Change of government in Malta: a new start?
Robert Abela, a 42-year-old lawyer and politician, will succeed Joseph Muscat as Malta's prime minister. He was elected as leader of the ruling Labour Party on Monday and then appointed head of government. Muscat resigned in the aftermath of the scandal surrounding the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in which confidantes of his have been implicated. Maltese media call for a new start at all levels.
Fight against corruption is top priority
Malta's political system must now be completely overhauled, the Times of Malta demands:
“Malta has to turn over a new leaf. The new prime minister has to vow to carry out reforms to clean up politics. He must eradicate the era of putting party before country. He must fulfil his pledge to work for unity, reaching out to people across the political spectrum. He should wield a 'big broom to sweep away corruption and cronyism'. He must have the strength of principle to put a stop to impunity even if this risks his predecessor, and his predecessor's aide, ending up in the dock.”
An end to growth at any cost
When it comes to the economy the new prime minister needs to think carefully about which direction he wants to take the country in, Malta Today observes:
“It has become the Maltese equivalent of the American dream where consumerism and materialism are the ultimate goals, and where driving expensive cars and widening roads is preferable to leaving unspoilt fields in their natural state. … What Muscat's successor faces on the economic front is the choice of either retaining the frenzied status quo with all the detrimental effects it has had on our quality of life, or taking the bull by the horns in an attempt to curb excess in favour of moderation. If that means having less of everything (less construction, less shopping malls, less eateries, less rental apartments at obscene prices), then that's fine.”