Prime Minister Robert Abela used his inaugural address to the nation since winning the general election to pledge to remove every last remaining COVID-19 restriction.
“Before anything else, we must leave the two difficult years the pandemic has brought about behind us,” Abela said.
“While I will keep on seeking expert advice, the government will continue down the road of removing all restrictions. We must reach a stage where, as much as possible, we can adopt the style of people choosing how to best take care of themselves.”
“The pandemic took too much away from us. Children and youths lost more than 24 months of the best time of their lives and we must now look ahead to continue regaining our freedoms. This must be the spring in which we move in this direction.”
Abela also reached out across the political aisle, acknowledging the relatively calm nature of the 2022 election campaign.
“I am pleased with how the democratic process proceeded in this election,” he said. “Compared with previous elections, this one focused more on ideas, credibility and competence, which is how it should be when we get to choose our government.”
“The choice on who should be entrusted with the country’s leadership shouldn’t be a fight about who can destroy their rival first and I feel we have taken a step forward, although we mightn’t have fully got there.”
“Let’s work to reach our destination during this legislature. I will certainly extend a hand of friendship to the Opposition and above all, consult with social partners as much as possible before taking decisions.”
Finally, with the 85% turnout rate the lowest in recent Maltese history, the Prime Minister reached out to those who decided not to vote.
“Malta’s electoral participation remains one of the strongest in Europe but we must definitely pay a lot of heed to those who decided to abstain this election,” he said.
“I will ask you for a chance to serve you and will work for the political class to regain your trust so that you can once again feel comfortable voting.”
“Although we all come from different backgrounds, we Maltese people all have common values of courage, kindness, justice and respect, and I want you to see these values reflected in our leaders.”
Should Malta remove all remaining COVID-19 restrictions?