Roberta Metsola’s problem

Roberta Metsola has made a significant contribution to European politics, probably unparalleled by previous European Union Parliament Presidents. Roberta Metsola was the first top-Western politician to visit Kyiv after Russia invaded Ukraine. She has also turned her post into a powerful diplomatic platform for the EU also using it to promote the EU outside its borders. In her position, she has advocated for rule-of-law, the international rules-based order, and more open trade between Europe and the rest of the world. She has also been ranked as one of the top leaders of the world by Time Magazine. Now, she is joining the local political fray in support of her own party and in anticipation of next year’s local MEP elections.

The Roberta Metsola dream still lives on in Malta – the dream to have a normal politician like Roberta Metsola leading the country so that we may have a normal political climate instead of having to fight an organised criminal group in government.  This dream is still far-off in the short term given that she plans to continue with her illustrious career in Brussels, and who would blame her? It is rare to have a Maltese doing so well abroad to the extent of becoming one of the world’s top leaders. The last time we had someone of this stature was in the 1970s – a short and stout socialist brute by the name of Dom Mintoff who forced Western states to do many things they didn’t like – such as convincing President Nixon to force the British government to accept Mintoff’s pricey demands and sign a deal with him. Undoubtedly, Roberta Metsola will be celebrated in Malta for her success.

However, the Roberta Metsola dream will have serious problems in practice which neither nor the Nationalist Party seem to be interested in addressing.  It is true that you can deduce many things from what people don’t say other than from what they say, and something that we can clearly deduce from what Roberta Metsola doesn’t say is that she still holds or at least, represents, conservative ideas of the past which when exposed in Malta will leave her short of a political majority.

Let’s be very clear. Roberta Metsola comes from the Nationalist Party which is afflicted with a conservative past that can’t be shaken off. Roberta Metsola still carries old and conservative values on certain issues and throughout her role as President of the European Parliament she never advocated for safe and accessible abortion to women and never advocated for LGBT rights in Europe and beyond. Roberta Metsola was obliged to sign the Simone Veil Pact by Emmanuel Macron as part of the political back-room deals that made her President of the EP, but she never referred to it again after having signed it.

There is a very clear lesson that politicians in the centre-right should have learned by now following the Spanish general elections. In Spain, the centre-right party, Partido Popular was hampered in the latest election results due to its association with the far-right. Although the majority wants a new economic model for Spain, the center-right couldn’t garner an absolute majority because women, young people, and minority groups don’t want to see the fascists in power – and rightly so. The failure of Partido Popular’s failure in the elections was mainly caused by its association with the far-right lunatics of Vox.

The European People’s Party has the same problem with its associations with the far-right and on top of these associations, its conservative ideas of the past on abortion, women, and LGBT rights are alienating great numbers of people to trust and take the centre-right seriously. How Roberta Metsola can preach about rule-of-law and then brush shoulders with the likes of Viktor Orban who is in the same EPP group as her, is very damning of the center-right’s tolerance of ruffians, Russian tools, and lunatics.

So, I have a dream within a dream. I have a dream to see Roberta Metsola as a progressive force within the center-right who doesn’t mind taking risks of being open-minded and taking contradictory stances to the conservatives’ political and social views. Europe needs center-right politicians to be bold and forward-thinking instead of ideologues who waste everyone’s time with an order of times long gone.



  1. Dear Mr. Camilleri,
    I trust that this message finds you well.
    I am a 67 year old pensioner from Birgu residing in Gwardamanga.
    I have the privilege and the honour of having heard about Azopardo from Lino Bugeja, who like me hails from Birgu Citta’ Vittoriosa.
    At present I cannot manage to book and pay on line the Euro 10 for a copy of your book ‘Juan Batista Azopardo’. I tried Agenda Books (Miller), but without success. I would be very grateful for your assistance in my procuring a copy of the book for me to collect personally, with your autograph on the 20th October in Senglea.
    Permit me to suggest that you translate the book into Spanish for the benefit of Argentinian and South American nationals.
    Best regards
    Frederick Attard

  2. Mark I relate to much of what you write but there is absolutely nothing in common between Roberta Metsola and Dom Mintoff.

    Mintoff was as you rightfully said a brute and his name is known beyond our shores only as a result of his brinkmanship. His name does not conjure up respect the way Metsola’s does. His arena of power was this 27km rock. You must have been a young man when Mintoff was in power. And I am assuming your family adored him so it is perfectly understandable that you in turn admire him unconditionally. But just like you have seen the light on the Labour Party it perhaps is time to revisit your own emotions on that brute.

    Mintoff sowed the seeds of where we are today. The “minn mhux magħna kontra tagħna”. He thrived on class hatred deepening divisions in our population – portraying himself as the champion of the worker. Whilst in the meantime he enriched himself. Stealing public property for himself. How do you think his daughters have amassed all that wealth? That property portfolio? How do you think his villa l-Għarix was built? How land all over Delimara is possesses by Mintoff loyalists. How do you think that amongst the first shareholders of BOV there were his siblings. How do you think his brother got to occupy a fort as his own and then was compensated to get out. This not to mention all the human rights abuses and violence that happened under his watch. He was a villain. He used the cause of the worker to seize power.

    What is happening today is v2.0. Except now they wear suits and cuff-links and have and are robbing Malta’s assets to such extraordinary heights that Mintoff is like a saint in comparison. The worker is still being used even though there is nothing about the Labour Party that makes it the Partit Tal-Ħaddiema. It thrives on ignorance and fanatacism. And what Joseph Muscat did which Robert Abela is continuing, is widening the circle of those at the trough so as to have more allies and hold on to power.

    No Mintoff did not achieve the heights Roberta Metsola has. Her name conjures up respect. Across the Board even amongst those who are her political foes. She is a strategist. And we need her back in Malta. Most say she’d be mad to do so. And at a personal level perhaps. However as a politician her mission is supposed to be to serve and not just seek personal acclamation. It is about time she served the people to whom she owes her position in Brussels by returning and help guide us out of the mess the Labour Party have once again put us in.

  3. What Metsola needs to do is to step down from the EP and take on the leadership of the PN instead of trying to grab the headlines at the EP, if she really wants to help Malta

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