Tuesday, 23 December 2008

AD Gozo Christmas get-to-get-her

"Let’s work in Europe for a better and more beautiful Gozo"

It was great to meet again a good number of friends and supporters on Sunday. This year the Christmas social gathering was held at Tal-Wileġ Restaurant in Qala. Apart from having a great lunch, Arnold Cassola, Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party Chairperson, presented Yvonne Ebejer Arqueros' and his own European Parliament candidatures for the European elections scheduled for next June 2009.

Arnold Cassola said that through the presence of Alternattiva Demokratika in the European Parliament the whole country would gain because Malta would not remain represented in the European Parliament in only two of the present ten parliamentary groups, but would also start being represented in the third group, The Green Group in the European Parliament. This would mean that for the first time around another 50 Green MEPs would be influenced directly and positively to safeguard the interests of Our country.

Yvonne Ebejer Arqueros said that the election of an Alternattiva Demokratika Member of Parliament would signify the defence of European environmental legislation, which is so necessary for the enhancement of quality tourism and for the ensuing jobs created, in particular in Gozo.

It was also nice having Dr. Harry Vassallo ex-AD leader with us. During the same activity, Michael Bajada, in the name of the AD Gozo regional Committee presented Dr Harry Vassallo with a memento for all the work he has done throughout the years for the betterment of the quality of life of all Gozitans.

Alternattiva Demokratika also announced that it is working to present candidatures for the Local Council elections scheduled in Gozo for 2009.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Aktar dwar eku-Għawdex u l-belveder tal-Qala

Jekk tħares biss lejn dan il-bini propost fuq il-belvedere tal-Qala wkoll tistaqsi: "Xi jridu igħidu biha din ta' l-eco-Għawdex?"

Niftakar, xi żmien qabel l-elezzjoni ġenerali li għaddiet, kienu kellmuni xi nies minn dawk l-inħawi. Qaluli li jixtiequ li l-Alternattiva tgħinhom joġġezzjonaw.

Pero' sibt li l-closing date sabiex wieħed joġġezzjona kien ilu li għalaq. Jien staqsejthom jekk laħqux għamlu 'objection' huma jew jekk kellmux xi avukat jew perit. Huma qaluli "L-Avukat bgħatna għandek, għax hu ghandu post hemmhekk ukoll".

Jien ghidtilhom sabiex ninġabru u nagħmlu konferenza stampa fuq il-post. Pero' x'ġara?

Dak iż-żmien, ħadd ma ried juri wiċċu ma' ta' l-Alternattiva "anke minhabba l-Avukat, mhux sew li nidhru magħkom li ma jmurx jaħseb li se nivvutaw AD flok xi partit iehor".Qiegħdin tajjeb f'dal-pajjiż!

Għada hemm il-każ quddiem il-famuża MEPA. J'alla tiġihom żewgt.


Thursday, 27 November 2008

EU Update: Raw Sewage Discharge at Valley and into the Sea

During a Press Conference at Wied il-Mielah at Gharb, Arnold Cassola, Chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party, said that despite the slogan of Eco-Ghawdex and the construction of a new municipal wastewater treatment plant with European funds in Gozo, raw sewage is still being discharged into the sea at Wied Il-Mielah in the north-west of the island.

Arnold Cassola was accompanied by EP election candidate Yvonne Ebejer Arqueros and myself as the AD Secretary General and spokesperson for Gozo.

Prof Cassola added, "It is understood that the local water utility, the Water Services Corporation (WSC) was supposed to build a pumping station at Wied il-Mielah to transfer the sewage coming out from the villages of Gharb, San Lawrenz, St. Lucija and Ghammar to the new sewage treatment plant at Ras il-Hobz - thus preventing the further discharge of raw sewage into the sea at Wied Il-Mielah. This has not happened."

"We understand that by March 2007, all sewage in Malta and Gozo had to be treated prior to disposal into the sea. This is not happening at Wied iI-Mielah, Gozo and this is therefore in violation of the EU Urban Wastewater Directive."

For this reason I informed the EU Commission about this violation of EU law.

During the press conference I said that Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party is therefore asking the Commission to intervene on this issue, which is not only endangering the biodiversity of the area but also the health of people in Gozo. Various written reports were sent to the MEPA section in charge but no answer was ever given.

We are also suggesting that given that a pumping station in Wied il-Mielah has not been built, the WSC should consider the construction of a small sewage treatment plant so that instead of pumping sewage all the way to Ras il-Hobz for treatment and disposal, the community in the west of Gozo could have a source of 2nd class clean and safe water within their community for irrigation and other 2nd class water uses - as a substitute for groundwater which is being extracted at an unsustainable rate.

This beneficial project would contribute to the cutting down on groundwater extraction and would save on the capital costs of laying sewage mains and resurfacing of roads, and also on the energy costs in pumping the sewage across the whole of Gozo, whilst getting nothing in return.

Let's hope that common sense prevails.



More Rubbish at Ghasri Valley

No need to understand. Just look at the pics. What a shame!

Lill-Kunsill Lokali Ghasri

Ghaziz Segretarju,

Sikwit qed jaslulna ilmenti li fil-kampanja madwar ir-rahal sabih ta' l-Ghasri qed jintrema zibel u mbarazz fosthom batteriji ta' karozzi. L-ahhar ilment gej dwar xi 50 flixkun tal-palstic (liquid soap) mormija qrib Wied il-Ghasri.
Uhud minn dawn diga jinsabu mkissra u ohrajn hiereg il-materjal/likwidu minnhom. Kull flixkun jesa' 5 litri.
Mehmuz ma' din l-email ghandek issib xi ritratti dwar dan li baghtulna xi residenti mill-lokal tieghek.

Napprezza jekk tinfurmani x'passi ha l-Kunsill tieghek sabiex jitnaddaf dan il-post u jitnehha l-periklu.

Victor Galea
Kelliem ta' l-Alternattiva Demokratika - Ghawdex
illum 26 ta' Novembru 2008

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Budget 2009: giving Gozitans what they deserve!

It is very true that the General Election is nowhere near. You can tell by the reaction to the Budget 2009 by the two 'main' Gozitan entities called:

1) Gozo Business Chamber

2) Gozo Tourism Association

What did these two organisations have to say about this buget? NOTHING! At least up to now: NOTHING.

Did you ever hear about the phrase fart catchers? Well here you have an example!

Usually in the past two years we read a lot of appluads to the Gozo Minister. This time, these businessmen seem not to be effected by the increase of the price of the diesel and petrol. Nor are they showing concern about the massive increase in the water and electricity bills.

well well.... Much can be said about respect and self respect! How can we gozitans expect other to respect us if we do not respect ourselves in the first place?


At a Press Conference held in Gozo, Arnold Cassola, Chairperson Alternattiva Demokratika, stated that, once again, the measures planned for Gozo lacked precise time frames to indicate the start and expected completion dates of the projected reforms.

Government's declared intention to embark on a reform of the public transport service as a first priority is praiseworthy. However, it is not known when this exercise is due to be finalised nor has any reference been made to the Gozo Channel monopoly which is supposed to end by this year.

