Yesterday we asked “Who represents me in Strasbourg?” Today we begin to form a clearer idea about that. Seeing that I have submitted to a savage form of the “rheum” for the second time in three weeks I will abstain from typing too much at the computer. For now just read the Times summary of events at Strasbourg yesterday. Rememeber the main question to keep asking yourself is “Who is representing who?”
And now for the merry-go-round of interpretations:
The government said in a statement yesterday that the resolution as agreed highlights most clearly that the government is determined to fight abuses and to observe the agreement with the EU while it is conscious of the reality of the tradition in Malta. The government remains committed not to tolerate abuse or the breach of regulations while it guarantees that it implements what has been negotiated.
The Labour Party said that yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament confirmed that the government fooled both the environmentalists and the hunters before the referendum. They accused the Nationalist MEPs of deviation tactics when proposing amendments that “had nothing to do with EU directives”.
Harry Vassallo, chairman of Alternattiva Demokratika, said the vote is not a vote against Malta but a vote in favour of the majority of Maltese citizens who wanted to join Europe precisely to get rid once and for all of illegalities and the lack of respect for the environment.
BirdLife Malta also welcomed the vote. Executive director Tolga Temuge said: “BirdLife has repeatedly stated that the only point that had been agreed on during membership negotiations was a transition period for the trapping of seven finches during autumn. Every spring hunting season being given the blessing of the Maltese government since Malta joined the EU in 2004 has been a direct breach of EU law. “Now is the time for the government to take the opportunity offered and comply with EU law or the public will have to bear the brunt of the government’s misconduct. The government has a mandate to bring Malta’s environment legislation in line with EU law. There is simply no other way forward.”