We need a change in direction | Christian Micallef

Christian Micallef is a Nationalist candidate on the 1st district

I will never forget casting my first vote, around this time, 19 years ago. Having just turned 18, I could not help getting caught up in the excitement of the moment. 

Not only had a new world started unravelling right in front of me, what with the perks that come by virtue of simply turning 18. But that election – the referendum on European Union membership – promised to open a new world to all of us. And my vote mattered.

What was offered to us at the polling booth was a vision for the future: one that presented new opportunities for us students to travel and gain invaluable experiences in Europe, unparalleled economic growth and job opportunities both in Malta and beyond, and a sense of being part of something bigger than us.

Fast forward 19 years and the direction Labour is taking Malta couldn’t be any more different. We no longer speak of new investment, but about the headache of getting off the grey list. We no longer speak about new opportunities for all, but about the limitless corruption and cronyism of a government that has been captured by the few “good thieves” in power. And small businesses and families alike have been reduced to begging for government handouts to make ends meet.

We deserve better. We deserve a Malta that is fair and transparent, where anyone and everyone can move forward independently, using nothing but their sheer hard work and determination. A Malta that is clean, active and inspiring, where quality of life is just as important a consideration as other performance metrics when taking important decisions. A Malta that is vibrant and exciting for our children to grow up in and contribute to.

Beyond this vision for a better Malta, the need for serious and honest leadership has become all the more pressing due to the unique set of circumstances we are facing both locally and internationally. Basic food supplies and utilities are facing unprecedented pressures, initially due to the COVID-19 pandemic but now even further accentuated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

We need sound leadership to protect families and businesses from a spiralling cost of living and operating, amidst added supply chain difficulties. Furthermore, several of the challenges we face, such as climate change and the global call for a minimum corporate tax rate, are increasingly cross-border in nature, and therefore demand a trusted leader at the negotiating table.  

The Nationalist Party is the only party that can deliver this alternative. With all its faults and imperfections, the Nationalist Party under the leadership of Bernard Grech has worked tirelessly to bring together stakeholders and put forward a package of proposals that will help families to earn a better living and support businesses in rebuilding and becoming profitable once more. 

The 540 proposals put forward by the PN provide a clear roadmap for developing ten new economic sectors that will create jobs and breathe new life into our economy. They prioritize our environment and wellbeing by committing to add 50,000 square metres of land to ODZ zoning and redirecting our focus towards achieving carbon neutrality. And they introduce measures to restore good governance, to rebuild trust both in Malta and abroad.

The choice we face this week could not be clearer: it’s either Robert Abela, who has continued down the dangerous and shameless path chosen by his predecessor, or Bernard Grech, who has rebuilt the Nationalist Party and put forward a vision for Malta which we can deliver, together. 

Energy, drive and vision matter. The decision we make this week can either reinforce the status quo or send a clear message for a change in direction. That is why your vote matters.