Qrajt artiklu interessanti miktub minn rappreżentant għoli tal-manifattura dwar il-qagħda ta’ dan is-settur fil-qafas tas-sħubija ta’ Malta fl-Unjoni Ewropea. Qed ikun hemm problemi kbar biex il-manifattura żżomm l-għerq fil-pajjiż. Raġuni għal dan hi li t-tħaddim tal-politika industrijali Ewropea ftit iħalli spazju biex l-industrija Maltija tiġi aġevolata b’mod li jpatti għall-iżvantaġġi li jkollha topera taħthom.

Li se jiġri hekk kien ċar daqs il-kristall u sa mill-bidu nett, għal kull min stħarreġ ir-reġoli ta’ tmexxija tal-Unjoni Ewropea u kif jiġu applikati. Qabel dħalna fl-Unjoni Ewropea, numru ta’ industrijalisti kienu jiċħdu li s-sħubija se taffettwahom ħażin. Illum m’għadhomx fin-negozju.

Dawk li llum jinsabu fil-manifattura jixirqilhom kull appoġġ. Irridu nużaw kull marġini, ċkejken kemm ikun ċkejken, li jippermettu r-regoli Ewropej biex jingħatalhom dan l-appoġġ. U rridu nkomplu nisħqu b’kull mezz kontra l-politika Ewropea ta’ “daqs wieħed għal kulħadd”.

Il-fatt li l-manifattura qed tagħmel irtirata mal-Ewropa kollha m’għandu jitqies tal-ebda faraġ.

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Toni Demicoli

Ismu ma kienx jissemma fl-aħbarijiet politiċi jew artistiċi. Imma l-fehmiet tiegħu dwar dak li jiġri madwarna kienu preċiżi, sodi u fl-istess ħin ġentili.

Għax forsi dik kienet l-aqwa kwalità ta’ Toni Demicoli – rari f’Malta – il-ġentilezza. Magħha kien jgħaqqad il-ġenwinità u kurżità intellettwali attiva.

Tal-aħħar wasslitu biex f’żogħżitu, meta l-ambizzjoni taż-żgħażagħ bħalu kienet li jżuru Carnaby Street, f’Londra, jesplora waħdu l-Afrika ta’ Fuq sas-Sudan u l-wesgħat tas-Sirja. Aktar tard, ivvjaġġja għal rasu matul l-Amazon u fin-nord tal-Indja san-Nepal.

Forsi l-akbar difett tiegħu kien modestja żejda dwar il-ħiliet artistiċi tiegħu. Ħbiha taħt il-bixra ta’ “hippy” patrijarkali. Għadni napprezza sal-lum il-qoxra li għamilli għall-ewwel edizzjoni tar-rumanz “Silġ fuq Kemmuna” maħruġ fl-1982, meta t-teknika tal-istampar kienet għadha primittiva sew.

Iddispjaċieni ħafna li ma stajtx nattendi l-funeral tiegħu. M’aħniex se ninsewh.

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Ċokon

Dwar xi ħaġa li ktibt f’dil-kolonna, xi ħadd qalli: ma nisħqux ħafna fuq kemm aħna ċkejkna; inkella naqtgħu qalbna u nintelqu mal-kurrent.

Żgur naqbel li m’għandniex noqogħdu lura milli ninsistu fuq il-pożizzjoni tagħna, inkunu fejn inkunu.

Biss l-anqas għandna nġibu ruħna qisna ninsabu fiċ-ċentru tad-dinja. Irridu nifhmu l-iskala tagħna.

Turija tagħha toħroġ mill-aġġornament li għamlet għas-sena d-dieħla l-Kummissjoni Ewropea dwar il-piż tal-membri tal-Unjoni Ewropea, ikkalkolati skont il-popolazzjoni għal dik li tissejjaħ maġġoranza kwalifikata f’deċiżjonijiet Ewropej.

Maġġoranza hekk teħtieġ il-voti ta’ pajjiżi li flimkien ilaħħqu aktar minn 65 fil-mija tal-popolazzjoni totali tal-Unjoni. Il-kontributi tal-Ġermanja, tal-Italja u ta’ Ċipru jlaħħqu15.93, 12.07 u 0.17 fil-mija tal-popolazzjoni kollha fl-Unjoni; u ta’ Malta 0.08 fil-mija.

Bla kumment.

English Version – Manufacturing

I came across a very interesting article written by a top representative of the manufacturing sector in which he discussed its current situation in the context of Malta’s membership of the EU. Local manufacturing industry is experiencing serious problems as it tries to maintain its position in the economy. A reason for this is that European industrial policy allows little room for Maltese manufacturing to be helped in ways that could compensate for the disadvantages to which its operations are subject.

Right from the beginning, it was crystal clear to those who had studied the EU’s management rules and their application, that this would be the case. Priorto membership, some industrialists simply denied it would affect them badly. They are now out of business.

Those who are still in manufacturing merit total support. We should use all available margins that are possible under European rules, no matter how tiny, to provide them with such support. And we should continue to argue, with all available means, against European “one size fits all” policies.

The fact that manufacturing has lost ground across Europe is no consolation at all in this respect.

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Toni

His name did not feature in news items about politics or cultural activities. But his views about what was going on were precise, firm and at the same time gentle.

For that was Toni Demicoli’s greatest quality – a sense of gentleness that is rare in Malta. In him, it was matched by sincerity and an active intellectual curiositiy.

The latter led him when young and the ambition of his contemporaries was to visit London’s Carnaby Street, to explore instead on his own North Africa down to the Sudan, and then central Syria. Later on in life, he travelled solo down the Amazon and in Northern India up to Nepal.

Perhaps his worst defect was a too modest appreciation of his own artistic talent, hidden under the outlook of a patriarchal hippy. I still delight in the cover he designed for the first edition of a novel of mine “Silġ fuq Kemmuna” published back in 1982, when printing techniques were quite primitive.

I was really sad at being unable to attend his funeral. He will not be forgotten.

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Small

Referring to something I had written in this column, somebody told me: We shouldn’t stress how small we are in size, otherwise we risk losing heart and then going with the flow.

I certainly agree we should stick to our position, no matter what it has to be.

However neither should we carry on as if we were at centre stage in world affairs. We have to come to terms with our scale.

How it comes into play is shown in the update for next year just carried out by the European Commission in the weighting attached to EU members. It is calculated on the basis of their population, for purposes of measuring what is called a qualified majority in European decisions.

Such a majority requires the vote of countries which together contain more than 65 percent of the total population of the Union. The key for Germany, Italy and Cyprus reads 15.93, 12.07 and 0.17 per cent of the Union’s total population; that of Malta stands at 0.08 per cent.

Further comment would be superfluous.