If there is one feature which stands outs clearly and markedly in the Maltese
population, that is resilience. We are a nation of people who know what it
means to work hard and know that the greater the test, the greater the need to
get stronger and more persistent.
As they say, enthusiasm is common but endurance is rare. And we, as a
Maltese nation, pride ourselves that even when we find ourselves in new
realities which might pose a challenge we give our 100% to put together
something that is good.
During the past twelve months which have been characterised by the COVID-
19 pandemic, we have, as a nation, shown our trademark resilience. The
Government acted swiftly and decisively: it introduced measures, based on
scientific advice, to shield society from the virus as much as possible, thus also
protecting the health care service in the process. It also went on the attack
against the malady by swiftly procuring the vaccine and embarking on a nation-
wide inoculation campaign at impressive speed.
The Opposition Leader and his party of perpetual doubters, doomsters and
gloomsters (forgive me there, Boris), eager to try and score cheap, quick
political points, have been caught in glaring contradictions time and time again.
One day they shout at the top of their voices that we should incentivise people
so that they go and dine in restaurants, the next they hit against the Government
for closing restaurants a moment too late. One day they tell us that we should
take our decisions based on science (which we do) and the next they form a
COVID-19 action team wholly made up of politicians. And the list goes on and
Before going on to appeal to the Opposition to stop acting like this and
understand that in this moment it is crucial that the national interest is put first
and foremost, I would like to make a point. I am aware the Leader of the
Opposition is being bullied morning, evening and night by the extremist section
of the Nationalist Party.
This extremist section believes that arrogance is bliss and that hatred should be
the number one currency. It attracts very little respect on the ground, but
seemingly has an ability to create echo chambers inside the Nationalist Party
and come up with a lot of noise within the confines of that chamber.
And while some politically myopic people seem to be impressed at the dull
sound of the drumming cacophony created in the echo-chamber of the arrogant
bullies, the rest of the population is walking by and living its life.
I sincerely hope, for the good of the country, that the Leader of the
Opposition has enough courage to show this extremist section of his own party
the proverbial door. It is evident that if he keeps being the something in
between as he is trying to be now, the one to be shown the door would be the
Leader of the Opposition himself.
Our country cannot be caught in the cross fire between the diverse factions of
the Nationalist Party. We need a mature Opposition which has only one
consideration in its view – the paramount interest of our beloved country and
not the frantic appeasement of extremists.
But back to the pandemic and the enormous efforts which are currently being
undertaken in order to vaccinate people in a steady, expedite and efficient
manner. We take enormous pride in the fact that Malta is in number one
position in terms of the number of vaccinations per capita within the whole of
the European Union.
The efforts are enormous. To date not less than 40 vaccination centres have
been opened and the number will keep increasing.
The Government has also acted swiftly and efficiently in order to save jobs.
For the COVID Wage Supplement alone, during the last year, the Government
has invested €373,217,000 and this measure has saved around 100,000 jobs.
This has been one – albeit the largest one in terms of expenditure – of a number
measures introduced by the Government to tackle the economic impact of the
In all, the measures administered by the Government as a whole so far came
with an investment of EUR 814 million.
In terms of economic growth, the figures speak for themselves. Even in the
midst of a pandemic, in the last quarter of 2020, Malta experienced the most
positive result in the Eurozone and the second best result in the whole of the
In January, we registered the second lowest unemployment rate in the
EuroZone. During 2020 we had the largest increase of employment in the
whole of the European Union. I can keep going on.
The outlook for the future is also positive. According to the European
Commission Malta will register the largest growth rate in the European Union
This is all the result of hard work and resilience. Malta should be proud of its
achievements, as should be the Prime Minister who managed to steer Malta
forward through one of the gravest calamities which occurred in the last
I enjoyed watching Dr Alfred Sant, the former Prime Minister and sitting MEP,
being interviewed by Reno Bugeja on the maltatoday portal.
I always have time to listen to what Dr Sant has to say and admire his unique
way of saying what he believes in, while being completely genuine and
transparent about it. The overview about the period from 1975 to 1992 was very
interesting to follow.
The way he says things might come across as robotic sometimes but, from
experience, it is more the result of his brilliant mind producing more words than
he is able to physically utter than the case of someone who rehearses the
answers beforehand and repeats them mechanically.
His analysis of the historic period on which he has written about in his second
part of “Confessions of a European Maltese – the Middle Years” is clinical,
clean and sincere. I admire his ability to write so much in so little time – his
proficiency is nothing less than extraordinary.
It is always a pleasure to listen to your views, Dr Sant!
I urge the readers of the Malta Independent to buy his latest book … it will
certainly be a good read.