm l-omm innifisha, b’deċiżjoni ħielsa u mhux imposta fuqha, ma tiddeċidix mod ieħor.

L-argument li ħaġa bħal din tbexxaq il-bieb għal użu aktar wiesa’ tal-abort ma jimpressjonanix. Jekk tassew qed nagħtu valur lill-ħajja umana, m’għandniex naċċettaw li deċiżjonijiet vitali dwarha jkunu influwenzati minn kalkoli tattiċi dwar kif se jaffettwaw il-pożizzjoni tagħna favur jew kontra kwalunkwe aspett tal-politika soċjali.

English Version – Smart

Should we not have at long last a clear account of where the Smart City project has gotten to?

Over the years, we were told so much about it. Beautiful promises and prospects were flashed at us from all quarters. It was meant to usher in this country a new era of endeavour in the most modern technologies of electronics, computers and informatics The in-word, apart from “smart” was “hub” (still in use today) to denote a centre of incredible activity.

If one dared to criticise what was going on, it felt like an attack on the Holy Grail, around which King Arthur and his kinghts of the Round Table congregated. I know. I was one of those who dared criticise, though looking back now, I believe I should have been much more critical.

The proper thing is for the people to be informed fully about what happened to all those promises. Not only because the state had a significant say in the implementation (?) of the project. But perhaps also to turn the mistakes made into a learning experience. And once this is being done, perhaps the process could be extended to other projects, like say. Chambrai in Gozo.

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A Canadian problem

Ratification by the European Union of the agreement on trade and investment between it and Canada is likely to be delayed. The agreement includes a provision describing how disputes between foreign investors and EU member states should be resolved by special tribunals of a private nature. A similiar provision for inclusion in an agreement like Canada’s that is still being negotiated with the US, has given rise to huge controversies.

Not without reason, the claim is being made that the provision will give foreign companies the leeway to restrict sovereign states when changing their legislation, if such changes alter the premises on which companies have based their investments in the countries concerned.

It is being argued that if the Canadian agreement is implemented in its present form, the road will have been opened to drive the US agreement in the same direction.

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Abortion

In the flurry of statements that all say the same thing, and which in Malta counts for a debate on abortion, one point still escapes me. Is it being asserted that abortion should be prohibited and criminalised in all cases, including when it is carried out to save the mother’s life?

I am one of those who believe that in such cases, abortion should be allowed. The decision is between death for a still unformed baby, or death for the mother. The decision seems clear to me, unless the mother herself, freely and without being imposed upon, decides otherwise.

The argument that such an option would open the door for a wider acceptance of abortion is unconvincing. If we are really attaching deep value to human life, we should not allow vital decisions about it to be influenced by tactical calculations regarding how such decisions would affect our stand in favour or against any aspect of social policy.