Norman Aquilina

Farsons Group CEO Norman Aquilina has taken the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD) to task, saying he feels “disillusioned” by the advisory council:

“Rather than taking the opportunity of being a guiding protagonist during a telling moment, this ‘advisory council’ has come across more like a spectator,” he wrote to his online network.

His comments come after the MCESD held an “urgent meeting”, at the behest of The Malta Chamber to address major concerns about the country and how its challenges are handled. It was called after Malta experienced severe and widespread power cuts over several days in the wake of a heatwave that drove up demand late in July.

Mr Aquilina, in his assessment of the meeting, derided the way the important discussion was approached, saying that it was treated as an “a la carte menu by the host”, adding that the “’satisfaction’ expressed following the meeting [left] a lot to be desired”.

The CEO called for all social partners forming part of the advisory council to move away from “this glorified talking shop ‘structure’”.

“How? For starters, Government needs to give a stronger endorsement to this council, duly respecting its autonomy in setting its own agenda, giving full consideration to its deliberations.

“Beyond this, we need broader leadership that is ready to work on meaningful change, with less visionary talk and more actionable tasks.”

To achieve this, Mr Aquilina calls for a “coherent voice” reached through a stronger collaborative council and business platform, “which is ready to rise to the occasion, placing our national interest ahead of any competing institutional distractions. As challenging as this may sound, this is where true leadership comes to play”.

“We need concerted leadership which is more strategically focused, well placed and proactive, which can effectively challenge and stand up for what is right and what is wrong, rising well above any political debate or pressure.

“We need less talking and more walking if we want to arrive at the desired destination, otherwise, we risk staying perpetually seated discussing what route to take, yet going nowhere!”

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