“Stopping hate speech should be our resolution for 2022” – PM Robert Abela

“If there is any resolution that we should have in place for 2022, it should be to stop hate speech by setting an example and not engaging in tit-for-tats.”

Prime Minister Robert Abela made this powerful declaration during his new year message to the nation, aired tonight.

“Unfortunately, we still see a lot of hate speech, especially online. There should be no space for hate in our hearts, in what we write, and in how we behave.”

“We can change laws and enforce law and order, but the real power to stop hate speech lies in each and every one of us.”

The Prime Minister referred to his government’s mandate which will come to an end in the coming months, saying that the people’s choice must be respected, and debates on thoughts and ideas must not allow for personal attacks.

“We should use our words to enhance unity, not division. Taunts and insults will not get us anywhere. Let us use our ideas to build a better and brighter future for our country,” he stressed.

“We can change laws and enforce law and order, but the real power to stop hate speech lies in each and every one of us.”

Prime Minister Abela said that he is optimistic that Malta will continue moving forward steadily, as a fair and ambitious society that addresses challenges and creates opportunities.

“We will get there as long as we work together in a spirit of unity. After all, the best qualities of the Gozitan and Maltese people are those that we have been witnessing recently: solidarity, a big heart, and pride in everything we stand for as Maltese and Europeans.”

We are better off than before the pandemic

Reflecting on the past year, the Prime Minister referred to the COVID-19 pandemic which brought unprecedented challenges.

“What is encouraging is the fact that in various areas and sectors, we are better off than we were before the pandemic. We have the lowest unemployment rate in history; the lowest number of people on social benefits; and in parallel, the highest rate of homeowners, ever.”

These results, he added, were only possible because everyone worked together in a spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding.

Prime Minister Abela noted that investment levels, and Malta’s economic growth are higher than they were pre-COVID.

Moreover, foreign experts are predicting that in 2022, Malta economy will be the fastest growing economy in Europe.

To keep achieving even better results, the government will continue taking bold and courageous decisions.  

“This approach allowed us to maintain price stability on local prices for energy, fuel and gas, despite mounting international pressure. It is imperative however, that in order to continue moving forward, we must not let our guard down in the face of COVID-19.”

The Prime Minister urged everyone to take the vaccine, and for parents to vaccinate their children according to the guidelines issued by the health authorities.

“The vaccine is fundamental to keep our society healthy and to allow us to keep the wheels of the economy turning and maintain our social and cultural activities – that are so important for the mental health and overall well-being of the community.

Environment & quality of life our priority

“Whilst our efforts to mitigate the pandemic will continue, as a country, we must collectively address a new priority: the environment and our quality of life. Our resolve in 2022 is to reinforce our efforts to improve the environment in which we live.”  

Prime Minister Abela stated that we have already started to witness the ill effects of climate change, and that although Malta is a small state and a low carbon emitter, it will do its part to contribute to the global fight against climate change.

“I look forward to seeing the results of the greenest incentives we have ever introduced – both to improve overall air quality and also to safeguard the core of our towns and villages.”  

In his messgae, the Prime Minister pledged cleaner air, more open spaces for the community to enjoy, and smarter planning methods.

“We are not taking the easy road. A shift in mentality is required for us to move forward. We must understand that in an effort to deliver a better future for our children, we need to take the right decisions now.”

People expect the highest of standards

The Prime Minister also referred to important decisions which may be hard “or which may even hurt” but he said that he will continue taking these decisions, in the national interest.

This is because, he added, people, rightly so, expect the highest standards.

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