At 10 a.m. the German Constitutional Court is expected to take a final decision on whether or not German President Gauck can sign the European Stability Mechanism and the European fiscal pact. German participation in the ESM has been described as crucial to the plans to “save” the euro and participating member states. Both agreements under court scrutiny had been approved by the German Parliament at the end of July (two-thirds majority in both cases). Still, the buck now rests with a court that has not shied away from putting its foot down previously. Notably, the Karlsruhe court spelt out its position very clearly in two human right related cases that have now become known as the Solange I and Solange II cases.
In both instances, while acknowledging the primacy of European law – as had been developed by EU jurisprudence – the court reserved the right to submit any laws and decisions to further review using the German standards of rights. While the second Solange case was effectively a loosening of this “so long as it conforms with our national law” control there was still a postilla (as long as the European Communities, and in particular its Court, generally ensure an efficient protection of fundamental rights against the authorities of the Communities that is to be deemed equal in substance to the protection of fundamental rights inalienably required by the German Constitution).
In today’s judgement there could scarcely be space for any equivocation. The German government is expecting the green light to participate in both agreements (ESM & Fiscal pact) – anything else would be… well, let’s just not go there shall we? (UPDATED: We didn’t have to…)
It’s also time to look at the state of the nation insofar as elections are concerned. Franco Debono may have gone all trigger happy with his ever more popular blog (ah Alexa, sweet, sweet Alexa) but the question on many people’s lips is one: when shall Malta hold its next elections. Well, J’accuse has long gone on record that the beginning of the end of this legislature will be around the opening of the next parliament session. That’s earmarked for October. What laws (i.e. votes) could trigger the beginning of the end? Let’s see.
The Honourable Member from Ghaxaq has already prepared a motion relating to the use of certain types of fuel in Delimara.
He intends to move that (or has moved it?) as a Private Members Bill. He has filed the motion as a private member of parliament. The problem I see here is that this is a motion relating to expenditure and as far as I know (and I stand to be corrected by some Fausto, Franco or Erskine May himself at this rate) such votes cannot be moved by a private member so expect a ruling in this sense by Mr Speaker Frendo.
Franco has also been quite clear about his intention to move a motion of no confidence in Minister Joseph Cassar (nothing personal and all that). Now that is a motion that can be presented but that could also suffer the same ignoble treatment of hedging and agenda shifting that Mr Speaker is capable of if only to gain time.
Another bill that is on the frontburner is the doomed Cohabitation Bill. In this respect the pain in the government’s side is the Cohabitation Partner Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando (It’s Not a Coalition, Stupid). In this case an already botched attempt at drafting a common sense law leaves JPO with options wide open for him to be the one to bring the temple crushing down (and cock a snook at Franco). My guess (and this is a wild one) is that unless hugely reparative measures are made for the second draft following public consultation this bill will not make it in this legislature. Also, don’t forget the resistance that undoubtedly exists within PN circles against too much strengthening of same-sex couple rights. This is after all a party that is – on paper – against same-sex marriages.
Which leaves us with the budget. And I’ll leave you thinking about that one too…
Thou shalt not pass
What is all this criticism of Malta’s valiant 11 who battled the Iti’s? So bloody what if we gave them a taste of their own medicine and put down the chains across the harbour? Only a few days ago we celebrated Victory Day. 8th September 1565 – all through that Great Siege, the Grand Harbour was protected from incurring Saracen boats by a thick chain that crossed from fort to fort. This time the wall of intrepid defenders resisted most of the attacks from a formidable opponent – the Vice Champions of Europe nonetheless. That the goals came, when they came, from a quasi-offside and from a corner that never should have been given is a boon and boost for Pietro Ghedin’s side.
Catenaccio? Hello… this is not an Intercettati side claiming to be best in Europe or Chelski’s millionaires climbing the elimination stages with a defensive wall reminescent of Helenio Herrera’s worst. This was Hogg, Dimech, Borg, Schembri, and more…. standing tall among what are supposed to be the giants of football. Proud. Yep. Like Joseph Calleja, every one of those men on the pitch made us proud.
We also got the LOL moment when we finally realised that our neighbours don’t give so much of a fart about the tiny islands to the south. Unless of course we are sending on boatloads of refugees or immigrants then Malta is ”cavalieri”, “sole” and to some Paceville but nothing much more. What do you mean they don’t know we don’t give a damn about baseball? Hello Italia?
Giletti and other hoaxes
Finally spare a thought for the brains that came up with the wonderful Giletti hoax that had facebook buzzing a few hours before the match. I may have been guilty of spreading the link but I cannot claim to be the mastermind behind the actual creation. So a big round of applause goes to SL and RC for the technical side and content. And a little applause to the Times who did not bother with a denial this time round (unlike the time of the equally infamous “the pope is not coming” hoax).
If you have not seen the link here it is: Massimo Giletti claims Italy will thrash Maltese beggars . Read it, it’s hotter than a calabrian peperoni sauce.