The long and winding road

Newly appointed President Dr. George Abela is going to have a tough time tearing down the metaphorical Berlin Wall that splits Malta in half. Post-independence, national unity was and is always hard to come by. With no public enemy for the entire Maltese nation to vent about, (we) now tend to unite for all the wrong reasons such as in the fear and loathing of migrants. Otherwise the harsh political and social polarities that choke the country on a daily basis still endure.

I cannot fathom any modern nation in the world where unity reigns supreme. That would either be a utopia or a very dull place to live in. Yet the Maltese divide falls on the most petty things. This may be the direct result of ignorance but I feel that we are all to blame, ignorant or not. Some may even go as far as to suggest that petty division is embedded in the Mediterranean know the enmity between rival band clubs, football supporters and what not.

Yet it is a very admirable gesture on President Abela's behalf to build his presidency on 'unity in diversity'. Give or take the few who are not fond of him for personal and/or political reasons I think many of us agree that he is the right man for the job. Almost one year ago, when the leadership campaign for the Labour Party was in full swing, I did not support George Abela because I felt he was too moderate and a tad bit conservative to lead a party on the left of the political spectrum. But a committed moderate is what we need to take the country in the direction of unity.

The newly elected president has a long and winding road ahead of him and I wish him the very best. The problem is - does the Presidency have the potential to bring about such a change?

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