dimanche, juin 26, 2005

Who do you think you are kidding Antonio Tajani?

In the 1980�s the magnanimous Socialist government of Malta introduced a law entitled the Foreign Interference Act. This Ligi tal-Indhil Barrani prohibited any foreign politician from coming to our sacred isle and polluting our minds with �foreign ideas�. Just like in the comedy series �The League of Gentlemen�, we were not to be exposed to anything that was not �local�. The political parties stopped vying for the best barrani to come and teach us ignoramuses what was best for our country (of course Kim Il Sung, Tito and some other venerable beings would be let through anyway... theirs was not �indhil� (interference) but �investiment� (erm ... investment without an I)).

With the removal of this abominable (erm.. like undesireable but worse) piece of Mintoffian legislation the great luminaries of both parties returned to old habits of inviting interesting non-locals to teach us a lesson or two about life. Exit Flaminio Piccoli enter Joe Cocker. What a beautiful life!

Today the occasional visit to the isle of milk, honey and illegal immigrants (sic) is an everyday occurrence since we are now EU-ropeans. The flurry of EU Commissioners and EU-ticians before the referendum for membership was a clear indication that when it comes to foreign politicians we are great importers. This is not an entirely Maltese phenomenon. Not at all. The press in Mitteleuropa (as they would love to be called around here) regularly report on the exchange of politicians and other intelligentsia crossing borders and preaching to their neighbours.

Today�s Times reports of Signor Antonio Tajani of Forza Italia and EPP fame who crossed the straits and channel to tell us that �Malta�s Yes would send a strong signal to Europe�. As reported in the Times...

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Tajani and the Masses

Speaking during a conference on the EU Constitution organised at Le Meridiein Phoenicia by Nationalist MEPs Simon Busuttil and David Casa and chaired by Professor Joe Pirotta, Mr Tajani said that after the negative votes of France and The Netherlands, the vote of the Maltese parliament would bring a change in Europe.

It would be an important vote which would show that the French and Dutch votes were not against the Constitution but against Europe as it was today.

The EU was too bureaucratic and detached from citizens, and the people did not like this.

So. In practice, Antonio Tajani is telling us clearly that Europe would appreciate the YES of our parliament in favour of the Constitution. It would appreciate the YES from our Nationalist and Labourite MPs in Valletta that is. Because this would not be Malta�s YES. It would be the YES of Maltese Parliamentarians. The fact of the matter remains that this Europe seems to be made of two bodies... the politicians and the electorates. The politicians seem to be, in their majority, Junkerites - politicians who, when the people say NO, will just ask again until a YES comes round. Few, like Blair have read the signs on the wall (admittedly it was also in his earnesses interest), and noticed that this message from the electorate is not to be ignored.

Mr Tajani is of the old school it seems. The Maastricht school. Get the parliaments to vote YES, get the masses who voted NO to vote again and let�s get on with it. Malta will send a strong signal by voting YES says Signor Tajani.

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Tajani? B�min tahseb li qed titnejjek? Now, I am in favour of the Constitutional document per se. (or should I say of A constitutional document). Although I would agree that it would require a few amendments, I do agree that it is on the whole an acceptable document given the compromises out of which it arises. I do recognise however that the peoples of Europe have used the vote to signal their discontent with the state of affairs in the Old Continent�s major trading block. Now we are being told by Mr Tajani that a vote in our parliament will send a signal to Europe.

What signal? That the Maltese people are not troublesome? That, unlike the Dutch and French (and potentially many others) we are not irked by the etat de l�Europe? That the tiny spot in the Med has capitulated to the will of the political old-guard and is still willing to play along to Maastricht style games with the ram-the-agreement-down-their-throat system? No grazie Signor Tajani. I would have been more in favour of a postponement of the ratification. A symbolic one.

I would have preferred the Maltese government (and opposition) to have reached an agreement that showed that they too understood the pulse of the moment. That they would use this period of reflection like other States to reassess the State of the Union. Bide their time, come up with something constructive and participate in this new chance for the revitalised reconstruction of Europe. Hmm. Re-reading the paragraph I think I have been exposed to too much foreign thinking. I might need an Indhil Barrani pill or two.

PN and MLP agreeing to collaborate and participate in the building of a new, better, people�s Europe?

Who do I think I am kidding?


PS Neebother is up and running again! The Pygmy armed with a laptop is inflicting Nanotechnological blogs on the ethernet at

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