Change is the law of life

The difference is that the challenges that we now have on our hands are the result of our success

10 years ago the most pressing issue faced by Maltese and Gozitan families was electricity bills. Middle-class families were seeing their standard of living being eaten away by a relatively low performing economy and high energy bills. Unemployment was also an issue. Almost every individual knew of one person or another who was trying to find a job, but couldn’t.

This was partly due to the global economic crisis but Malta was already suffering before then. Inflation was killing the worth of people’s salaries and the economic outlook was bleak. The worst was yet to come: a government with a one-seat majority, unstable and out of touch with people’s realities.

Today the situation is different. It’s not that we don’t have problems, we have different ones. The difference is that the challenges that we now have on our hands are the result of our success. Our economic output is second to none in Europe and we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the continent.

We have introduced important measures that have helped rejuvenate the economy and the well-being of families. Important changes such as the energy reform (which led to cheaper bills), free childcare, transport and infrastructure reforms and pensions are just some of the improvements we have seen in the past 10 years.

There is also a change in outlook – which is so important for business. We are forward-looking and as a country, we’ve found our confidence. I think this is something that, really and truly, we’re only experiencing for the first time as a republic. It’s difficult to explain but today there is this energy that you can see in young people – there is no frontier and being born in Malta is seen as a positive, something that will help you achieve world-class goals if you put in the work. This is invariably also due to the fact that we’ve embraced the globalised model, and are on the frontline in some of the most innovative commercial sectors that are growing.

As John F Kennedy once put it: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. We will fall along the way and there will be difficult challenges ahead. But as the Prime Minister has remarked in the past days, sometimes you don’t see change happening because it is so incremental on a daily basis but when you look at it from a 10 year snapshot, it’s worlds apart.
Nothing can be closer to the truth on this than civil rights.

In most European standings we used to be in bottom places. People seemed to almost accept that reality at that time – there will never be any change. Until change happened, and this I think paved the way for a mental transformation in how we see ourselves as a country. Young people today cannot even comprehend the reality that was Malta just a decade ago. This says a lot and I think it goes beyond a political party, or even a political movement. The momentum for these changes was simply too big. Some political elements embraced it, others tried to fight it.

So as you flick through Instagram and Facebook and sneak a peek at your friends’ #10yearChallenge posts, take a look around our country, because it’s the biggest change of them all.

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