Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s controversial New Year’s message is longer than those of French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron put together.
Dr Muscat’s video message lasted 20 minutes and 52 seconds, more than double that of terror stricken France, which stood at 9 minutes and 32 seconds, Germany at 6 minutes and 44 seconds and Britain at 4 minutes and 16 seconds.
The three speeches put together total 20 minutes and 32 seconds, 20 seconds shorter than Joseph Muscat’s on its own.
Taking into consideration the highly traumatising year France has faced on the terrorist front, with the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January and the Paris attacks more recently, it is understandable that the French President would take some minutes to discuss the dire situation. But his speech was still half as long as the Maltese PM’s.
The speech delivered by Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the many tragedies which marred the world in 2015, such as the Ebola crisis, as well as the Syrian refugee crisis which has unfolded. It was to be expected that Mrs Merkel would discuss the refugee crisis, having received such heavy criticism across the board for dismissing the EU migrant Dublin Agreement and opening up Germany’s borders to millions of refugees. In addition to this, Mrs Merkel has also led the EU world leaders in 2015 on a range of hotly debated issues, such as the Ukraine crisis and mitigating fears of a Greek exit from the euro zone.
Cameron spoke about the EU referendum, tax credits and the government’s work to improve the economy.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi chose not to deliver a New Year’s message, and instead organised a press conference between Christmas and the New Year, which was also tinged with political messages not fit for a national end-of-year address.
Often reported as following in the Italian Prime Minister’s footsteps, it would not be a surprise if, at the end of 2016, Dr Muscat chooses to meet the media rather than deliver a video message.
In addition, one notable difference which may be found after viewing the New Year’s messages from the top European leaders is that there are no grand shots of orchestras or overhead footage taken from drones, as was the case with Dr Muscat.
Prime Minister Cameron had only his face shown in the video message, with a Christmas tree behind him. Chancellor Merkel was filmed sitting behind a desk and President Hollande was filmed standing at a podium.