I commended the Government on its commitment to develop Gozo's economic activities based on the principle of sustainability and specifically aimed at substantially improving the tourist product. I also praised Government's plans to consolidate the fishing and agricultural sector and the promotion of organic farming. However, against this overall positive background, Government needs to explain why it has not yet put an end to all the speculation about the Ta' Cenc and Ramla l-Hamra projects by declaring its firm and unequivocal rejection of both projects which run counter to any sound agricultural policy. Furthermore, Government has failed to declare its position on the proposed marina and tourist village projects at Hondoq ir-Rummien which surely prejudice any attempt to promote sustainable tourism. Moreover, the new water and electricity bills are going to affect the few manufacture industries left in Gozo as well as the tourist industry.

With reference to Gozo's natural resources, Ireiterated that the Government should do all that is possible to distribute second class water, produced from the sewage treatment plant, to farmers, instead of wasting it by throwing it into the sea. I also referred to the fact that, despite the expenditure of over 6 million euro on Capital Projects, the Ministry did not manage to find the necessary funds to complete the two important roads from Dwejra to San Lawrenz and the main road from the Heliport to Rabat. I augured that Government will not only keep its word to finalise these road projects but also ensure that all the funds allocated are spent with due diligence and will not repeat situations where projects are stopped soon after inception due to lack of funds, as happened in the case of the Mgarr Terminal (from LM4 Million the expenses went up to Lm15Million!).

The Green Party has also noted that, while Government recognises the need for the creation of new jobs in Gozo, it has failed to announce any concrete measures. All that was mentioned for 2009 was a joint action plan between the Ministry for Gozo and Malta Enterprise.

Prof. Arnold Cassola stressed that the only way to create jobs in Gozo is by putting an end, once and for all, to the existing culture of clientelism and by giving due encouragement and assistance to all those, irrespective of their political leanings, who are ready to help in the sustainable development of existing jobs and in the creation of new ones.

Arnold Cassola commented on the effects of the petrol and diesel price hikes and explained how these “will adversely affect Gozitan Workers twicefold”. “Owing to the inefficient public transport service in Malta and Gozo, workers have no alternative but to use their own cars to go to work in Malta at considerable expense”.

Prof. Cassola concluded by strongly recommending that the frequency of the public transport service from Cirkewwa to the University should, at least, be doubled and that the operating hours should be better adjusted. These measures would go a long way in helping to reduce the hassle and stress currently being faced by the over 900 Gozitan students commuting to Malta.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Good news from the EU Petitions Committee

I was one of the petitioners to the EU petitions commitee regarding the Ramla l-Hamra villas and pools development. The other petitioners are Michael Bajada, another AD member on the Gozo Regional Committee of Alternattiva Demokratika and the other one was by a good friend of ours who resides in Malta. On Tuesday the Petitions' Committee of the European Parliament met to examine our three different petitions against the building proposal of villas and pools at Ramla l-Hamra in Gozo

The Green Party Chairperson Arnold Cassola in a statement issued today said that Alternattiva Demokratika is delighted at the fact that the Ramla l-Hamra project has been shelved by the Maltese government.

At the hearing, the EU Commission announced that the Maltese government had stated that the project has been abandoned and MEP Simon Busuttil who sits on the Petitions Committee confirmed this. We are elated at this success in stopping such an unsustainable project from materializing.

It seems too good to be true, but bat least we can confirm this news from Brussles. What is actually happening here in Malta is another story of course.

Mepa should truly safeguard the environment around Ramla l-Hamra by including the whole
area in the EU-funded and protected programme of Natura 2000. Heritage trusts and NGOs should be supported in obtaining EU funds to transform the whole Ramla area into an international heritage site and protecting its archaeological remains. We now expect that Ramla bay be promoted to Blue Flag bay status.

In the light of the government's electoral promise to transform Gozo into an eco-island, the state should claim back the land from the Ulysses Lodge proprietors in order to remove the abandoned building, restore the partially concreted-over Roman pathway and restore the whole area. Gozo needs new, modern sustainable jobs which would ensure the protection of the environment whilst promoting high quality tourism.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Id-Drenaġġ f'Għawdex

L-aħħar li ktibt fil-blogg huwa dwar 'Salty Valley' jew aħjar Wied il-Mielaħ (ara HAWN).

Semmejt l-irwejjaħ tad-drenaġġ li wieħed ixomm waqt li jasal qrib it-Tieqa Naturali ta' Wied il-Mieħal.

Min ma marx f'Wied il-Mielaħ?

Gonzi mar u ħa ritratti sbieħ jiltaqa' mall-press ftit qabel l-elezzjoni tal-Kunsill lokali ta' l-Għarb. (ara ritratt)

Anke lill-Fenech Adami ħaduh hemm. Saħansitra Peppi ta' Xarabank mar hemm jieħu l-filmati bħala eżempju ta' kemm morna tajjeb mill-fondi ta' l-Unjoni Ewropeja.

Govanna marret kemm-il darba u wkoll jidher li ġibdulha ftit ritratti mhux ħażin.

Ġibdulha ritratt mas-Sindku u ma' l-eċċellenza tagħha Danuta Hubner, Kumississarju ta' l-EU. (araw it-ritratti bit-tieqa ta' Wied il-Mielaħ fil-background).

Iżda l-akbar ċerimonja saret kien meta ġiet f'Wied il-Mielaħ l-Eċċ. Tagħha Danuta Hubner. Jidher li dak inhar kien il-bnazzi u allura drenaġġ inixxi ma kienx hemm fil-Wied. Dak inhar niżlu xi nies mill-Għarb lebsin l-għonnella bħala parti miċ-ċerimonja (li ma tantx aħna neqsin minnhom) taż-żjara tal-Kummissarju Ewropew li qaltilna ma nafx kemm il-elf Euro ser tagħtina sabiex Wied il-Mielaħ jiġi riabilitat (ara r-ritratt). Kien hemm Ġorġ ix-Xemx u anke Peppi l-Munsuħa mar idoqq l-argunett ta' l-idejn. In-nies ta' l-Għarb ittamajna li r-riħa tad-drenaġġ mill-wied għal ġol baħar forsi ser tieqaf darba għal dejjem. Kemm morna żmerċ!

Imma l-isbaħ ritratt huwa tal-Kummissarju Ewropew tipponta jdejha lejn irħama kommemorattiva li għadha mwaħħla fil-post sal-ġurnata tal-lum. Mhux faċli taraha. Imma jekk tħares lejn il-wied u tibda tara d-drenaġġ inixxi fit-triq tal-wied....propju hemmhekk issib l-irħama kommemorattiva ta' l-Eċċellenza tagħha.

Ilni nitkellem ma' nies mir-raħal dwar jekk bħali iddejjaqhomx ir-riħa taqsmek tad-drenaġġ li hemm f'dan il-wied pittoresk. L-omerta' pero' hija nkredibbli. Donnu kulħadd jibża jiftaħ ħalqu li ma jmorrux jagħtuh xi transfere jew biża' "li lit-tifla ma jdaħħluhielix mal-gvern". Din il-ġimgha John Mizzi
minn Ta' Sannat ċempilli u qalli bil-'complaints' li qed jaslulu minn turisti li jgħażlu li jiġu Għawdex għall-mixjiet qalb il-kampanja. Ovvjament dawn l-ilmenti huma dwar id-drenaġġ ħiereġ mill-wied u li jibqa' nieżel fil-baħar. Interessanti li meta ghedtlu biex jiġi biex jieħu sehem f'konferenza stampa, dan qalli li ma jridx "li ma jmorrux il-kaċċaturi jagħmlu għalija meta nkun waħdi bit-turisti f'dawn l-inħawi". Tassew għedt li huma ħafna li għadhom iħarsu l-interessi tal-but milli tal-pajjiż!

