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Environment and addressing hate speech

Environment and addressing hate speech

Prime Minister has set the priorities for the New Year to improve the environment and eradicate hate speech.

Robert Abela addressed the nation in 2021 to discuss “a new priority”: the environment, and our quality life.

Abela stated that climate changes were a global problem. Although Malta is a small state and therefore a relatively small polluter it must also do its part.

“I very much look forward to seeing the results of the greenest incentives we have ever introduced – both to improve overall air quality and also safeguard the core of our towns and villages.

“Our resolve for 2022 is to intensify our efforts to improve the environment where we live. This will allow us all to breathe cleaner air, enjoy more open spaces, and plan smarter.

“We aren’t taking the easy route. A shift in mentality is necessary for us to move ahead. We must realize that in order for our children to have a better future, we must make the right decisions today,” he stated.

‘There should never be room for hate’

In his address, Prime Minister said that he would like to see a shift in how people interact with one another in the new Year. 

“Unfortunately, we still witness a lot hate speech, especially online. If there is one resolution we should have for 2022 it would be to end hate speech by setting an example, and not engaging in titt-for-tats.

“There should not be any room for hatred in our hearts, in writings, or in our behavior.” While we can change laws and enforce law, the real power to stop hate speech is in each of us.

This is why Abela emphasized this point more than ever, as 2022 will mark the end of the government’s mandate.

“The people’s choice must be respected, and debates on thoughts and ideas must not allow for personal attacks,” he said.

“We should use words to promote unity, not division.” Insults and taunts will not get you anywhere. Let’s use our ideas to create a better, brighter future for this country.

“I am really optimistic that our country can continue moving forward steadily as an ambitious and fair society that addresses problems and creates opportunities. As long as we work together in unity, we will get there.”

He said that the pandemic has shown that people are stronger when they stand together.

Abela stated that COVID is still being fought and that the country’s effective vaccine rollout programme has allowed people to experience “what’s normal” in their everyday lives.

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He said that it was encouraging to see that “various sectors and areas are now better off than they were before the pandemic”.

Malta had the lowest rate of unemployment in history, the lowest amount of people on social assistance, and the highest number of homeowners.

And foreign experts were now saying that in 2022 Malta’s will be the fastest growing economy in Europe, he said.

Abela advised people to not let COVI get to them and said that the government will continue to take bold decisions.

He encouraged people to get vaccinated, and to also vaccinate their kids according to the advice of the health authorities.

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