President Myriam Spiteri Debono’s inauguration address drew praise from both sides of the political divide on Thursday.

Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer, known for his liberal and humanitarian leanings, wrote that "at last" he felt represented by the president.

Writing on Facebook, he said that while he could not listen to all of her address, the five minutes he was able to hear featured themes Malta's politicians never tackled in such a powerful way.

The subject included integration and the love that should be shown to foreigners living within Maltese society; protection for journalists, the fight for justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia and implimentation of the Daphne inquiry recommendations; the need to strengthen the constitution and political representation; and the fight against greed which leads to corruption.

Engerer said he was glad that Malta had a president who said it "as it is", where  "what you see is what you get".

'Courageous speech'

Nationalist MEP David Casa lauded the new president's "courageous speech". He noted her comment that addiction to greed had damaged society as a whole and her call for the implementation of the Daphne inquiry and said her words bode well.

Robert Aquilina, former president of the NGO Repubblika, said he was hopeful  Spiteri Debono is the president the country needed.

“I am sure that with her firm character and integrity, she will be a moral compass for the people of Malta and Gozo,” he wrote on Facebook.

Repubblika issued a separate statement also welcoming the address, saying it reflected its hopes for the presidency.

The group said it appreciated the president’s appeal to heal the open wound of  Caruana Galizia’s murder and to implement the recommendations of the inquiry.

It also welcomed the president’s call for reforms to protect journalism as well as her call for reform of the constitution.

Repubblika said it backed the president’s remarks about using constitutional mechanisms such as the two-thirds voting system in parliament, to lead the political parties to seek consensus. The NGO promised the president its support. 

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