H.E Dr. George Vella visited the University today and held a meeting with the students in the KSU Common Room. Vella said that the purpose of this meeting was to find out what are the main concerns of University students, free from any of the usual formalities. The President noted that the youth ‘are not the leaders of tomorrow but the leaders of today’ and so their concerns were certainly relevant to his role as the moral compass of the Maltese society.
When presented with the facts about climate change and asked what one can do to compel society and politicians to act on them, Vella replied that this was one of the biggest concerns he had in mind. According to him, Malta has always been on the forefront of creating and signing policies and agreements regarding decreasing CO2 emissions, such as the one signed in the last CHOGM held in Malta. Malta is already experiencing climate change and Vella’s main concern is the desertification of this island, along with North African countries, which will be accompanied by crop failure and mass migration; problems which can be avoided.
Vella was also asked about the recent drive-by shooting in Hal Far where a migrant was killed in cold blood. The question posed was whether this attack was motivated by racism and if the failure of the police to produce a suspect is because they are not interested in solving the homicide of a black man. Vella reassured the student that he was 100% sure that the government was working on this case. He is not sure if this was a racist attack but hopes not – ‘God forbid if there are hues of racism in this killing’. He is aware that there might be a few extremists around and apologised on their behalf but begged the student not to think that this is the mentality of the rest of the population.
The President also commented on the current development occurring in the island, saying that ‘one should see that the pertinent regulations and laws are constantly applied’. While Vella, being a doctor, cannot comment on the quality of the development, in his opinion the buildings being built nowadays are ‘featureless without any redeeming factors’ and warned us to consider what we will be leaving behind.
When asked about whether he has any plans regarding mental health, Vella said that this is one of the most important issues to him. He stated that he has already started working on a project, which will be announced in the near future, to remove the stigma surrounding mental health and to provide help to those who need it.
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