Malta Chamber calls on President George Vella to 'step in'

Chamber News - 12th December 2019

In comments to The Malta Business Observer, Perit David Xuereb stressed that the Malta Chamber believes that failure to resolve the situation fast will have dire economic ramifications.

In exclusive comments to The Malta Business Observer, the Malta Chamber of Commerce President David Xuereb has called on President George Vella to step in and be “a force that brings about balance and statesmanship during these troubled times.”

Perit Xuereb acknowledged that while “His Excellency’s role is limited by the Constitution,” he can still affect positive change since “as a highly respected individual, the President is in the right position and possesses the right qualities to make the much-needed difference.” Perit Xuereb’s call follows that of constitutional law expert Kevin Aquilina’s recent statement urging President Vella to step up to the plate, reminding him of his constitutional, legal and moral duty to act without delay.

Perit David Xuereb stressed that the Malta Chamber believes that failure to resolve the situation fast will have dire economic ramifications. “We have already clearly stated that the current political situation is doing unspeakable damage to the country’s brand, which will be painful and laborious to fix in the future,” he said, while adding that Dr Muscat’s decision to resign “in January has, unfortunately, brought the country to a standstill, characterised by a level of rare uncertainty.”

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Moreover, Mr Xuereb lamented that “this hiatus for business and investment is rendered even more serious by the negative attention our country is attracting, in the international media, with potentially unimaginable consequences.” To mitigate any further damage, Mr Xuereb stressed the need to carry out “a deep and expedited clean-up of the entire system”. He called for “problems to be dealt with in a clean, clear and transparent manner, in order to reinstate a sense of trust in Malta’s authorities”.

Mr Xuereb further underlined that “the country needs to deal with all forms of allegations of political corruption, since every hour of inaction is considered damaging to the country”. He called for a push to “reignite a genuine drive” for ethical standards and stressed that all members of society, especially the political class, “need to be kept accountable to the highest standards, free from any shadow of doubt”.

The Chamber president said that advocating for higher standards across public life and beyond, was a central theme of its Economic Vision for Malta. “We proposed an upward shift in mentality, towards a culture of ‘nothing but the best’. Never in our history has this goal been more important than now,” he said.

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Mr Xuereb concluded by saying that “on behalf of all hard-working entrepreneurs and ethical businesses, who provide jobs and a livelihood for thousands of Maltese families, we call on the Prime Minister to once again rise to the occasion and do the honourable thing expected of a true statesman. Only he can bring an end to this stalemate the country has crashed into. Within the context of current confusion and instability, history will remember him for it.”