The Malta Independent 22 June 2024, Saturday
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Creating today the Malta of tomorrow

Owen Bonnici Friday, 24 May 2024, 07:10 Last update: about 28 days ago

The Maltese people have entrusted us with the responsibility to lead this country. A strong majority of the electorate constitently believe in us because they know that we pursue policies inspired by our commitment to making a positive difference in people's lives.

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Looking back, I see a long list of achievements that we have accomplished together. In 2013, we inherited a country, following the horrendous GonziPN period, filled with unemployment, a stagnant economy, and a Prime Minister – Dr Gonzi - who had voted wholeheartedly against a motion calling for a decrease in the price of electricity and water bills. It was a nation without even the most basic “European” civil rights, controlling what you read and whom you love, denying women the right to become mothers despite scientific solutions, raising taxes, and with social services at risk. The burden was always placed on the people.

What have we done during this generation?

We have lifted this country and transformed the economy into one that is growing faster than any other in the European Union. By creating wealth, we demonstrated what it means to distribute it with social justice. We increased pensions, strengthened stipends, solidified our finances, created a new middle class, eliminated unemployment, introduced new support systems for our families, maintained stable prices, and modernized this country.

All this was achieved because we always had a team full of talent, energy, and love for this country. People who found in the goal of making Malta a success a reason and a cause much bigger than any one of us, to which we dedicated and are still dedicating our lives.

We were not perfect. We, I included, made mistakes and learned from them. But when all is said and done, this was a generation of unprecedented wealth creation, where Malta began to learn to be ambitious, to continuously improve, and to strive every day, working tirelessly to reach new goals and highs.

I had the greatest privilege of my life – that of being there every day, every hour - witnessing the Labour Party transform from a party seemingly destined to remain forever in Opposition into a broad church, a movement that united all Maltese and Gozitan families with the goal of making this country a land of opportunity.

From a party closed within itself, we opened the doors wide and became the natural home for anyone wanting to participate in this positive force for change. I saw Labour veterans ( or “soldiers of steel” as Dom Mintoff used to describe his hardcore) standing shoulder to shoulder with people who never ever dreamed they would join Labour for this beautiful journey. People who perhaps had never chosen the Labour Party before but became part of us because they identified with our goals or on a single issue which was, however, very important to their lives.

And the people trusted us time and again because they know we provide the answers, we are the solutions to their challenges.

In recent years, however, I have seen another movement emerge. A movement of the establishment, bringing together those motivated not by the desire to do good but by envy and the lust for power.

You heard them on television wishing us the worst that could ever happen to us. You saw them declare holy wars against Malta. They represent the exact opposite of what we stand for. They do not love our country, but out of envy, they are determined to cause harm at all costs, even at Malta’s expense, even at your expense.

The answer to all this is unity. United, we keep moving our country forward. They are trying to create uncertainty. They will not succeed because they will find us united. They are trying to disrupt the progress of this country. They will not succeed because we are united. They are trying to demoralize us. They do not know that the more they push us, the stronger we become, the more they try to divide us, the more united we become.

At the same time we must keep our doors wide open to welcome all those who want to join us in this journey for the creation of a better Malta.

Others focus on protests and dedicate entire campaigns towards negativism and disruption. We, instead, propose ideas, we offer solutions, and we provide our country with a vision for the future.

 

They work against our country, we work harder than ever for Maltese and Gozitan families.

I cannot remember an election that came at such a crucial point in our country’s political history as the upcoming one on June 8. This is not just any election. This is a pivotal moment of decision.

On June 8, we will be electing Members of the European Parliament, and we absolutely cannot afford another five years of harm towards Malta.

But there is something else we cannot afford ... that is to open the door, even if slightly, to the establishment halfway through the legislature.

I cannot remember a choice so clear. On one side, those who want to give us the same recipe of the past. On the other side, those who want to implement more changes, more reforms, for a better future.

If there is a door we need to open on June 8, it is the door of ideas, energy, a movement of prosperity, and ambition.

For the vision.  Because we are, once again, presenting the people with a manifesto not only for the respective localities but also for the European Parliament election.

A manifesto that binds us to always put Malta first. This is a contract with the Maltese people, ensuring that we would be the movement working for progress in Malta and peace in Europe.

We work together to make Malta more competitive, utilizing the largest package of European funds ever negotiated to improve our beloved Malta and Gozo and helping, among others, our farmers and fishermen.

Malta faces its own challenges such those relating to connectivity, immigration, and climate change. Wherever Malta goes, it strives to invest in bringing nations together instead of investing in building armaments, and pushing for respect for the dignity of children, women, the elderly, and innocent people caught in conflicts they did not ask for.

As civil rights activist Omar Rababah told us during one of the party events, you do not extinguish fire with fire. You extinguish it with water.

We push forward our vision, which we made public.

And the others on the opposite side give you nothing.

The Nationalist Party should never be trusted.  Let me remind you ... they went as far as to dethrone their own leader and call themselves heroes in the process.

They passed resolution after resolution against Malta in the European Parliament and boast that they still want to use all available tools.

The Nationalist Party pretends to show respect towards the rule of law but in reality they pretend one set of rules for themselves and a different set of rules for the rest of the world.

A few words about Prime Minister Robert Abela.

I believe that there is a strong quality which stands out in our Prime Minister – that the bigger the challenges, the more he shows leadership and guides this people and this country forward.  Time and time again he overcame one challenge after another with the challenges actually giving him that extra determination, that extra impetus and that extra energy.

I am sure that on the coming 8th of June, the people will confirm once again their trust in Prime Minister Robert Abela and the Government to keep working hard towards creating today the Malta of tomorrow.

 

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