Opening of Malta Parliament, Vella “new enegry will lead legislature”
The President of Malta George Vella who was addressing the newly elected 79 MPs during the official cermony as part of the inauguration of the 14th legislature since Maltàs independence, said that the beginning always brings fresh air, enthusiasm, new energy and dreams for the future. “This will be the spirit of the leadership of this country in this new legislature”. The speech prepared by the government and read out by the President focused on how the last five years had seen Malta become more successful in many areas. President Vella spoke on economic, social and civil rights successes among others altough he reminded the Maltese nation of the challenging moments the country went through. He said Malta has been able to turn a challenge such as the pandemic into an opportunity and that this is the way in which we must work forward. On the war in Ukraine, Vella said that this is another challenge that the Maltese nation is facing. He argued that the Maltese Parliament must send a strong signal that what is being done is unacceptable, reprehensible and should be stopped as soon as possible because the only acceptable way is through dialogue. The President spoke about local challenges that are primarily related to economic pressures. He reminded that last year Malta created more wealth than it was created before the pandemic; when in the rest of the European Union the national wealth is still below what it was in 2019. On the price challenge of essentials such as energy, food and freight, the President of Malta said that the Government is constantly engaged in ongoing discussions and actions to address effectively the impact on the Maltese people. Speaking about investments, Vella explained that the reduction of the business tax should lead to a shift towards more sustainable operations, the creation of more productive jobs and more investment in research and innovation. He also encouraged the need to facilitate access to banking as well as financing. He also said that Malta will continue to strengthen the standards as a country by implementing the recommendations agreed with the Financial Action Task Force. In his speech he also spoke about the quality of life and the importance of protecting the material livelihoods of citizens, especially those iwth low income. He was clear about the 700 million environmental investment and insisted that environmental investment has economic return “because the reality is that if we do not take care of our environment, our economy cannot continue to thrive”. The general election held last March elected the customary 65 seats, which increased by a further two after the Pn was awarded the extra seats to restore proportionality between votes obtained and parliamentary representation. While a further 12 seats – six on each side – were added after the new gender quota mechanism came into force for the first time. Among the incoming Mps, there are 36 new parliamentarians and a total of 22 female Mps. Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela nominated Anglu Farrugia as Speaker of the House for the third time. The nomination was seconded by deputy prime minister Chris Fearne. Prior to the vote, Opposition leader Bernard Grech confirmed that the Opposition would vote against his appointment for the lack of consultation from the government’s side on the nomination and “lack of impartiality shown by Farrugia in the previous legislature.” Maltese Prime Minister Abela criticized the move as “incredible and surreal” and said this shows that “nothing has changed despite the strong mandate given to the Labour Party”. The official ceremony was preceded by a Mass presided over by Archbishop Charles Scicluna. Mgr Scicluna reminded the MPs that honesty, justice, duty and transparency are the essential pillars of society, as he recalled Pope Francis’ first public speech in Malta, delivered during April’s apostolic visit. (ITALPRESS).
Photo credit xf9