Illum għidt li l-aħjar hu li nagħmel dmiri bħala cittadin li dejjem ħallast it-taxxi u għalhekk ktibt lill-Pollution Section tal-MEPA. Hekk l-aħjar li wieħed jagħmel: imur f'ras il-għajn mill-ewwel.

Ma taqbilx?

U ktibtilhom hekk:


Nixtieq inressaq l-ilment tiegħi formalment bħala resident mill-Għarb, bħala tax-payer u bħala individwu li għandi r-raba' fl-inhawi ta' Wied il-Mielaħ.

Ta' sikwit nisimghu fuq il-mezzi ta' l-istampa ftaħir dwar fondi kbar li ntefqu mill-Fondi Strutturali
Ewropej (2004-06) u fondi oħra li akkwista l-Kunsill Lokali ta' l-Għarb sabiex jiġi riabilitat Wied il-Mielah fl-Gharb (Restauration and Management of Strom Water Project).

Minkejja dan kollu ir-riħa ta' drenaġġ taqsmek għadha persistenti sal ġurnata mqaddsa tal-lum. Barra minnhekk, issa li beda l-istaġun tax-xita, il-ħama u d-drenaġġ huwa evidenti għaddej mill-wied u jibqa nieżel fil-bahar.

Tista' tikkonfermali jekk:

1) hemmx sezzjoni fil-MEPA li tiehu hsieb li dawn l-irwejjaħ mid-denaġġ għaddej fl-apert jieqaf minnufih;

2) Jekk huwiex normali li d-drenaġġ jitħalla jibqa' ħiereġ mill-wied u jibqa' sejjer fil-baħar;

3) Jekk 'flow' ta' drenaġġ hekk fl-apert jagħmilx sens mall-kunċett li qed jadotta l-Gvern Nazzjonalista f'dak li qed isejjah bħala Eko-Għawdex;

4) X'pass qiegħdi
n jittieħdu jew ser jittieħdu sabiex l-ilment tiegħi jasal f'ras il-għajn u jissewwew dawn il-ħsarat ambjentali u l-'health and safety hazards' li jaffaċċjaw nies bħali li jgħaddu minn dan il-wied. Dan minbarra dawk it-turisti li jgħażlu li jiġu jżuru 'l Għawdex tagħna għall-mixjiet qalb il-kampanja u japprezzaw il-wirt naturali tagħna. Żgur li ma jista' qatt ikun li japprezzaw d-drenaġġ f'wiċċ il-wied u l-intejjen ta' rwejjaħ li dan iġib miegħu.

Mehmuz ma' din l-email qed nibaghtlek ritratti (4 b'kollox f'din l-email) li ħadt illum stess it-3 t'Ottubru 2008. F'e-mail separata ser nibagħtlek ukoll filmat tas-sitwazzjoni li sfortunatament ma tidhirx fuq il-mezzi ta' l-istampa lokali.

Sabiex l-ispetturi jsibu l-post eżatt ta' l-overflow, bizzejjed li jsibu l-irħama kommemorattiva (mehmuża fl-email) tal-
H.E. Danuta Hubner, Kumississarju ta' l-EU, peress li l-agħar parti tad-drenaġġ jinstab eżattament quddiem l-eċċellenza tagħha.

Noffri s-servizzi volontarji tiegħi biex jekk trid, meta l-ispetturi jiġu jispezzjonaw dawn l-inħawi jistgħu iċempluli u jien stess nurihom fejn eżatt jinstab dan id-diżastru ambjentali.

B'hekk żgur ħadd ma jkun jista' jgħid li 'ġie u ma ra jew xamm xejn'.

Grazzi u nitolbok iżżommni infurmat.

Victor Galea

130, Triq il-Knisja Għarb, Għawdex.
Mob: 79017017

Hawn dan il-video rated AO - arah jekk trid:

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Have you been to Salty Valley?

I remember well that many years ago, one of my nephews was here from Australia. I was still little. My brother Charlie told me to take his son to 'Wied il-Mielah'. I did and was happy to show my nephew around and explaining in 'English' the environs. And I thought that in English, 'Wied il-Mielah' should be translated into 'Salty Valley'. How funny.

I still remember the smell of drainage in this beautiful valley. In those years there were no commemorative marble plaques showing that EU dignitaries who visited the valley and no indications of the ceremonies which were to be held to celebrate the Euros from EU funding project for the rehabilitation of the valley.

Indeed, every now and then, we hear the Gharb PN Mayor and his Minister Govanna psoing for photos for the press on this site, in order to say that Gozo is to continue enjoying EU Funds, as the Gharb Local Council has succeeded in obtaining further funds for the Rehabilitation of Wied il-Mielah - not 'salty valley' anymore, but still an open drainage reserviour. Perpahs the MEPA enforcement section may like to pay a visit now that the rain season started rather than coming to gozo on a nice sunny day in Summer!

"Wied il-Mielah – towards an ecologically and culturally sensitive sustainable tourism is the name of the €600,000 project, which will be co-financed by 85% from the European Regional Development Fund. The project will give a touristic dimension to the works already carried out whilst respecting the environment."

Now imagine the tourists on this site TODAY, walking amongst the drainage flow going down from the valley to the sea! the smell is unbearable!

It seems that the rehabilitation of the valley are solely used for the construction of rubble of walls and bridges which have been destroyed, cleaning of the valley basin and resurfacing the road leading to the valley in order to make it more accessible .... yes they want more cars on eco-Ghawdex!

"Attractions including rustic furniture" - where over the drainage flow?

"Observation binoculars and audio visual equipment will be installed." - why? Perhaps to see closely the illegal hunting and trapping taking place on-site?

"The project will compliment the works carried out through the first phase also through the Structural Funds Program for Malta 2004-2006"

I wonder....

I honestly wish well for this project, but alas, if you find it hard to believe me, please have a look at the photo with the drainage flow taken today. Don't hope for any comments from the Gozo Toursim Assosiation. They have no flats or Hotels in this area.

Thank god that you can't smell it from the comfort of your home.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Gozitan University students in Malta

We met the Gozitan University Student group (ĠUĠ). It was one of the most honest meetings I attended to in these recent days.

It was a nice meeting, but at the same time I felt saddened. I said to myself that nearly fifteen years have passed and yet the Gozitan students are still being treated like rubbish, same as it was in my times. It is difficult to understand the suffering if you do not experience it.

However, it was nice to listen to the Gozitan students voicing their opinion. In our days, these opportunities did not exist.

They wanted to meet Alternattiva Demokratika and I hope that they found an ear which can truly listen to them. Apart from Arnold Cassola, Andre Vella, a representative of Alternattiva Demokratika Youths (ADZ), was also present. Michael Bajada from Munxar came representing the Gozo Regional Committee.

