Roselyn Borg Knight | Don’t make the mistake of not voting

Malta needs a long-term plan where we decide what we want for Malta and Gozo and how to achieve it. We cannot keep planning just for tomorrow or for next week

It’s an undeniable truth, that with every European Parliament election, less and less voters are turning out to vote.  In 1979 there was an average of a 62% turn-out across all of Europe, but fast-forward to 2014, and this percentage went down to 43%.  That’s an average 20% decrease over all.

Although Malta’s turn-out is always much higher than the European average, the trend is clearly going the same way. In 1999, Malta had an 82% voter turn-out and by 2014 this went down to just under 75%.

After meeting so many people, one of the main reasons cited by those who decide not to vote is usually that they do not consider the Opposition Party to be a viable alternative government. But this is the beauty of the European Parliament elections – despite what the Government would have us believe, European Parliament elections are not Malta’s general election. In the European Parliament elections we do not choose who is going to govern Malta but only the best six representatives for the European Parliament. Now, if you believe in the

EU in the first place, and if you believe that Malta’s place is, in fact, in it then you must also believe the scientific reports and reviews that the EU commissions and publishes on a regular basis.  

Here are 10 things that the most recent EU reports are saying about Malta:

  1. Malta is the worst in Europe when it comes to gender equality at the workplace. Whilst we have 85.7% of men who are gainfully employed, only 63.4% of women are. (Annual report on equality between men and women, 7th March 2019)
  2. Last year, Malta had the smallest increase in salaries amongst all the EU member states whilst at the same time it had the highest increase in cost of living from 2017 to date.  (Eurostat 2019)
  3. Malta’s minimum wage is way below the European average. The European Union’s average is €924 whilst that of Malta is €762. (Eurostat 2019)
  4. Malta has consistently failed to reach emission reduction targets every year since 2013.  (The Environmental Implementation Review 2019 COUNTRY REPORT MALTA)
  5. This is not only bad for our health and our environment, but has already cost the country thousands of Euro. With Malta having the second highest increase in CO2 emissions in Europe, last year the government resorted to “flexibility measures” by funding a mysterious green project in Bulgaria to buy off extra emissions-reduction points. (Ivan Martin, Times of Malta, 3rd November 2018)
  6. According to real estate research studies, Malta’s property prices went up by 50% in the last two years and, a KMPG report found that the average price of an apartment increased by 24%.
  7. We’ve also experienced exponential increase in population numbers, creating a huge sustainability and environmental problem. Malta is, in fact, denser than any other country in Europe. According to World Population Review 2019, Malta registers one net migrant every 720 minutes.
  8. The European Socialist Party to which our Labour MEPs belong, has promised that after the 25th May elections, it will impose a tax harmonisation system in all the EU member states.
  9. This means that a vote for our Labour MEPs will put 25,000 jobs in the finance and gaming sectors at risk. What’s worse is that the Labour Party is also telling a lie when it says that Nationalist MEPs voted in favour of this harmonisation. It is a verifiable fact that all Nationalist MEPs always voted against tax harmonisation.
  10. And finally, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (Greco) evaluation that was published last month, states that Malta “clearly lacks an overall strategy and coherent risk-based approach when it comes to integrity standards for government officials.”  It also claims that, “a system of sanctions is also lacking.” The same report says that the Maltese perceive Malta to be highly corrupt and according to a Eurobarometer report published in December 2017, 79% of the Maltese see corruption as widespread in Malta. The EU average is 68%.

Malta needs a long-term plan where we decide what we want for Malta and Gozo and how to achieve it. We cannot keep planning just for tomorrow or for next week. Whilst the European Parliament elections of the 25th of May are not a general election and will not have any impact on which party governs Malta, they are the perfect opportunity to send a message to the current administration, thus giving it the chance to remedy the situation before the next general elections. If the current administration does not receive a loud and clear message that we are unhappy with certain issues, then who is to blame it for going on and riding roughshod over all our concerns?

If I’m elected to the EU Parliament I vouch to work with whoever is willing to work with me to see that the interests and the concerns of the Maltese come first, but for this to happen, you need to vote and you need to vote wisely.  

If you do not believe the scientific and indisputable statistics listed above, then go ahead and make it.  If on the other hand you believe the numbers and want something to be done sooner rather than later, vote for all the Nationalist candidates to send a clear message to the local government, so that hopefully our voice is heard.

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