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  • SideStreet Malta

MEET THE CANDIDATES: 10 Questions With Michael Farrugia

SideStreet Malta sits down with the honourable minister Michael Farrugia 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?

I was born in Malta. Parents, both of them Maltese, and I always tried my utmost to present my country at the forefront of different international fora. I am proud of it because we were always respected.

Q2: In the next couple of years, which social issue merits more of our time and attention?

I think there are a number of social issues with regards to equality, liberty. They should be on the agenda and to be discussed even further, some of the things which may be sometimes we try to escape from. For example, more impact with regards to IVF and the possibilities of a number of initiatives with regards to IVF and also to discuss the issue of abortion, which is neither black or white. I think we should discuss seriously even from the medical aspect the issue of abortion.

Q3: What has been your most memorable moment in politics so far?

Doing the best for the people, I think in general. There were a number of initiatives which I have taken in my ministerial roles If I had to mention it's the 23rd September 2019 when together with the ministers for the interior of Germany, France, Italy, Malta of course, and the commissioner for Interior together with the Finnish ministers for the Interior. We had a discussion at San Angelo where together we came forth with the first project on the way forward with regards to the migration in Europe. Unfortunately, I had an accident after a few days and I couldn't travel to Brussels to give a synopsis of the agreement. And unfortunately, I lost that opportunity, but I think it was a step forward.

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?

Stephen Spiteri. It's not the first time that we went out together. We talk about anything except politics.

Q5: What is your ultimate comfort food?

I'm a chocoholic, and I have to admit, I try to avoid as much as possible eating any chocolate because the moment I touch one piece, unfortunately, I have the whole lot.

Q6: What did you learn about yourself over the course of the pandemic?

I tried as much as possible to come to the office. It was challenging, but I realized that the issue, especially with regards to the elderly, the way they suffer, especially psychologically, and their need to take a number of initiatives with regards to the elderly, at least so that their state of mind is kept to the optimum. Interviewer: You actually experienced COVID yourself. What was that like?

It was a bit of a scare. I was already vaccinated. It was a Sunday, I was in Gozo. I traveled back to Malta. I decided to go to have a test because I had a bit of a cough. Monday, it was terrible, hardly breathing properly. Oxygen saturation came down. I called the head of pathology who told me, "Tomorrow come for the investigation, for the necessary tests. I did go the following morning. They went ahead. They tested me. The lungs were not that clear. Chest X-ray was not clear. I was rushed to do a CT scan and it was clear. After a few days, I got back home. It was tiring. In the afternoon, I still worked. I don't know how to stop, but after about ten days I was 100% normal and eventually I carried.

Q7: Describe the last time you felt embarrassed and why?

A home visit. I thought the person in front of me was liking the way I was talking, after half an hour and I said, okay, now this is the one he told me. Okay. "Thank you very much lawyer, Farrugia." I'm a doctor. No, but you are Anglu Farrugia, not Michael Farrugia. And it was very difficult to convince the person that to vote for me and not for Anglu.

Q8: What do you think your 18 year-old self would think of you now?

I would rather have had all this experience and still be 18. I think if I look at myself at the age of 18, I wouldn't change anything. I am a person who is progressive by nature, liberal am I look forward. I still have a vision. I still have all the energy. I think I wouldn't change anything really.

Q9: Which foreign leader do you admire and why?

If I had to look at the person I think it's the person leading WHO It was a big challenge last two years and during the pandemic, and I think he took the right decisions and instigated the necessary decisions supposed to be taken by all leaders throughout the world.

Q10: Why should anybody get into politics and why have you always found the Labour party to be your natural home?

You have two options either to put pressure from the outside or else go into politics and deliver. I decided to take the second option and I'm not sorry for taking that decision. I chose labour because in labour I see the party which is progressive, which is liberal which is closer to my beliefs, and that together we can bring change.

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