Everyone should be aware of the Gozitan students’ sacrifices; day by day they cross over to Malta in the early hours of the morning to study, or they spend the week in some apartment and they only return to Gozo in the weekend. On the other hand, Maltese students, after university, probably go home to a warm meal. In the morning they find clean clothes, and to make it in time for the first lectures they would not need to board a ferry.

I feel that those who think that the Gozitan complain, they are not really understanding what it entails to go to and from Gozo and Malta. Those who cross over to Gozo once in a year for a holiday do not really understand.

I don’t want to depict the Gozitans as victims. This experience, from an early age, nurtures an independent identity in the Gozitan student. He would be able to face all the challenges involved in an independent way of life, like money management, the hiring of the apartment, the food, the social or solitary life of the Gozitans in Malta, and public transport, amongst others. The same problems I used to face many years ago.

But the ĠuĠ committee is determined to address these problems in a serious manner. They are thinking of updating their website and from simply a website wherein one looks for an apartment in the vicinity of university, they are thinking of building a website updated with work and press releases that this hard-working committee is engaged with.

During our meeting, the members of the ĠuĠ committee mentioned the challenges and the discouragement they received from the authorities regarding their journey to Malta, especially the public transport and the ferry crossing. They also mentioned the way some students are treated by owners of the apartments they hire during the academic year; moreover, none of the Gozitan students are given the opportunity to use the University residence, since the University prefers to hire out this residence at a higher rate to the foreign students rather than the Gozitan students.

The lack of digital information of the books in the library of the University Centre in Gozo was also mentioned, together with the need to make more use of the video conferencing facilities that are kept in the University Centre of Xewkija. It seems that this equipment was bought to be kept stowed away in a kind of wardrobe.

The Authorities should give more heed to what the Gozitan students are saying. I believe that now after these students got together for a press conference with Alternattiva Demokratika, we should soon here of the PN and the MLP following suit. Let it be the day!

The infamous Public Transport Authority should understand, once and for all, that because of the laid-back attitude of some of the drivers, or the lack of trips from Valletta, many a times students end up having to wait for long hours in winter for the ferry back to Gozo. Of course … it is not them that the next day they have to wake up early again to catch the ferry back to Malta.

And what about the fact that the drivers of the public buses do not allow the Gozitan students to board the bus if they have more than two bags? They do not know that these bags most probably would be full of dirty stinking clothes that the Gozitan student takes with him home to wash.

The Gozitan students today form 10% of the University students in Malta. As Prof. Arnold Cassola, the leader of the party, said during this press conference, “The Gozitan students do not need favours but more respect as citizens in whom the country is investing for the future. It is certain that the Gozitan students do not need to be treated as second-class citizens.”

Heartfelt greetings to ĠuĠ.

Visit their site on http://www.gug.org.mt/

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Festa tal-qara aħmar fil-Manikata

Illum Marju bgħatli SMS u qalli li ser jagħmlu festa tal-qara aħmar. X'aktarx il-Ħadd 2 ta' Novembru. Staqsieni jekk tal-Kabozza nitħajjrux immorru ndoqqu.
Ftit ġimgħat ilu konna morna għall-festa ta' dan l-uniku raħal rurali li fadal f'Malta.(ara HAWN)

M'ilux, tiftakru lki ktibt biċċa bit-djalett tal-Għarb (ara HAWN). Issa Marju bgħatli poeżija bid-djalett ta' Ħal-Qurmi. Għax insejt ngħdilkom, propjament Marju minn Ħal Qormi....u mar jgħix il-Manikata. Aqrawha daqsxejn, Tassew taqbel ma' daż-żmien tas-sena meta l-ġimgħa d-dieħla jidħlu ġartita tfal ġodda fl-iskejjel madwar malta u Għawdex. Imsieken.

Ma bkejtx fl-ewwel jum ta' l-iskola!

Ġbartuna minn ġa l-imqujol u minn qalb l-għelieqi
Bħal ilma li jaqgħad u jdur f’sink tal-kċina sa ma jinxturob f’serpentina sewda
U nblajna f’bini stramb dunnu l-isptur fejn ummi welldet ’l oħti ftit xhur ilu,
riħa ta’ ħalib, żejt tal-ħuta, gumom friski, lanċinmit u purfum.
Hawn ix-xemx ma tfaqqux iktar fuq rusna imma tidħol bess minn tieqa għolja biż-żebgħa mqaxxra
Minn wara purtieri qudma mdendla ma’ virga ħuxna u sewda tal-ħadid.

U kellimtuna bi lsien stramb.

Dur surot dar, ummi surot mummy u Ħal Qurmi sur Qormi.
U libbistuna ingravuta, differenti minn dik li darba libes missieri meta tellgħewh xhud il-qurti.
Dik il-lasktuwwa rqieqa u bajda li kellha fit-tarf tagħha
kienet agħar mill-ħannieqa ħamra u ħuxna tal-megħeż.

U libbistuna enifurmi li weqqgħet il-kultura tagħkem għaż-żufjett
u biddlet lilna f’maskaruti bujod u blu,
dunna ħabsin minn dawk li naraw fil-films tal-mikimaws.

B’libsa pulita aħna kunna nifhmu tibdila sura,
bħal ma jilbes in-nannu meta jmur jura ‘l San Bastjun ħiereġ mill-knisja.

U flok ħobż biż-żejt u t-tadum għall-fresk tal-bitħa ħdejn il-lumija,
kilna ħobż bil-butir f’bitħa fejn mijiet ta’ tful kienu qed jiġru ‘l hawn u ‘l hemm
qishem żnażan iduru ma’ rus ta’ bużbieża.

Imma niftakar sew. Sħubi bkew f’duk l-ewwel jum.
Jien ma bkejtx.

Malli ħreġt mis-serpentina u sebt ruħi f’dik il-kamra biswit il-lukijiet fit-tarf tal-kurutur
Sammart għajnejja fuq il-blekbord, qabbadt difrejja ġal-gumma friska sa ma kwużi ħreġt id-demm,

u ma bkejtx.

U meta rġajt lura d-dur,
irrakkuntajt ’l ummi bl-istess ton li bih kont inqerr għand Dun Viċens,
li jien bess f’nofs il-klassi ma xerredt l-ebda damgħa.

U llum nikxef snieni, jew li baqagħli minnhem, fi tbissima,
X’ħin niftakar li wara għexieren ta’ snin niġri minn skula għal oħra,
b’żarbun riħa ta’ ħamrija mxarrba u ta’ demel tal-megħeż,

Għodni kapuċi nħuros lejn il-blekbord mingħajr ma mmejjel rusi, b’għajnejja fissi fuqu,

U ma nibkix.

