If Malta was a normal country, it would have been very concerned about what is happening to its nearest Arab neighbour, Tunisia. Last year, President Kais Saied abrogated parliament and took over the country as its sole ruler while the country spiralled into economic chaos. President Saied is blaming black African immigrants for the economic chaos and has recently, unleashed a progrom against them, apart from arresting numerous members of the Opposition. Black African immigrants are being subjected to widespread racism and violence and protests are ongoing. Tunisia was the nation which started the Arab Spring in 2010 and organised itself as a democracy following the ousting of its years-long dictator, Ben Ali.
It is in Malta’s security interest that its neighbours are democracies instead of authoritarian states run by dictators. However, we should not only support our neighbours because it is in our interest, but we should also do so out of moral principles, and we can afford to do this. We are not yet a bankrupt Greece 2.0 version although that’s where Robert Abela is driving us to. Malta also has a significant trade relationship with Tunisia. Unfortunately, our government lacks any moral principles. so we will be of little help to our neighbour, missing the chance to stand out in the international field, once again. Moreover, there will probably be hardly any sympathy from Maltese authorities for black people suffering from racism in Tunisia, and this is also concerning because this vulnerable group of people has very few voices speaking for it right now.