Malta, a proud sovereign nation celebrating 59 years of independence, finds itself at a critical juncture. The architects of our past successes, including George Borg Oliver, Dom Mintoff, and Eddie Fenech Adami, challenged the nation to overcome limitations and transform into a modern, vibrant country. But today, we face a different kind of challenge.
As we look around, we cannot ignore the alarming signs of a political predicament. Our constitutional structures, such as the police force, the attorney general, and our political class, appear to be on the verge of a meltdown. Systematic sleaze, cronyism, and a lack of good governance have become the norm rather than the exception. The recent disability pension scandal has only reaffirmed that corruption runs deep within the ruling party.
Are we truly living in a republic, where power lies with the people and the common good prevails? Or are we regressing into a feudal or colonial state, where a select few hold unwarranted influence over our affairs? It is disheartening to realize that some developers, businesspersons, and other influential figures manipulate the system for their own gain, while the majority suffer the consequences.
To break free from this quagmire, we urgently need a quantum leap towards becoming a true European State. While we have been members of the European Union for 19 years, we have yet to fully embrace the ideals and standards expected of European nations. It is not enough to simply be part of the EU; we must act like Europeans, demanding accountability, transparency, and active citizens’ participation.
But this transformation requires more than just lip service. We must make our governance institutions truly independent and autonomous from the executive branch. It is imperative that we adopt a European way of thinking, prioritizing environmental preservation, education, urban planning, employment, quality of life, and more. Our politicians must embrace Europe’s best political practices and lead by example.
Failure to undertake this European overhaul carries grave consequences. More young people will be forced to leave the island, leading to a brain drain and stagnation. We cannot allow that to happen. Instead, let us take inspiration from the successes of our past leaders and be bold enough to undergo the next quantum leap forward: the European quantum leap.
The time for action is now. Malta must rise to the challenge, embrace European values, and build a future that prioritizes the well-being and aspirations of its people. Together, we can shape a nation that truly lives up to the ideals of a democratic republic and a proud European State. The choice is ours. Let us make the right one.