Let’s get ready for the year 2012

Christmas is once again with us. Christmastime is the perfect time for reflection. It is a time for recollecting the good and bad results we achieved throughout the year and work hard to improve on (or drop) them in the coming year.

People are desperately seeking the plain truth and no longer the convenient truth
- Robert Henry Bugeja

Sadly, Christmas 2011 will be a little tougher from a financial point of view than any other Christmas past.

The year 2011 may be coming to an end but the times of financial woes are far from over. The wonderful stories that we used to hear of strong market stability in the EU proved to be… well, just wonderful stories.

So, this Christmas period the Maltese people will be making the necessary calculations about their present situation, which will give them the right amount of determination to bring about the necessary changes in the coming year. And with the New Year just around the corner, we all like to look back and recapture the events that made this year one of the most eventful in decades.

From an international point of view we experienced heavy market turmoil and the worrying euro crisis. We also experienced (and still are) a bloody Arab Spring and a disastrous Greek downfall. We witnessed the fall of dictators such as Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. We saw a change in the governments of Portugal, Spain, Greece and the collapse of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, followed by a newly formed technocratic Italian government.

The world as we know it is changing. The people’s wants and desires are changing faster than ever before.

Adaptation is the key for survival. Today’s people have all the information they need at their fingertips and they are not ready to trade the plain and honest truth for some political rhetoric, which just maintains the status quo.

People want solid results that affect directly their well-being. They do not want to be left with empty pockets, with an illiterate son out of school or a jobless father at age 40 plus.

They want a sound future. What people would like to hear in 2012 are words like “forward”, “care”, “sincerity” and, no doubt, “success”.

So, at this time of the year, people in Malta, like in the rest of Europe and the world, are once again at their desks doing their end-of -year homework. Reflecting on what this year had brought them or what it had taken from them.

In our country we are experiencing a shift in mentality. A shift that shows clearly people are becoming more liberal and/or much less conservative. A shift that makes people ready to change more quickly without the need to be told when to make a particular change. They are becoming less prone to gimmicks and pulled more towards the real deal.

Perhaps for most people, the year 2011 will be remembered as a black year due to all the dark episodes it has brought us in many aspects of life and politics.

But for those who think more positively it will surely mean a year that kick-started numerous great changes. And this is just the beginning.

I truly hope that whatever the year 2012 will bring, it will be of great benefit to our country and its people.

The Maltese people want to play their part but they also rightly expect that they are given what is due to them.

Of course, they want to lead a better life not worse. They want to make a step forward and not two backwards. People are desperately seeking the plain truth and no longer the convenient truth.

But what the people certainly do not like (they actually hate it) is when politicians try to play tricks with their intelligence.

I truly hope that the resolution for the New Year that most politicians (especially those in power) will make will be to to start calling a spade a spade and be more courageous when facing the electorate who made it possible for them to get into power.

Moreover, I expect that in 2012 political decisions affecting capital projects that require millions of euros to implement will be prioritised accordingly and will seriously take into account our present economic situation, both at a national level and family level.

As each political party stresses that each and every vote counts, the same reasoning should also be applied when embarking on certain grandiose projects at a time of a very weak economic situation, in this case that every euro counts.

Therefore, in 2012, mutual respect and prudence should be the order of the day in this little island of ours.

The year 2012, as predicted by the Mayan civilisation, may be a very important one in the history of the world.

Perhaps the end, as the ancient Mayans foresaw it, will be avoided for the sake of all humans but, nonetheless, it will surely mark a significant change both politically and also as a state of mind.

Perhaps what the Mayan calendar foretold was not the end of the world after all but the end of an era… and the beginning of a new one.

A merry Christmas and a happy New Year to the readers of The Times.


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