The Malta Independent 5 August 2021, Thursday

President pleased that Maltese are happy, but says there is more work required to improve the nation

Bettina Borg Friday, 4 June 2021, 20:06 Last update: about 3 months ago

President George Vella said that he is pleased that 60% of the Maltese population are happy with their lives, but noted there are many sectors in Malta’s public consciousness that need work and investigation.

In his closing address for the State of the Nation conference on Friday, Vella said that there were many figures shared in the study for the conference – presented by statistician Vincent Barbara - which were encouraging.

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Among them, Vella said he was pleased to see that over 87% of the Maltese who responded to the survey said that they would not wish to have been born elsewhere; and the fact that 60% of the Maltese population are happy with the lives that they lead.

Vella was also happy to see that the majority of Maltese value family at the centre of their lives.

The Maltese language was also found to be the primary language in Malta according to the study, however Vella said that he also respects the Maltese who view both English and Maltese as being at par with one another in Malta.

On this point, Vella said it is crucial that the nation uses the Maltese language well in journalism, social media and in traditions. He noted that there is a gap in the language itself and the crass manner in which many Maltese are using the language, which is concerning.

What is also of concern, he continued, is the fact that almost a third of Maltese said that they do not feel comfortable with the mixing of cultures in Malta.

According to Marmara’s survey, the majority of the Maltese do not feel comfortable mixing cultures in our society, with 28.6% saying that they are not comfortable at all (1), 21% not comfortable (2), and 40.9% so and so (3).

Vella said that this is not only a phenomena that affects Malta, but also many other European countries.

This should be addressed and looked into, in order to find out what factors contribute to so many Maltese feeling uncomfortable with other cultures.

The growing use of social media is also a topic of concern for the President, as it can lead to miscommunication and negative impacts on our values and behaviour.

Singling out Prime Minister Robert Abela and Opposition Leader Bernard Grech, both of who were present at the concluding address, Vella called for both parties to be respectful in their use of social media, both toward each other, as well as toward other parliamentary members.

Vella said he is also disappointed with the degradation of the natural environment in Malta and Gozo, saying that there is too much on-going construction.

The conference today will provide leeway for discussions, studies and dialogues across a myriad of fields discussed, he noted.

“Today we put ourselves under a magnifying glass”, he said. “We will continue building on the research that we have found”.

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