President George Vella says that he is saddened and shocked by what happened in the country over the past year, but believes that the values of Christmas can help overcome the difficult times for peace and unity to reign once again.
In his Christmas message, Vella referred to the speech he delivered on Republic Day, saying that he knows that many Maltese share the same feeling of disquiet.
But the Christmas values of loyalty towards the family, industriousness and generosity must continue to be endorsed in spite of our difficulties, and the meaning of the feast we are celebrating should put us on the road towards unity, he said.
He thanked the Maltese for welcoming him in his new role – this is his first Christmas as President – and urged the Maltese to continue helping the more vulnerable sectors of our society.
He called for more tolerance and respect, especially towards people with different opinions and with those with whom some form of tension took root in the past months.
He said that solitude is felt more at this time of the year, and appealed to everyone to take care of sick people, the elderly citizens and others in need. Do not ignore people who are on their own or feel deprived, he said.
He appealed for the Maltese to be generous during Thursday’s L-istrina, when money is collected in aid of people in need. People who are sick should not suffer the consequences of what happened in the country over the past months, and it is not acceptable that the political situation dampens the hope of people who require help.
Everybody can contribute towards having a better year, but this can only be done if everyone shoulders responsibility, implements his or her duties with honesty and transparency, and places the country’s interest before one’s own.