[WATCH] President discourages spontaneous reaction and calls for unity

President George Vella says that citizens should allow the institutions to do their job before the damage to Malta becomes irreparable

President George Vella
President George Vella

In a message broadcast on the public broadcasting channel on Tuesday evening, President George Vella asked for the nation to measure its actions in such a delicate time. 

"We should go to a place of calm and away from spontaneous reaction where we can measure the circumstances and unite. We should let our institutions work and let justice be done," Vella said.

Malta has seen an unprecedented wave of protests in the last few weeks, organised by NGO Repubblika and the Occupy Justice movement. The protests came in the wake of Tumas group businessman Yorgen Fenech's arrest in relation to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Fenech had business links with the Prime Minister's former chief of staff Keith Schembri who was released from arrest in less than 24 hours.

Fenech has since then been charged with complicity to murder, complicity to causing an explosion, and being part of a criminal organisation. Fenech has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

"I am doing everything that the constitution demands of me. Everyday, I am being asked to be an instrument to avoid the possible worst case scenario," Vella said.

He appealed to the nation to measure its behaviour in such a delicate stage of Malta's history, where the Prime Minister's resignation is being demanded on a daily basis. His refusal to resign in the face of Schembri's possible implication in the murder has been met with protests in Valletta and the Opposition to walk out of parliament.

"Let's allow the institutions to do their job. Only this way can we reach the road to normality. This should be done before the damage to our country in various sectors becomes irreparable. We should have respect for our country and the values we embrace. Malta deserves better," Vella said. 

Malta is currently hosting an MEP delegation of the LIBE committee of the European Parliament as it conducts a fact-finding mission into the current situation in the country.