Ma nibkix...
...ħlief meta niftakar f’dawk li l-iskula serviet bess biex ittimbruthom ħmir
u tuthom passaport li fuqu hemm miktub:

l-imrieħel u l-għelieqi tagħkem huma bess għall-injuranti.
Aħna rfajnik nofs xiber mill-art u qed intuk permess tmur tiffunda taħt saqaf tal-pjanċi,
għad-dawl tat-tubi u r-riħa taż-żjut u n-najlon,
taħt tieqa għoja biż-żebgħa mqaxxra.
Biex idderri tista’ tiskappa ftit sat-tojlit tgerrem biċċa ħobż,
U hemm toqgħod toħlom bl-imrieħel li darba,
ta’ Ċanu, ta’ Massu u r-Roy,
kienu jirgħew taħt il-ħarrub u ċ-ċawsli
ħdejn Għor Ħanżir, fil-Ħandaq.

Marju Cardona

Thursday, 18 September 2008

L-Istudenti Universitarji Għawdxin f'Malta

Iltqajna mall-Grupp Studenti Universitarji Għawdxin (ĠUĠ). Kienet waħda mill-aktar laqgħat sinċieri li attendejt dan l-aħħar.

Kienet laqgħa sabiħa iżda fl-istess ħin tnikkit ħafna minn ġewwa. Għidt bejni u bejn ruħi li kwazi ħmistax il-sena wara, l-istudenti Ghawdxin għadhom tista' tgħid qed jiġu trattati ta' żibel bħalma kien fi żmieni. Diffiċli wieħed jifhem it-tbatija jekk ma tkunx ġarrabtha.

Kien sabiħ pero' tisma' l-istudenti Ghawdxin isemmgħu leħinhom. Fi żmieni ma kienx hawn dawn l-opportun

Riedu jiltaqgħu ma' Alternattiva Demokratika u nittama li sabu widna li tassew tismagħhom. Minbarra Arnold Cassola gie ukoll rapreżentant ta' Alternattiva Demokratika Żgħazagħ (ADZ), Andre Vella. Mill-Kumitat Reġjonali ta' Għawdex ġie miegħi Michael Bajada mill-Munxar.

Kulħadd għandu jagħraf s-sagrifiċċji ta' l-istudenti Għawdxin li ta' kuljum jaqsmu kmieni lejn Malta sabiex jistudjaw jew iqattgħu l-ġimgħa f'xi flett u jirritornaw biss lejn Għawdex fi tmiem il-ġimgħa. Ħaddiehor, wara l-Universita probabli jmur id-dar u jsib platt sħun. Fil-għodu jsib ħwejjeġ nodfa, u sabiex jilħqu l-ewwel lectures m'ghandux bżonn jaqbad vapuri.

Inħoss li min jirraġuna li l-Ghawdxin jeqirdu, tassew ikun qed juri li ma jifhimx xi jfisser tiela' u nieżel minn Għawdex għal Malta. Żgur ma jifhimx min jaqsam biss lejn Għawdex xi darba fis-sena għal xi btala.

Ma rridx noqgħod impenġi lil Għawdxin bħala xi vittmi. Din l-esperjenza sa minn eta' bikrija tagħmel lill-istudent Għawdxi persuna ndipendenti li kapaċi issaqqaf wiċċha ma' l-intoppi kollha li jirrekjedu ħajja indipendenti bħalma huma l-immaniġjar tal-flus, il-kera' tal-flett, l-ikel, il-ħajja soċjali jew solitari ta' l-Għawdxin f'Malta u t-trasport pubbliku fost oħrajn. L-itess problemi li kont insaqqaf wiċċi magħhom jien snin ilu ħafna.

Izda l-kumitat tal-ĠuĠ jidher determinat li ser jindirizza bis-serjeta' dawn il-problemi. Hemm il-hsieb li jaġġornaw il-websajt tagħhom u minn sempliċement websajt fejn wieħed ifittex flett fejn jikri qrib l-Universita'; il-ħsieb hu l-websajt tkun aġġornata bi stqarrijiet u xogħol li qed jagħmel dan il-kumitat ħabrieki.

Waqt il-laqgħa magħna, il-membri tal-Kumitat tal-ĠUĠ semmew l-isfidi u l-iskoraġġiment li jsibu minn Awtoritajiet waqt l-iskariġġ tagħhom f'Malta speċjalment fejn jidħol it-trasport pubbliku u t-traġitt tal-vapur. Semmew ukoll kif ċertu studenti jiġu trattati minn sidien ta' flettijiet fejn jikru biex joqgħodu matul is-sena universitarja’ u kif ħadd mill-Għawdxin ma tingħatalu l-opportunita li jagħmel użu mir-Residenza ta' l-Istudenti ta' L-Universita', peress li l-Universita' tippreferi tikri bi flejjes akbar lill-studenti barranin milli lil studenti Għawdxin.

Issemma wkoll in-nuqqas ta' informazzjoni diġitali tal-kotba fil-librerija taċ-Ċentru ta' l-Universita' t'Għawdex u l-ħtieġa ta' aktar użu mill-video conferencing li qiegħed jinżamm fic-Ċentru ta' l-Universita' fix-Xewkija. Donnu dan l-apparat inxtara biex jibqa' merfugħ ġo speċi ta' gwardarobba.

Hemm bżonn li l-Awtoritajiet jagħtu aktar widen ta' l-ilmenti ta' l-istudenti Għawdxin.

Jien nemmen li issa wara li dawn l-istudenti ingħaqdu sabiex saret konferenza stampa ma' l-Alternattiva Demokratika, dalwaqt nisimgħu li tal-PN u l-MLP għamlu l-istess. J'alla!

Il-Famuża Awtorita' tat-Trasport Pubbliku hemm bżonn tifhem darba għal dejjem li minħabba t-tnikkir ta' xi sewwieq jew nuqqas ta' vjaġġi mill-Belt, l-Universita' saċ-Ċirkewwa, ħafna drabi studenti jispiċċaw ikollhom jistennew għal sigħat sħaħ fix-Xitwa l-vapur lura lejn Għawdex. Daż-żgur...ma jkunux huma li l-għada fil-għdu jkollhom jerġgħu iqumu kmieni sabiex jilħqu l-vapur lura lejn Malta.

U xi ngħidu għal fatt li sewwieqa tal-karozzi tal-linja ma jħallux lil studenti Għawdxin jitilgħu l-karozza jekk ikollhom aktar minn żewġt basktijiet? Ma jafux li aktarx dawn il-basktijiet ikunu mimlija ħwejjeġ jintnu seba' pesti sabiex l-istudent Għawdxi jeħodhom lura d-dar sabiex jinħaslu?

L-istudenti Ghawdxin illum jagħmlu 10% ta’ l-istudenti fl-Universita’ ta' malta. Kif qal il-kap tal-partit il-Prof. Arnold Cassola waqt din ilk-konferneza stampa, "L-istudenti Għawdxin m'għandhomx bzonn pjaċiri iżda aktar rispett bħala ċittadini li wara kollox il-pajjiż qed jinvesti fihom għall- futur. Żgur li l-istudenti Għawdxin m'għandhomx ikunu trattati bħala ċittadini tat-tieni klassi."

Awguri mill-qalb lil ĠuĠ.
Zuru is-sit tagħhom fuq http://www.gug.org.mt/

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Shhhh...Ta' Cenc......don't tell anyone....

After all these years battling to safeguard Ta' Cenc pristine plateau, everybody knows of its national and international importance with regards to its richness in plant biodiversity and habitat, of geological and archaeological interest. This, not to mention Ta' cenc as the most important regional site for birds and its high landscape value.

