Dan l-aħħar kont Marsaxlokk f’waranofsinhar mill-isbaħ biex nirrekordja intervista ma’ stazzjon tat-televixin barrani. Il-ġurnalisti preżenti kienu meraviljati bis-sbuħija tal-post. Id-dgħajjes numerużi fil-bajja impressjonawhom: rawhom bħala xhieda ta’ attività qawwija fil-qasam tas-sajd.

Ironikament, qabel u wara li konna qed nirrekordjaw, imxejt mat-toroq ta’ Marsaxlokk u tliet darbiet waqqfuni membri ta’ familji ta’ sajjieda biex jilmentaw dwar kif il-ħidma tagħhom sfat imnaqqsa u magħluqa matul is-snin. Iħossu li x-xogħol “tradizzjonali” tagħhom ġiet sagrifikat għall-interessi ta’ sajjieda “industrijali”. Għadhom imdejqa bil-miżuri li ttieħdu biex iwassluhom ħalli jnaqqsu mid-dgħajjes attrezzati għax-xogħol tas-sajd. Ma jarawx li għandhom futur sod.

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Franza

Jidher sew li Franza u l-Franċiżi għaddejjin minn proċess simili għal dak li seħħ fl-Istati Uniti wara l-attakki fuq il-World Trade Center in New York. Jinħassu diversi żviluppi.

Għadhom jinħassu l-effetti tax-xokk bl-atroċitajiet li twettqu. Għadu ħaj is-sens ta’ insigurtà personali u publika li tqanqal. Imbagħad hemm is-sentiment ta’ inċertezza dwar jekk fil-futur hux se jkun hemm aktar attakki. Tinħass ħerqa għat-tpattija u fl-istess ħin, tissensel il-mistoqsija dwar jekk l-istess tpattija hix se toħloq aktar diżgwid. Jagħmel tajjeb, joħloq sens ta’ komfort, ir-rikonoxximent dwar kif fost pajjiżi oħra qam sentiment ġenwin ta’ solidarjetà. U mbagħad tinħass qawwija wkoll il-mistoqsija dwar x’tiswa u sa fejn tista’ twassal din is-solidarjetà.

Fuq kollox, naħseb hemm ukoll sentiment ieħor kbir ta’ għaqda nazzjonali, bħala poplu — tal-anqas hekk jidher qed jiġri fi Franza — li għalkemm dgħajjef il-firda tal-politika partiġġjana, ma għattanhiex.

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CHOGM

M’iniex wieħed minn dawk li jemmnu li l-laqgħat internazzjnali kbar li jsiru f’pajjiż iħallu xi benefiċċji kbar jew tat-tul għall-istess pajjiż.

Min-naħa l-oħra, lanqas ma huma okkażjonijiet ta’ biki u dwejjaq kif, jekk fhimt tajjeb, uħud mill-kelliema u kittieba tal-Oppożizzjoni ipprovaw jagħtuna x’nifhmu fl-aħħar ġimgħat dwar il-laqgħa dil-ġimgħa taċ-CHOGM.

Veru li jinħolqu inkonvenjenzi għas-sewwieqa, imma bl-istess mod jekk mhux agħar, jinħolqu l-istess inkonvenjenzi fis-sajf matul l-istaġun tal-festi, jew matul is-sena bil-mod kif it-toroq jingħalqu bla twissija għax ikun għaddej xi bini.

Veru wkoll li did-darba se jkun hemm tensjoni minħabba t-theddida terroristika. Biss din kienet xi ħaġa li ma setgħetx titbassar u nemmen li l-ilqugħ għaliha se jkun adekwat.

Fuq kollox, minkejja ċ-ċokon tagħha, Malta għandha dak li hu meħtieġ biex tospita laqgħat internazzjonali bħaċ-CHOGM, ħaġa li ntweriet kemm-il darba fil-passat, taħt amministrazzjonijiet differenti.

English Version – Fisheries

On a splendid afternoon recently, I was in Marsaxlokk bay to record an interview for a foreign TV station. The journalists at hand greatly admired the beauty of the place. They were impressed by the many boats anchored in the bay, judging they showed how strong the fishing industry was.

Ironically, before and after the recording, I strolled through the streets of Marsaxlokk and three times, members of fishing families stopped me to complain about how their work had been curtailed and shut down over the years. They feel that the interests of their “traditional” occupation has been sacrificed to satisfy the interests of “industrial” fishing concerns. They are still sore at the measures that were taken to induce them to reduce their fishing fleet. They consider their future prospects to be shaky.

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France

Quite clearly, France and the French people are experiencing a process similar to the one that occurred in the US following the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. Developments have followed different pathways.

The effects of shock at the atrocities which were committed are still being felt. The sense of private and public insecurity triggered by the attacks is still alive. Then there is a feeling of uncertainty regarding whether new attacks could be launched in the near future. There is a deep wish for revenge and at the same time, the concern cannot be sidelined: will that create further disruption? The recognition that other countries have expressed genuine solidarity has created some feel good, a zone of comfort. Then the question being faced is whether such solidarity has much meaning and for how long it can last.

Above all, a major upswing in national unity has been ignited among the people (at least that how it seems to an outside observer of France), which while weakening the partisan political divide has not swept it aside.

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CHOGM

I am not one of those who believe that large scale international meetings leave huge or longterm benefits to the country where they are held.

On the other hand, neither are they occasions for cries and grief, as in recent weeks — if I understand correctly — some of the Opposition’s spokespersons and columnists tried to encourage the belief, regarding this week’s CHOGM meeting.

It is true that drivers will be facing inconveniences, but likewise similar inconveniences if not worse occur during the festa season in summer, as well as all the year round, when without prior warning roads are made off limits because of construction work going on.

It is also true that this time, there has been a rise of tension arising from the terrorist threat. But this was something that could not have been envisaged beforehand. I believe there will be an adequate response to it.

In any event, despite its size, Malta has what it takes to host international meetings like CHOGM, as was shown many times in the past under different administrations.