Fil-kontroversja dwar kif tista’ titjieb il-qagħda tat-traffiku, kważi kulħadd qed jinjora punt ċar: l-ebda soluzzjoni ma tista’ tinstab mingħajr ma jkun hemm minn ħafna – jekk mhux minn kulħadd – qbil dwar bidla radikali fil-mod kif ngħixu, jew inħallsu għal kif ngħixu.

Se jkun hemm bżonn: li togħla l-ispiża tat-trasport; li l-konvenjenza li drajna ngħixu biha fil-konsum tagħna tinqaras; li b’konsegwenza, setturi ekonomiċi sħaħ iġorru aktar spejjeż; waqt li l-infrastruttura tat-trasport trid titjieb: ħaġa li żżid in-nefqa tal-gvern u t-taxxi li jkollu jiċċarġja.

Aħna lkoll se nipprotestaw. Kulħadd se jkun irid bidla, imma mhux se jkun lest jaċċetta li jġorr piżijiet u dwejjaq. Dawk għal ħaddieħor.

Diġà dil-ħaġa qed tiġri.

L-għalliema, il-ġenituri, il-bennejja, u ma nafx min aktar ma qablux ma’ proposti li bdew isiru.
Sa issa, quddiem il-periklu li se jitilfu l-voti, l-gvernijiet kollha baqgħu lura milli jdaħħlu xi bidla effettiva.

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Dwar Għawdex

Nhar il-Ġimgħa, kellna konferenza interessanti fil-lukanda Ta’ Ċenċ Għawdex. Iddiskutejna x’jistennew l-Għawdxin mill-Unjoni Ewropea. L-għaqda GUG ippreżentat survey magħmul fost l-istudenti terzjarji Għawdxin dwar kif jaraw il-futur.

Li laqatni kien kif minkejja t-titjib ekonomiku li għaddej f’Għawdex, kulħadd qed jara li l-gżira se tibqa’ ġġarrab telf ta’ imħuħ, b’żgħażagħ li jitilqu jgħixu u jaħdmu band’oħra.

Jekk dan il-pronostku hu korrrett, se ssir ħaġa urġenti li naraw kif inħajru liż-żgħażagħ Għawdxin iwaqqfu impriżi ġodda żgħar f’art twelidhom.

Dan jista’ jsir per eżempju, f’azjendi li jħaddmu t-teknoloġiji diġitali. Fihom, id-distanza u l-iżolament jistgħu jkunu anqas importanti minn f’oqsma oħra.

U għas-snin li ġejjin, l-Unjoni Ewropea qed tgħid li trid tagħtihom importanza kbira.

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Riformi Strutturali

Wara l-laqgħa tal-bord tal-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew f’Malta, il-President tal-Bank Mario Draghi rrepeta l-mantra li ilu jsostni: fiż-żona ewro, hemm bżonn li l-pajjiżi membri jkomplu jdaħħlu “riformi strutturali”.

Sadattant, il-BĊE ħaddem fl-aħħar xhur politika maħsuba biex tħeġġeġ it-tkabbir ekonomiku. Illaxka l-kontrolli fuq il-kwantità ta’ ewro fl-ekonomiji. Madankollu r-riżultati mixtieqa ma tfaċċawx: il-prezzijiet għadhom jiżżerżqu ’l isfel u r-rati tat-tkabbir ekonomiku fl-Ewropa baqgħu kajmani.

Forsi Draghi messu jagħti kas aktar ta’ kritika li qed issir dwar ir-riformi strutturali li hu jippromwovi.
Dawn iddaħħlu kollha f’salt, b’mod li spiċċaw “ifixklu” lil xulxin.

Mentri kien ikun aħjar kieku intgħażlu ftit riformi, skont liema minnhom se jkollhom l-aqwa impatt. Għall-bidu messhom twettqu huma biss.

Biħsiebni nagħmel emenda li tmur f’dan is-sens f’rapport li jinsab quddiem il-kumitat ekonomiku u finanzjarju tal-Parlament Ewropew, dwar l-aħħar rapport annwali tal-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew.

English Version – Traffic

In the debate concerning how the traffic situation could improve, practically everybody is ignoring one clear decision node: there can be no solution unless most people – if not all – agree to change radically the way by which we live, or by which we pay for how we live.

It will be necessary to raise transport costs; to restrict the easy ways of consumption to which we have become used; to consequently accept that whole ranges of economic activity will need to carry new costs; and to strongly improve the transport infrastructure, thereby boosting government expenditures and the tax charges that the government will need to levy.

We will, all of us, set out to protest against this. There will be a consensus for change but none will be prepared to accept individually to carry new burdens and impositions. That had best be left to others to endure.

It’s already happening.

Teachers, parents, building contractors and I don’t know who else, have already voced their dissent with proposals that were being floated.

Up to now, faced with the danger of losing votes, successive governments shied away from introducing effective and durable changes.

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RE. Gozo

Last Friday, the conference we held at Ta Ċenċ hotel in Gozo was extremely interesting. We discussed Gozo’s present expectations vis à vis the European Union. The GUG society presented the results of a survey it carried out among Gozitan tertiary students to discover their perceptions about the future.

I was impressed by how – though it was acknowledged by one and all that Gozo’s economy is progressing – all those present believe too that Gozo will continue to suffer a brain drain, as young people leave to reside and work elsewhere.

If this forecast is correct, it’s going to become an urgent task to try and incentivate Gozo’s young people to set up new “small”enterprises in their island “home”.

This could make sense say, for new enterprises based on digital technologies. In their case, distance and isolation can be less relevant as limiting factors, than in other fields of activity.

The digital sector is one about which the EU is saying that in coming years, it will be attaching great importance.

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Structural reforms

At the end of the European Central Bank’s board meeting in Malta, its President Mario Draghi repeated the mantra he’s been for long emphasizing: in the euro zone, member states need to continue introducing “structural reforms”.

Meanwhile the ECB has in past months run a policy designed to promote economic growth, It effectively relaxed controls on the volumes of euros awash in economies. However the results hoped for have not materialised: prices are still sliding and European economic growth rates have remained anaemic.

Possibly, Draghi should give greater attention to the critique being made of the structural reforms he has been consistently promoting.

These are being applied all at once and all together, such that they end up one blocking the other.

It would have been better to start with only a few reforms chosen by order of the magnitude of their impact and make sure to implement them.

I intend to table an amendment in this sense to a report now before the European Parliament’s economic and financial committee, dealing with the latest annual ECB report