Well if some Maltese tax-payer is still not aware, I will do good to remind that the Ta' Cenc issue is also currently subject to a pending infringement procedure for insufficient special protection area designation opened against Malta by the European Commission in June. The infringement procedure opened against Malta by the European Commission relates to an insufficient Special Protection Area designation for Ta' Cenc.

It is most unfair for the Maltese tax-payer to be asked to fork out money for fines due to negligence from the Maltese Authorities.

During the past days, new plans were submitted to MEPA by the developers. No you could not see these on-line from the mepa website. There was a very limited time for those concerned to go and view them at the MEPA Office. We at AD called for transparency in this issue and we said that the lack of it is 'disrespect to the citizens'. (Read HERE)

Following that, the developers held meetings with some of the environmental NGOs and the Sannat local Council.

Thank god that the people of Sannat elected an AD Councillor on their council. This way we at AD can keep you informed of the happenings whenever we can.

Whilst welcoming the meetings held by the Ta' Cenc developers with some of the main environmental NGOs and the Sannat Local Council, Alternattiva Demokratika firmly believes that information should be made more public. In particular, the Mayor of Sannat has a duty to inform all his residents of the Council's stand on the new plans. It seems that the MLP mayor opted to remain silent on this national issue. Such stand is unacceptable in this time and year considering the national and international importance of Ta' Cenc.

John Michael Mizzi, the AD Councillor in Sannat said that: "Following the meeting between the developers and the Council, the Public has a right to consider if any development of Ta' Cenc can be reconciled with the Government's policy of Gozo as an Eco-Island. It now transpires that the Hotel would be extending its building to cover the existing carpark on one side and extending to about 130metres from the cliff edge on the other. Can such a sensitive area designated as potential Natura2000 site be built so extensively?"

During a press conference held at ta' Cenc on the 13th of Sepbtember 2008, Prof. Arnold Cassola, the Green Party leader said that "Alternattiva Demokratika eagerly awaits press statements from those NGOs which attended the meetings. AD also asks that the PN and MLP to declare their stance on the Ta' Cenc Development. Politicians, especially those whose portfolio comprises the environment should not shy away from expressing an opinion. Ta' Cenc was designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) for its internationally important breeding colonies of seabirds including the Yelkouan Shearwater, the largest breeding colony of Cory's Shearwater and the only colony of European Storm-petrels outside Filfla in the Maltese Islands."

Thursday, 11 September 2008

'Foreigners' asked to help 'foreign' players

A 'foreign' player for the Grab Ranger Football Club costs 300 a month plus incidental expenses, for nine months, September 08 to May 09.

A local, representing the Club is not having much luck with the locals when it comes to collecting the money to employ the 'foreign' player in order to bring the team up to strength.

Apparently no Gozitan in the village is willing to help and the club is now approaching "foreigners" (as they are still called here) for
funds. One of these "foreigners" has guaranteed to make up the difference if the club is unable to raise the full cost. Others agreed to a monthly donation and will speak with other ex-pats who may be willing to do the same.

The point of this note is that the club representative said: "Gozitans will pay up thousands of Euros for fireworks or the church when the priest asks them, but they won't pay for local sport."

In view of a letter to the Times about fireworks and EU Food Aid for Gharb residents, (READ HERE) I agreed that this blog entry will do well as a follow-up of the eventualities.

It is also interesting how some locals are ready to approach the 'foreigners' for money and yet expect them to shut up when they speak up or write about the quality of life in our islands. Some extreme nationalistic locals even regard these EU residents in our islands as 'Aliens' - READ HERE.

Apparently not when it comes for money and donations! Ironic is it?

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Happy Birthday to me :)

Happy b'day to me
Happy b'day to me

Happy b'day
happy b'day

Happy b'day to me

b.10th September 1969 (ma niftakarx il-hin, sorry), u jghidu li jien Vergni (cioe' Virgo).

Monday, 8 September 2008

Dialects celebrated at Gozo activity

Dialects flaunted at Gozo activity

I totally agree with Mr. Charles DeMicoli who commented on The Times-online saying that:

'celebrating', 'showcasing' or 'focusing on' are more suitable than 'flaunting', in my opinion. 'Flaunting' carries some negative, confrontational, connotiations.
However The Times 'new' editor choose the word flaunted :)

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Inħibb dok li hiw tagħne

Illejle murna sal-Munxor. Ken hemm il-"Festival tad-Djaletti". Qett ma kint murt. Ġietnej il-kurżito wara li ċertiw Daphne Caruana Galizia (dejk li tiktib kwużuj kuntra kulħadd) kitbit hekk: "there’s a dialect demo in Gozo, should you be interested in this sort of minutiae of introspection". Mowr ġibe tgħejde bil-Multuj dejn il-kilme! Ma nofx lil mejn ma tippruvox twaqqa' għan-nejk din Daphnej wkill.

Don il-festivol ken urganizzot mill-NGO VersAgħtini - Il-Kelma Maltija, sabex iġijbu 'l quddem dok li jgħejdiwliw il-"linguistic heritage". Appuġġja din l-attivito' il-Kunsill Lukuluj tal-Munxor.
L-urganizzatriċej kienit Miriam Cassar li għandhe website li ta' min jaruha. (Agħfas hawnhekk)

Insumma jen murt ma' Mikielej Bajjuda. Ġet il-famulja tiegħew u ġet Miriam tiegħej ukill b'Savio.

Ċertu Francesca Mustija ppreżentot.

Bide Ġużi taż-Żejtiwn jitkellem bid-djelett Żejtuni. Dok ladarba jibde jitħaddit, ħadd ma jweqqfiw, anzuj, jekk jisimgħek treddin x'ħejn ikiwn jitħaddit hiw, jgħejdlik li sa taqtagħliw il-bewle. Tkellem fuq il-Multuj 'standard' u l-Multuj tar-raħal.

Warajh tkellem Mikilej bid-djelett tal-Munxor stess. Semme li f'dor fuq il-ġnen fejn kinne, ken trabba il-Prufessiwr Guze' Aquilina. Imbaghad qraw xi tfajlet minn ta' Sannot li wkill qraw bid-djelett tegħhim. Kien hemm uħra li malajr tintuna li mix-Xewkija għax kull kelme bil-Q tgħejde bil-K.

Tajba kinit ix-Xlukkajra li kienit bil-qiegħde ma' ġembej. Mhux biss tkelmit bix-xlukkajr imma kantot ukill bid-djelett tagħha. Isemgħewhe ftejt:

Insejt ngħidilkim li Francesca (dejk li ppreżentot) qrot ukoll xi riċerke li għamlit fuq id-djalettej.

L-urganizzatriċej durut fuquj bex jen ukoll nitkellem nitfa bid-djelett tal-Għarb. In-nes ta' l-Għarb il-GĦ iħissuha Ħ (bħal Għ(Ħ)arbi). Ismagħni nitfe:

Jekk trejd aktar tagħrujf fuq id-djelettej Maltujn agħfas HAWN u ssejb websajt bi prugrammuj minn CampusFM. Żewġ prugrammuj minnhim hume fuq id-djelett ta' l-Għ(Ħ)erb. Hemm Liże tal-Barruj. Isimgħewhe.

