“The Republic of Malta is far greater than the clique which has shamed the country” – President Vella
On the occasion of the 45th anniversary since Malta became a Republic, President George Vella focused his address on current events in the country and made a number of appeals. Dr Vella stated that this was not an easy time, but we have to go through it. The President added that everyone should ensure that this will lead first and foremost to the emergence of the full truth. Dr Vella reiterated that it has to be ensured that all those involved, big or small, will shoulder their responsibilities and pay for their actions. Dr Vella also appealed for the people to build together what has been demolished and build the country afresh.
President Vella stated that the present circumstances have shaken Maltese society and the institutions. Circumstances which he added have shamed the country’s name around the world, and which are having a bad effect on credibility, business, investment in Malta and tourism.
Dr Vella admitted to feeling saddened, hurt and shocked at the present situation in the country. The President added that he shared the feelings of anxiety and uncertainty being felt by others, but appealed against hot-headed action and for everyone to moderate their behaviour.
“Let us bear in mind that the Republic of Malta is far greater than this clique which has shamed the country,” Dr Vella stated.
In his address on the occasion of Republic Day, the President stated that whoever brought about this situation was not working for the good of the Maltese, and insisted that what had happened could never be justified.
“We have to join forces in the hope that those who should shoulder responsibility for their actions will do so and take the punishment which this behaviour warrants. Whoever they are. Whoever they may be.”
The President stated that the Maltese people expect justice, adding that it would be bad if we let our sentiments change into vindictiveness and hatred. Dr Vella appealed for the investigative and judicial institutions to be allowed to perform their duties, without interference, with serenity and with a show of respect towards their integrity, competence and independence.
“Let us not be afraid to join forces so that whilst admitting that what has resulted in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was a horrific act, we jointly swear to do everything possible to take all the necessary measures so that such an act will never be repeated.”
President Vella appealed for all legislative and security measures to be taken to ensure press freedom in Malta. Dr Vella also appealed to all journalists to realise the huge responsibilities they carry in modern society, and to the people to make better use of social media, which he said has become a fount of divisiveness through the use of depreciative messages.
“My appeal is also to Members of Parliament. Remember that your duties are to safeguard the fundamental freedom of the people you represent, as well as the creation of wealth.”
The President reiterated his appealed for moderation in the content of Parliamentary debates. “Let us give back to the House the respect it deserves.”
In an appeal to the international media and to friendly countries, Dr Vella declared that saying we regret what has happened is not enough. President Vella thanked those countries which had helped in the investigations, which were and are still needed, into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, adding that it was not right for the whole of Malta to be put in a bad light along with this case.
The President stated that Malta’s name should be besmirched with derogatory appellations. Dr Vella insisted on the need for the country to continue to carry respect, among other factors, for all the good that has been done over the years, and for enormous contribution to world peace.
The President stated that the people have a right to express their opinion with all the freedom given by the Constitution, and the more this is done in a civil manner, the more effective it will be. The President spoke about limitations to his powers as President in these present circumstances for the country.