Nifhem li waqt kampanja elettorali, għandha tinżamm ċerta prudenza f’diskors dwar il-politika futura għas-servizzi finanzjarji f’pajjiżna. Jew aħjar: dwar il-qafas li fih għandhom jitmexxew. Imma wieħed jistenna li linji bażiċi ta’ tmexxija għandhom jiġu mistqarra bil-miftuħ minn qabel.
Hemm aspetti ta’ dal-qasam kruċjali, fejn morna l-baħar fl-allegazzjonijiet bla sens li baqgħu jsiru, minn hemm u lil hawn. Il-kliem żejda malajr iġibu danni kbar. Ħatja f’hekk, mhux il-politikanti biss. Il-professjonisti tas-settur jibqgħu ħalqhom magħluq: meta fl-aħħar jiftħuh, minn dak li jgħidu, ma tkunx żgur għaliex għamlu hekk issa, u mhux ilbieraħ!
Fis-snin disgħin, il-PN fil-gvern ippropona li jirriforma mill-qiegħ l-istatut tas-servizzi finanzjarji. Kont dubbjuż. Lino Spiteri kkonvinċieni li dil-ħaġa se ssir fir-rispett tal-ħtieġa li ma jitħallewx toqob għall-ħasil tal-flus. Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici kien insista sal-aħħar li dan ma kienx possibbli. Imma ta’ ġentlom li hu, wara li ttieħdet id-deċiżjoni, fil-Parlament iddefendiha b’intelliġenza u dehen.
Illum hemm bżonn li naġġornaw il-mudell tas-servizzi finanzjarji fostna. Irridu nagħmlu dan b’impenn lejn trasparenza u diliġenza akbar. Inkella se nidhru qisna rridu niskrukkjaw lill-Ewropa. Hekk diġà hemm min qed jippreżentana fi Brussell. Tapplika għall-Maltin kollha, Nazzjonalisti u Laburisti.
Emmanuel Macron ta wirja tajba ħafna fiċ-ċerimonja tal-investitura tiegħu bħala President ta’ Franza fil-Palazz tal-Elysee f’Pariġi. Ma tistax ma tawguralux kull suċċess.
Hekk nagħmel, speċjalment għax il-kampanja “ottimista” tiegħu rnexxielha taqbad ir-ritmu tal-aspettattivi popolari.
Jien nibqa’ xettiku madankollu dwar il-futur.
Ir-realtà fl-Ewropa hi li hemm min sejjer tajjeb għal tajjeb ħafna; hemm min sejjer ħażin, għal ħażin ħafna. Fost tal-ewwel, uħud xorta raw ħajjithom titlef mis-sodisfazzjon tagħha. Macron irnexxielu jimmobilizzahom. Se jirnexxielu jżommhom miegħu?
Lil tat-tieni se jirnexxielu jfarraġhom, jew se jsib li n-numru tagħhom qed jiżdied?
Il-ġimgħa li għaddiet fil-commune Pariġina ta’ Montrouge għaddejt minn esperjenza xejn tas-soltu.
Fl-1976, kont ktibt dramm “Fid-Dell tal-Katidral” li Joe Friggieri tella fit-teatru tal-Università. Ma lħaqtx rajtu għax kont għadni ngħix fl-Istati Uniti.
Reġgħu tellgħuh f’Montrouge u mort narah jinħadem għall-ewwel darba. Saru addattamenti biex jinġab eqreb żminijietna llum. Imma l-essenzjali kollu – jew kważi – baqa’ f’postu. L-atturi kienu tajba għal tajba ħafna, id-direzzjoni ta’ Anne Berelowitch l-istess.
Wara li jkunu għaddew erbgħin sena, ovvja, il-kittieb ma jkunx l-istess bħall-“jien” tal-lum. Imma f’daqqa, waqt li kienet għaddejja l-wirja, bdejt niftakar kollox kif inkiteb u għaliex inkiteb hekk. Esperjenza inkredibbli. Igħaddu kemm jgħaddu s-snin, ċerti memorji hemm jibqgħu… anke meta tkun insejthom.
English Version – Once again – financial services
One understands why during an election campaign, a certain prudence should be maintained when discussing future policies regarding financial services in Malta. Or better: regarding the framework within which financial services should be promoted. Still, one expects that basic guidelines within which they will be run in future would be laid out beforehand at such a time.
Unfortunately, there are aspects of this crucial sector about which we have gone overboard with nonsensical allegations that have continually been made, from here and there. Loose talk immediately triggers negative rebounds. Politicians – but not only them – have transgressed most in this respect. Professional operators in the sector mostly remained tongue tied; when at the end they do speak, it is difficult to understand from what they say, why they failed to do so before.
In the nineties of the previous century, the PN administration had proposed a radical reform of the financial services framework. I was wary. Lino Spiteri persuaded me the change would be done in full respect of the requirement that no loopholes would be allowed for money laundering and tax evasion. Karmenu Mifusd Bonnici had insisted this would not be possible. But in line with his character – that of a gentleman – in Parliament, he defended the decision with intelligence and wisdom, once it had been taken.
As of now, we need to update the financial services model that we have promoted in this country. We need to do this with a commitment togreater transparency and diligence. Otherwise we’ll be projected as trying to con the rest of Europe. There are lobbies in Brussels which are already playing this game. It creates problems for us all, whether we vote Labour or PN.
Emmanuel Macron made a very good impression during his investiture ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris as President of France. One cannot but wish him the best of success.
I would do so especially because his “optimistic” campaign succeeded to flow with the rhythms of citizens’ expectations.
Even so, I remain somewhat sceptical about future prospects.
The reality in Europe is that some are faring well to very well; others are doing badly to very badly. Among the former too, there are people who still feel they have lost a portion of their satisfaction with life. Macron succeeded to mobilise them. Will he succeed in keeping them onside?
And will he succeed to placate those in the less well-off categories, or will he discover that their number is increasing?
Last week, in the Parisian commune of Montrouge I underwent an unusual experience.
In 1976, I had written a play “In the Shadow of the Cathedral”which Joe Friggieri put on and directed at the University Theatre. I never saw that production for at the time I was still living in the US.
It was now produced in Montrouge and for the first time, I went to see it being performed. The script was adapted in parts to align the situation with contemporary realities. But all that was essential in the original text, or almost, stayed unchanged. The actors were good, indeed very good; so was the direction, by Anne Berelowitch.
With the passage of forty years, the guy who then wrote the text is no longer the “I” of today. But suddenly, as the show progressed, I could remember everything about how the different parts got written and why they were written the way they were. It’s an incredible experience. No matter how many years will have passed, some memories remain… even if you have forgotten them.