Dal-għodow ġibiw xa ħaġe fuq it-Times. Ura il-vidjow hawnekk

Kemm ġe sabujħ Savio tiegħej :)

Monday, 1 September 2008


Is-Sibt li għadda, il-'banda' tiegħi konna mistiedna mmorru l-festa tal-Manikata (Mellieħa). Tal-Kabozza jisimha l-banda tagħna.

Issa ħej....jekk ma tafx xi tfisser kabozza fittex daqsxejn fid-dizzjunarju t'Aquilina. Dak il-Profs. Għawdxi wkoll kien. Jew inkella agħfas HAWN u tara mara liebsa l-għonnella u r-raġel liebes il-kabozza. Hekkhu, il-kabozza l-aħħar li baqgħet tintlibes kien fl-Għarb sa' ftit snin wara l-aħħar Gwerra. F'kull dar kont issib kabozza. Niftakar li ommi alla jaħfrilha kienet fetqitha biex għamlitha kutra.

Mhux la kemm tiftiehem ma' tal-Kabozza sabiex jitilgħu jdoqqu Malta. Għalihom battikata. Iżda agħar minn hekk hu meta wieħed l-ewwel jgħidlek "iwa niġi żgur" u mbagħad ma tarahx b'nemes. Jew inkella jgħamillek bħal Ġorġ ix-Xemx....iċempilli fl-aħħar minuta biex jgħidli li mhux ser jiġi jdoqq iċ-ċuqlajta.

Imma inġbarna. Ġie Żeppi ta' Kurun bit-tamburlin, Leli t-Tullu u Toni bil-kitarra, jien bl-argunett ta' l-idejn u ġie magħna Stephan, vjolinista prima. Stephan kellu wkoll rabbaba. Dik faċli ddoqqha basta jkollok ritmu tajjeb tal-mużika u l-muskoli ta' jdejk tajbin. Ittamajt li jdoqqha Marju Cardona.

Marju huwa l-organizzatur ta' din il-festa li ssir ta' kull sena fil-villaġġ rurali tal-Manikata. Nafu lil xulxin mhux ħażin jien u Mario.

L-ewwel li ltqajna fil-Manikata kien xi 4 snin ilu meta Gonzi ħolom li jbiddel l-inħawi uniċi tal-Manikata, sewwa sew ix-Xagħra l-Ħamra f'Korsa tal-Golf! Dak inhar ipprotestajna flimkien. (ara HAWN).

Iltqajna drabi oħra fil-Manikata fi żmien dik il-burraxka. Darba minnhom laqqajt lill-Marju u xi bdiewa ma' MEP Ġermaniż tal-Greens u dan kien qajjem il-kwistjoni fil-parlament Ewropew (ara HAWN).

Għamilna it-tieni protesta u wara Gonzi kellu jirtira l-idea tal-golf fix-Xagħra l-Ħamra anke minħabba l-pressjoni iebsa mill-EU. Fraħna flimkien (Ara Hawn). Niftakar dak inhar għidt lil Marju: "Issa l-bdiewa tal-Manikata jistgħu jserrħu rashom; jien ħa nibda l-battalja tar-Ramla l-Ħamra!"

U hekk kien għax jumejn wara, f'xemx taqli l-ankri spiċċajna nipprotestaw fuq ir-ramel jikwi tar-Ramla l-Ħamra (ara HAWN), waqt li t-turisti għaddejjin minn ħdejna bil-bikini.

Iżda is-sibt li għadda l-atmosfera kienet ferm differenti ġewwa l-Manikata.

Fit-triq ma' ġenb il-Knisja ta' England, ġew esebiti l-prodotti ġenwini tal-bdiewa. Ir-ritratti fil-blogg jixhdu l-imħabba, l-impenn u d-dedikazzjoni ġenwina tal-produtturi u ta' l-organizzaturi. Ifluhom sew.

Fit-triq intrama' palkett żgħir fejn tfal u żgħażagh tal-lokal kantaw, żifnu u ppreżentaw reċta.

Fl-aħħar kien imiss lil tal-Kabozza indoqqu daqxejn. Marju sabli wiehed mill-Isla biex idoqq ir-rabbaba. Kien tajjeb, iżda idu għejjiet wara ftit.

Dak il-ħin għajjat minn fuq il-microphone lil Marju sabiex iġibilna l-fuel. Marju fhemni mill-ewwel. Ftit sekondi wara ġie b'sitt fliexken tal-birra. Għajnejn it-Tullu qabżu 'l barra.

Daqqejna żewġt daqqiet oħra u Marju reħa jdejh mal-qazba tar-rabbaba. Imdorri jidher il-man!

Ridna nilħqu l-vapur tal-ħdax.

Xtaqt nibqa naqra oħra. Kien hemm pjaċir.

Qabel nitlaq...agħtu titwila lil din il-link dwar progett interessanti ferm fil-Manikata.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Ta' Ċenċ saga goes on

I could say that my first political activity was the organisation of the Ta' Cenc educational walk back in August 2005. A walk which turned into a protest as soon as we arrived at Ta' Cenc and found out that the owner illegally closed the access to this plateau. Moreover, the Gozo police were protecting him!

Yes only in Gozo you might say.

Back then both the PN and MLP were both promoting a golf course at Ta' Cenc.

It was strange since at that time the Times of Malta was reporting that the government of our republic included Ta' Cenc in the Natura 2000 programme. Hence Ta' Cenc was supposed to be protected for future generations.

Knowing who is behind The Times of Malta, the AD Gozo Regional Committee did not trust these reports from the Times, and decided to write directly to the EU Commission asking whether it is true that the Maltese government really incuded Ta' Cenc in its list of protected areas. (Read HERE)

Few days later, the Commission replied saying that the Government of Malta DID NOT include Ta' Cenc as part of the Natura 2000 network. (Read HERE) Surprise eh?

It was then that we decided to nationalize the issue of Ta' Cenc. The organisation of the 'walk' was part of the strategy.

However after the Ta' Cenc lockout, we revealed the real intentions of the developers at Ta' Cenc. (read HERE). No golf courses but massive buildings of villas and other land speculations.

Watch video here:

Several NGO's joined the chorus in objecting the destruction of Ta' Cenc. Others joined recently.

Today eight environmental NGOs today called upon MEPA to publish online the fresh plans submitted for the application to extend the existing hotel at Ta’ Cenc in Gozo. In a statement BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Helwa, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, the Gaia Foundation, Light Pollution Awareness Group, Nature Trust and the Ramblers Association called on MEPA to honour the commitment made to NGOs on the 15th of July 2008 to give “NGOs and Local Councils free, unlimited access to digital plans for all planning applications through its e-applications systems.” (Read HERE).

Following this, we just issued a press statement referring to the secrecy of Ta' Cenc as an example of disrespect for the citizens.

Alternattiva Demokratika, The Green Party are four square with the NGOs and insist with MEPA and government that plans regarding Ta' Cenc should immediately be put on line.

"The disrespect for the citizen on the part of MEPA is becoming unacceptable."

