MEET THE CANDIDATES: 10 Questions With Dr. Joe Giglio
Updated: Mar 25
SideStreet Malta sits down with PN candidate Dr. Joe Giglio before the 2022 general election to ask 10 questions as part of our 'Meet the Candidates' series.
Q1: What makes you proud to be Maltese?
Oh, my God. So many things make me proud to be Maltese. Our country, our history, our heritage. Our history particularly. I mean, we are a small country who has gone through so many difficult times. And notwithstanding, we have always stood our heads up high and we've gone forward, we're part of the European Union. We are also a country with besides a rich history, we have a cultural heritage which I enjoy, which I love. We're a safe country. Well, perhaps what I see is that traveling becomes a bit difficult, because we always have to essentially go by planes when we wish to go abroad. But I'm very proud to be Maltese.
Q2: In the next couple of years, which social issue merits more of our time and attention?
Cost of living, cost of property, especially as far as our youths are concerned, wages, which are decent wages and which give to each and every one of us the possibility to have a decent living. In fact, one of the proposals, the nationalist party is putting forward to help first time buyers is in actual fact giving them a loan which is interest free, which they pay over a period of 30 years. And so far as a deposit of the purchase of the property is concerned, these are worrying, cost of living, costs of property going up so we need more affordable housing for our younger generation that's something which you have to address. Another thing that we have to address also in my opinion is how we're going to be controlling and tackling our environment. We have a lot of environmental issues which we need to address. I wish that we have, for example, as far as our seas are concerned, all our beaches, should have a blue flag status their state of cleanliness is such that they are top notch air pollution, noise pollution, light pollution, the general quality of our air. These are things we have to address.
Q3: What has been your most memorable moment in politics so far?
Well, I'm new to politics. I have just submitted my candidature last year, so I have been nominated as a candidate during the last year. So I still want to find the memorable moments in politics, what I wish to be, what I consider to be a memorable moment. However, if you ask me that just from day one, I always said that I really wish that in this country we started discussing our economic success and gauging economic success no longer by surplus or deficit, but rather by the quality of life that we live. What do I mean by quality of life? Let's get ten factors and say, listen, these are the factors that we wish would be the factors which denote whether we are having the quality of life. I don't know how many students go to university. Longevity, the air that we breathe, the rate of pollution, decent wages. And I think a memorable moment is that today both the nationalist party and the Labour Party are emphasising more this notion of quality of life. I'm happy that I was one of the very first to have come out to this.
Q4: If you had to go for a beer with a member of the rival party, who would it be
and what would you talk about?
Well, probably I would go for a beer with work colleague of mine we are partners for a very long time. José Herrera I'd have a beer with him wholeheartedly, and we would discuss all the experiences that we had together, a great time together, great work experiences. It's always lovely to sit down and discuss what various experiences that we had.
Q5: What is your ultimate comfort food?
Well, ultimate comfort food is very simply a nice plate of Ġbejniet sun dried tomatoes, some olive, some capers, some anchovies, a nice glass of wine. Very simple, very easy. Not too complicated. It's definitely my comfort food.
Q6: What did you learn about yourself over the course of the pandemic?
Well, I learned that you have to have a lot of patience. I learned that at that time you have to really look after our health. You have to always strive to be as fit as possible. I also learned that sometimes we live I at least, used to live a very rushed life and with the fact that because of COVID we had restrictions and we spent more time at home, I realised that the beauty of being at home, the beauty of enjoying your family, the beauty of enjoying your home, is something which is relevant. So what I learned is that I don't really think we should be living such rushed lives. Life is too short. Life is too beautiful. Let's enjoy it.
Q7: Describe the last time you felt embarrassed and why?
On my campaigning, I make it a point to avoid alcohol wherever you go. Everybody wants to offer you a whiskey. Everybody wants to offer you wine. And it's impossible to be drinking whiskey from 9 o'clock in the morning by the end of it. You wouldn't even know what you're saying. So to all the people who offer me alcohol or tell me "What can I get you?" "What can I give you?" "What do we want?" "No, thank you very much". "You know what, I badly need a glass of water". So the conversation always goes immediately to a glass of water. I'm telling them that I'm a bit dry here. I need a glass of water. So I'm always drinking water, basically. And then when you drink so much water, clearly the consequences are, what? The obvious, no? And then at one point. I remember I had my bladder which was going to explode. I went knocking on a door. They were people I know, they opened the door and I told them, Hello. Hello. How Nice. You came to do a house visit I told yes I came to do a house visit But I really badly need your toilet. Then I just ran into the house asking them "Where is it?", because I was feeling that I'm going to cause a little bit of a problem. Okay. Obviously when I came out of the toilet was the most embarrassing because I just realised what I had done and I had greeted myself with this with this particular family.
Q8: What do you think your 18 year-old self would think of you now?
Well, no idea. I have no idea. Never really aspire to be into politics. I took my 18 year old self would have wanted to become a footballer. Strangely I went into politics I don't know what to say. I'd love to know, but I can't get it.
If you could give your 18 year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
That throughout your life the most important values are the values of working hard,
being professional in all you do. Doing whatever you have to do with a sense of responsibility, but ultimately you should always find a right balance between work and play. I repeat, life is short, but it's beautiful and it's important that we enjoy it and live it to the full.
Q9: Which foreign leader do you admire and why?
Well, that's Mahatma Gandhi for sure. Mahatma Gandhi taught us that you can fight great battles by using the logic of persuasion without resorting to any tribalism or violence. He was a great man. I admire him a lot.
Q10: If you were to be elected, what's the first thing you'll do?
I think if I were to be elected, the first thing I will do is address the issues that I discussed before, which is the issue of cost of living, the issue of environment or the issue of affordable housing for our youth and for our future generations. These are very important. They are headaches for all of us. I would also like to address our education system. I wish our education system not to be so much exam oriented, but rather focus more on such other topics which are relevant in the formation of all of us. Public speaking, a greater impact on the relevance of sports and of extracurricular activities. These are issues which I like, which I enjoy. Which I would definitely be addressing if I have to be elected.