Robert Abela can’t even get the basics right

So, Robert Abela made an official visit to Italy where met Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. This is one of his first official visits abroad and comes rather late given that usually, Malta’s Prime Minister would meet his Italian counterpart soon after taking office.

I haven’t yet got any information about what was discussed but I have watched the press conference, and it’s deeply embarrassing. So, Giorgia Meloni, of course, spoke in Italian, and as per protocol, the guests’ delegation would have its own interpreters to interpret the Italian language live in their local language. So, as you would expect, Robert Abela would make his speech in Maltese, but he didn’t and instead made his speech in English.

What? How does this make sense? The Italians, including Meloni wouldn’t have understood most of what was said in English, and I am sure that Meloni speaks to Robert in private in Italian. Robert, however, as you can see at the start of the video, can’t even come up with a proper Italian sentence – he understands Italian but can’t speak it. So, probably he speaks to Meloni in English with an interpreter present while Meloni speaks to him in Italian.

The proper choice of language by Robert Abela in this case would have been the native Maltese language and not the English language. Yes, English is the official language of Malta but it is not the native tongue that represents our unique culture. By speaking in English in such situations you are deliberately lowering your soft power status apart from showing a deep incompetence in how to present yourself and your nation.

Press conferences like these are a projection of power and diplomacy. If you are Malta’s Prime Minister and you are in a room with a group of Italian industrialists, you would preferably choose to speak to them in Italian, but that’s not how you would project yourself in a political event. The right way would be to start by speaking fluently in the host’s tongue so as to show you know their language and then switch to your native tongue. Then conclude by again switching to the host’s tongue.

My God, why am I wasting my time giving free advice to the Prime Minister? They are so dumb they can’t even get the basics right. They’re like a bandwagon of criminals, hucksters, and fraudsters trying to wing it.

5 Comments

  1. You may not be aware that Giorgia Meloni is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
    I am not so sure about Robert Abela’s language skills.

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