We reminded how back in 2005, the AD Gozo Regional Committee was informed by the EU Commissioner for the Environment ithat the Maltese Government and MEPA had failed to include Ta' Cenc in the list of sites to be protected under the Natura 2000 network scheme.

I said that three years later, we still have concerned citizens and NGOs struggling for transparency in the process of the proposed developments at Ta' Cenc. It is a pity that the government and the Gozo Ministry still seem to be unaware of the ecological, ornithological and geomorphologic uniqueness of Ta' Cenc.

It is disappointing that notwithstanding the echoing of the Eco-Gozo project, the Ministry for Gozo still finds it hard to express a simple opinion on this issue.

It is absolutely unacceptable that the Ta' Cenc site, home to various birds, endemic species and historical remains, has not been included in the list of protected sites. Ta' Cenc is a place of unique importance, not only because of its special bio-diversity but also because the natural beauty of the place - with its unique diversity. It is a source of attraction for Maltese and tourists and thus a source of much needed income for the local economy.

Alternattiva Demokratika's chairperson Prof. Arnold Cassola, concluded the statement by saying that "The behaviour of the Maltese government on the long dragging Ta' Cenc issue is, to say the least, irresponsible. The message sent out by the government is that it does not really care about safeguarding Gozo's unique heritage, despite all the hype about Gozo as an eco-island. Ta' Cenc deserves to be scheduled immediately and fully as a Natura 2000 site".

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing

Imagine what you would do if ...

In the peak of summer you receive such an email, exactly on the 7th of August.

I would like to inform you that my Permanent Secretary is in receipt of the attached correspondence from the Office of the Prime Minister.

In this connection your attention is drawn to the fact that on the basis of paragraph of the PSMC you may not hold the post of Secretary General with the Alternattiva Demokratika. Notwithstanding this, paragraph of the PSMC allows public officers below Scale 5 to avail themselves of unpaid leave in order to occupy a statutory post in the central executive of a political party.

You are thus kindly requested to inform either my Permanent Secretary or the undersigned of your decision on the matter. For your information the e-mail address of my Permanent Secretary is as follows: joseph.b.micallef@gov.mt.

Your early attention to the matter would be highly appreciated.

A few minutes later you receive this:

Dear Mr Galea,

Further to my e-mail which I have sent you this morning and my subsequent teleconversation pl note that the Office of the Prime Minister is awaiting a reply from you today.

Referred for further necessary action from your end, pl.

And so on the same day I replied as such:

Following your e-mail communication this morning, kindly note that I am forwarding this communication to the Chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika Prof. Arnold Cassola.

I am sure that you understand that although communications between the OPM and your permanent secretary were dated the 17th July 2008; I am only being informed now through your communications yesterday and this morning.

I am sure that you understand that for me to take a decision on this very same day is unrealistic.

May I also ask for a clarification: Could you kindly scan for me what paragraph of the PSMC says exactly? Otherwise you may indicate from where I can access this information.

Moreover I understand that paragraph of the PSMC is irrelevant. I was forced to renounce my interest in applying for the post of College Principal for the sake of my love for country - thus being the secretary of a political party which represents 23,000 voters at national level, i.e. 9.4% of the whole population.

Your offices may
wish to be informed that for the service I am rendering to my country and to the 23,000 voters I represent, I am NOT BEING PAID A SINGLE EURO CENT by my party.

I therefore applied for the post of an Education Officer which is not "a public officer below scale 5".

As Ms Caruana Colombo stated in her request to your Perm Sec., I am currently a Teacher: "Mr. Victor Galea is substantively a Teacher on Salary Scale 9"

Thanks for your understanding and I appreciate further clarifications.


Victor Galea

c.c Prof. Arnold Cassola - Chairperson AD

Immediately I received this:

Dear Mr Galea,

Thanks for your mail.

I have referred its contents to Ms Caruana Colombo at OPM.

Paragraph of the PSMC is produced verbatim hereunder: Restrictions for officers inn Scales 1 to 13. Officers in Scales 1 to 13 are debarred from:

(a) holding office in party political organisations impinging on the political field. “

The above is referred for your information.

Barely 4 days later, I again receive this deadline:

Mr Galea,

Pl refer to the subjoined mail and your interim reply thereto.

It would be appreciated if you would give this Ministry a definite reply on the matter by return e-mail by not later than Friday 15 August 2008.

Thanks and regards.

But I did not wait for Santa Marija and replied as such, on the 13th of August, and sent a copy to the leaders of the Parties. Thus the Prime Minister was informed directly by myself first and not through the media as was reported by The Times of the Republic of Malta. I also informed Muscat (MLP) and the he also choose to remain completely silent even though I ensured that my correspondence reached him through his secretary Ms. Henriette.

Dear Sir,

I refer to your e-mail of the 7th August wherein you drew my attention to provisions of of the PSMC.

The said provisions states that "Officers in Scales 1 to 13 are debarred from:

(a) holding office in party political organisations impinging on the political field"

Subsequent to your letter and after carrying out the necessary checks it does result to the undersigned that I have been singled out for the implementation of these provisions of the Public Service Code when various other public officers have been permitted to hold office within the party structures of the Malta Labour Political Party and the Nationalist Political Party.

I consider that this is discriminatory in my regards and request that in view of your having permitted for years on end public officers to be active in the MLP and the PN you act in a similar manner in my respect.

I trust that you are fully aware of the political and legal repercussions of your discriminatory treatment and unprecedented actions in my regards.

I have always carried out my duties within the civil service in a professional, unbiased and apolitical manner and I consider that my political contribution is a free service to the democratic development of our nation.

Victor Galea

c.c. Prof. Arnold Cassola, Chairman of Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party

Hon Lawrence Gonzi, Prim Minister and Leader of the Nationalist Party

Dr. Joseph Muscat, Leader of the Malta Labour Party


Today, from the online version of The Times, I am told that the left hand does not know what the right is doing. Read HERE

So, I need to thank my wife for having lived through these dark times with me while listening to the petards and marches of Santa Marija and while we rejoice with our baby, and our hearts aching in silence. I also thank the people who celebrated with us the christening of our son and with the look on their face showing us that they understand what we were going through.

A big thanks goes to the journalists of Malta Today who publicised the story of political discrimination so the Maltese and Gozitan people realise what is really happening in this country which was supposed to have become a full member of the EU some four years ago. (See HERE).

I am grateful to Lino Spiteri, writer and ex-politician, for the excellent article he wrote in the Times of Malta. (See HERE)

I also thank all those that were brave enough to comment on the online version of The Times, revealing their names and expressing their opinion.

I thank also many other people who sent me personal messages of support, including those I have never met or communicated with before.

And the members and friends of Alternattiva Demokratika that together we fought to demonstrate what we should be living through in the 21st century.

I just hope that from this trauma affecting my family and I, some benefit will ensue.

I just hope you will pluck enough courage and realise that when it is YOUR RIGHT you should not be scared to fight for it.

I promise I will continue to do my work in the most dignified and professional manner.

I promise I will keep on struggling so there will truly be an alternative for the ‘democracy’ that we are witnessing today.

Thanks for the support and COURAGE.

Victor, Miriam and Savio