Katriel, the young Lupus-sufferer who taught Malta a lesson in forgiveness last year, sat down with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for a light interview. Sat in a green field with the Maltese morning dawning behind them, Katriel asks questions about the Prime Minister’s favourite food, daily routine, and his relationship with his family.
Katriel also broaches a subject close to his own heart. He asked why Malta cannot have specialised doctors in the country, which would save Maltese patients from having to travel abroad for treatment. His personal experience, as well as his difficulties dealing with English doctors and not knowing when he would be returning to the country, seemed to impact the Prime Minister.
While the Prime Minister actually pledged to pick up an idea of Katriel’s – a public website where people can directly let Joseph Muscat know what they want/need – some of the most interesting parts of the interview were some of the more random things we got to learn about Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
1. He loves going on dangerous rides at theme parks
When he takes his family to places like Disneyland and other theme parks, Joseph Muscat enjoys taking Etoile on the more dangerous rides as Michelle and Soleil watch by the side. They often have to dress up to make sure they aren’t noticed by the public.
Joseph Muscat said he enjoys the more extreme rides, even where “your head is upside down”.
2. His favourite food isn’t what you’d expect
While he has a long list of food that he likes to eat, he loves Indian food – the spicier the better. “Nħobbu piccante,” he said of his preferred level of Indian spice.
3. He finds Mondays just as hard as everyone else
Between his meetings, parliamentary group, and parliament in the evening, Mondays are the “hardest” day for the Prime Minister.
4. He sometimes goes weeks without eating meat
Joseph Muscat said he’s beginning to really enjoy vegetables, and often goes a week or two without eating any meat. When Katriel said he didn’t like vegetables, Joseph Muscat told him to try and vary his meals a bit more, at least varying the types of meats he eats.
5. Celebrating his wife’s birthday and their anniversary isn’t easy
Michell’s birthday is in May, so it often comes during an election campaign or political drive, said Joseph Muscat. They’ll often both be working, on the day, so what they do is wait for the next weekend and then go out for a meal on the Sunday to celebrate.
He also said that for the last two years, his two daughters have insisted on coming along to their anniversary dinners, which he invites as long as they leave their mobiles on the table for the dinner.
6. He would rather his daughters did not get into politics
While he said he would support Soleil and Etoille if they wanted to, he said he knew how hard the job was. But, he would be proud to know they wanted to enter a life of service.
7. He uses commuting time to get back to you
Joseph Muscat is known for trying to personally answer every email he receives, even if it is just a couple of words or a line. He admits that he is only able to do this by skimming longer emails, and has a team to help him manage the emails. He uses commuting time and time spent waiting in vehicles to answer his emails.
8. He cooks dinner for his family every Saturday
And he hasn’t received a complaint yet.
9. He is most definitely a morning person
He tries to wake up two hours before he is meant to be somewhere, giving him ample to time to get his things together. When he wakes up, he prefers to get out of bed instead of reaching for the snooze button.
BONUS: His biggest worry as soon as he wakes up
Joseph Muscat laughed when faced with this question, and said that, honestly, the first thing he worries about when he wakes up is if his dog Ħabiba made a mess inside during the night. He said she hadn’t been fully trained in the last three months, and had already left two accidents for him to clean up in that time.