Economist Clint Flores has said that many people are encouraging him to contest the upcoming European Parliament elections for the PL although he has yet to take a decision.
Flores, who has garnered a reputation for his criticism of the EU’s response to the Ukraine war, recently published a message he received from someone stating he will vote for him if he contests the election although comes from a different side of the political spectrum.
“I have been speaking to this person since I opened this page [earlier this year] and we had a lot of valid arguments, where we both agreed and disagreed with each other,” Flores said.
“Back in February and March, no one could have predicted how things would turn out. Yesterday he encouraged me to contest the election and said he will vote for me; like him tens of people are sending me similar messages.”
“I smiled and appreciated this encouragement even though it came from someone from the other side of the political spectrum. Obviously this isn’t my decision alone but a collective one.”
Several people responded to Flores’ post by urging him to contest the European elections, which are set to take place in 2024.
“I completely agree and we’ve already spoken about it,” one woman wrote. “You belong in Brussels in my eyes and I’m sure many people think likewise.”
“I will vote for you as an MP but keep your feet to the ground, and don’t become arrogant as some have done,” another man commented.
Flores has garnered significant experience within the EU, assuming the role of president of the EU Budget during Malta’s 2017 presidency of the European Council and serving as an ambassador for Malta on the Political and Security Committee, which is responsible for the EU’s common foreign, security and defence policies.
Earlier this year, Bank of Valletta appointed him executive head on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) affairs.
Contacted by Lovin Malta, Flores said contesting the election wouldn’t be an easy decision, especially since he only returned from Brussels a few months ago.
“Let’s say there is support from the public as many encourage me and text me on a daily basis,” he said. “However, it’s not an easy decision to take, as there is an entire process that I would have to go through and it’s a collective decision which would involve members of my family.”
“Having spent time working in Brussels, even if I gained experience, it is still a difficult decision to take, given that I am now also settled and enjoying my country, which I’m in love with.”
He said the role of MEP carries huge responsibilities and that candidates must ask themselves whether they can represent the country to the best of their abilities.
In recent months, Flores has been sounding the alarm against the EU’s decision to impose wide-ranging sanctions against Russia as a response to its invasion of Ukraine.
Last month, he warned that fringe parties could rise in popularity across the continent if people get poorer as a result of soaring inflation due to the Russia sanctions and urged the EU to engage in peace talks with Russia.
He also criticised the European Central Bank’s decision to raise interest rates in the hope of cooling down inflation, warning that investors might hold off investing their money until borrowing becomes cheaper again.
If the PL hopes to maintain its four MEP seats at next year’s election, at least one of them will have to be taken up by a new MEP as Alfred Sant has pledged not to contest.
Cover photo: Left: Clint Flores occupying the role of president of the EU Budget during Malta’s 2017 presidency, Right: Clint Flores addressing followers in a recent Facebook video (Photos: Clint Flores – Facebook)
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