Judiciary not above the law - George Abela
President George Abela emphasised the fundamental values which society and particularly those in high office should adhere to, in his traditional Christmas Eve speech.
"A changing society holds to certain fundamental values; loyalty, honesty, respect and integrity. Every ciitizen should respect these values and behave accordingly, whether in his private and professional life. Society expects, from persons who occupy public office at the highest levels, a special respect for these values. Among these are the members of the judiciary," the President stated.
"The events of these last days have cast a shadow on the judiciary and the administration of justice. I can say without hesitation that I too was shocked and dismayed by allegations which were made public, but I have certainly not lost my faith in the Bench, the absolute majority of whome excercise their functions with exemplary honesty and integrity. I am comforted that our country has an effective system to ensure that no-one is above the law," he added.
President Abela explained how no reform can absolutely guarantee the integrity of public officials and that this guarantee can only be given by the person himself, to behave according to the highest moral and ethical values.
The new year will see general elections as parliament will be dissolved on January 7, 2013. The president spoke on the importance for respect of the opinion of others, which is at the base of a healthy democracy.
He thanked all those who contributed to the Malta Community Chestfund and spoke of the importance of solidarity between generations and the contributions to the voluntary sector.
This was the President's fourth Christmas message to the islands. "For many of us the end of the year is a time of reflection on the year that passed and the year which is about to begin," he added.
He said that for the New Year, we must be prepared for new economic developments which can occur in the EU and global markets. "I am confident that with national unity we can overcome such problems".
He referred to 2011, which was charecterised by the divorce debate, where as the past year saw a focus on the regulation of IVF and protection of the fetus. The debate on this subject showed that Malta as a nation, still held fast to basic ethical principles and in particular to that of the protection of the dignity of human life from conception to a natural death.
On behalf of himself and his wife he wished the Maltese people a Merry Christmas.