President George Abela greets Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi on New Year's Day
President George Abela said life was not easy and was not always just but the Maltese should show their solidarity as they did in 2011.
“There needs to be a reasonable dose of optimism and courage. But courage, optimism and hope are not enough. We need to develop our culture by learning to save our money and be cautious to not spend more than we can afford,” Abela said.
On the morning of New Year’s Day the President and his wife Margaret greeted Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and fellow Ministers within the President’s Palace in Valletta.
Abela said that neighbouring countries were made to pay the price by placing new burdens on their people with austerity measures.
“Our country cannot look at surrounding waves and not expect to be touched or struck by them. Malta was fortunate in the employment sector in 2011 but we cannot take it for granted. The Maltese people have to face the storm as a collective group,” Abela stressed.
Gonzi said that 2011 was a challenging year for Malta but three values were displayed by all people involved which should make the country proud.
“The first value was solidarity shown by the Maltese people even to our neighbours. We should be proud and brave in 2012 as we were in 2011. The second value was prudence. During the last year this cautiousness came through and once again our people will once again overcome the economic challenges this year,” Gonzi said.
The third value was determination and faith shown in the government’s ability to succeed according to the Prime Minister.
“We are not commentators. We drive our country. If we were simply commentators, we would be sitting on much more comfortable chairs. We have a heavy weight on our shoulders,” Gonzi mused.
Gonzi also expressed appreciation for the work done by Abela who led by example with great values in leadership and allowed the people to show their charity and unity in the face of the challenges presented.