During the exchange of New Year greetings with the Honorary Consuls, President George Vella urged the consuls to convey the reality of the country and the fact that Malta is working to bring back normality following the turbulent situations it has gone through in the last months of the previous year.
Welcoming the honorary consuls to San Anton Palace for the exchange of New Year greetings, Dr Vella stated that the last few months of the previous year were not nice ones for the country, adding that Malta had gone through a situation without precedent which shook the institutions and surprised our society. The President further stated that he noted with displeasure the negative effects resulting from these events, even in the international sector. President Vella stressed that Malta’s name had been tarnished, and as a consequence, even the country’s credibility had dropped.
Dr Vella stated that in his role as President, he had worked within the parameters permitted by the Constitution for the circumstances prevailing in the country to be addressed. Dr Vella added that national unity is essential for the country. The President stated that with a new Prime Minister, Robert Abela, the country has an obligation to strengthen efforts for Malta’s name to be cleared. President Vella further stated that the assistance and efforts of the honorary consuls are essential for the erasing of the negative trend, and for Malta to regain respect.
“My appeal was addressed to them so that they can convey as much as possible the reality in the country, and as you heard this morning, I asked them to indicate as much as they can that Malta still has much to offer, and that we are in the process of normalising the situation as much as possible.”
President Vella also spoke about tensions in Libya and in Syria and about the grave humanitarian situation in Yemen and the escalation between Iran and the US. Dr Vella added that he noted with regret that within this international scenario, the European Union is not showing unity, adding that there is a need for this to be rectified.
The European Union, unfortunately, has proved itself to be weak in this whole issue involving Libya, Syria, Yemen. One would be much more content if one were to see a certain leadership from Europe.
The dean of the honorary consular corps, Godwin Bencini, said the country is going through one of the most turbulent moments in its history. Mr Bencini stated that the corps of honorary consuls had noted President Vella’s speeches towards a commitment to unity. Mr Benncini added that as a corps, they are certain that with his diligence and solidarity, President Vella can bring about national unity. He added that one has to be careful of unbridled economic progress and development, to ensure these do not end up creating division and inequality because of poverty.