Europe: problems to the left of it, problems to the right

The truth is that the EU is not working well for every European nation

25 November 2016, 7:56am
More democracy is needed - a radical sort - the one which Eurogroup leaders refuse to have, the one we need so much inside the European Parliament to influence decisions at government and council level
More democracy is needed - a radical sort - the one which Eurogroup leaders refuse to have, the one we need so much inside the European Parliament to influence decisions at government and council level
So Donald Trump is now in power as the ruler of the world’s superpower. And how should we, as Europeans, view this four-year sojourn?

To the right we have the Russian threat of Vladimir Putin and our energy security problems, which force us to rethink our relations with other countries in the East; we have Eastern European member states who do not buy into the same liberalism that the Western member states have proudly upheld since WWII; we have the threat of the far-right in France; the pressures of refugee flows from Syria and their protection sold off to the Turks, which are themselves reeling under the weight of the Erdogan ‘dictatorship’.

Yes, this Europe is in trouble: a climate-change denier to the left of it, and the illiberal East to the right.

The truth is that the EU is not working well for every European nation. The single currency has punished countries like Greece and turned it into a dependent nation of beggars. It has prized neoliberalism and big businesses at the expense of the more important social project.

And we muddle through towards compromise because we are trying to fuse together the expectations of 28 governments’ different electorates

The solution: more democracy surely, a radical sort, the one which Eurogroup leaders refuse to have, the one we need so much inside the European Parliament to influence decisions at government and council level.

Johann Larsen, St Julian's

Mother Teresa believed in God

The exploits of Suami Sivananda (120 years) and athletic prowess of Sister Madonna Buder (86 years) spur me on to rectify some illusions J. Guillaumier peppers regularly in all English language newspapers, like when he refers to apparitions as hallucinations. The latest tirade was his over-zealousness to pinpoint a holy gaffe on the occasion of Mother Teresa’s canonisation process (Letter 25/9/16, Mother Teresa’s dubious miracles).

Sr Buder still runs the triathlon and trains spiritually and regularly in mind, body and soul. 

In my limited physical qualities (unlike the nun), I have to take the late train to enter into the melting pot again. 

I am compelled to point out that it is indeed unimaginative that two witnesses could hoodwink the monumental researches and severe scrutiny of such honest and competent judges.

The information I have portrays quite a different story. Suffice it to say that in two years 177 witnesses were interrogated and 263 questions asked about episodes in her life and the heroic virtues. If I were to compile all the details, it would certainly become (muddled statistics) and boring reading. 

That would be the remotest augury for your readers. Instead I would like to present them with a far more pleasant, lighter vein. 

Time Magazine was wrong in asserting that Mother Teresa had her own doubts about the existence of God. On the contrary, though having doubts in faith, she really did believe in the certainty that God would help her in her doubts. This was a fabrication by a tabloid publication which can never understand and fathom the experience all mystics go through when faith collides with the ‘dark night’ as a preamble to their ‘radiant glorious dawn.’

This deceptive reporting reminds me of a witty joke: A boy asked his father ‘Why does the cock crow at 8pm?’ The father’s quick reply was that it was the time Judas betrayed Jesus.

The boy had another question for his father ‘But the cock sometimes crows at 2am as well.’  

His father quipped ‘That’s the time the newspapers go to the press.’

No offence intended, it’s just a fantasy! 

John Azzopardi, Zabbar

Celestial promissory notes

When I read history, I think of the millions of anonymous people who lived in medieval Europe. Not a trace is left of them. Their remains were devoured by maggots centuries ago and their graves have vanished from the face of the earth.

It is absurd to believe that these dead people will be “resurrected”. Only wishful thinking, and the innate self-importance of man could come up with such a preposterous and unnatural belief.

In medieval Europe, millions of dead Christians were promised resurrection by priests as their corpses were lowered into the grave. They were never resurrected, and were consigned, instead, to oblivion.

Leonardo da Vinci accused the clergy of deceiving simple people with celestial promissory notes which they exchanged for the coinage of this world.

Robert G. Ingersoll, an American lawyer, quipped: “I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.” 

John Guillaumier, St Julian’s

Eco-reduction

During the programme “Il-Polz taċ-Ċittadin” aired on RTK on Friday, 21 October, a citizen asked how the eco-reduction is computed. For the benefit of this citizen and other listeners interested in the subject, ARMS Limited would like to clarify through the following explanation.

The eco-reduction is computed as follows: one person who does not consume more than 2,000 annual electricity units, benefits from twenty-five percent (25%) on consumption. In case of more than one person, where every person does not consume more than 1,750 electricity units, the benefit is twenty-five percent (25%) on the first 1,000 annual electricity units and fifteen percent (15%) on the remaining 750 annual electricity units.”

Nikita Zammit Alamango, Senior Manager Corporate Services, HR, Marketing & Communications, Arms Limited