With political tribalism embedded so deeply in Malta, Catherine Halpin truly believes that education is the only way out.
She was taking part on this morning’s episode of The Boardroom, which discussed a long-term plan for Malta. Ms Halpin is an engineer by profession with a background in energy generation, construction and major capital projects.
She is CEO of The Quad Business Towers, a major development by Tumas and Gasan Groups, being touted as a “true-next generation office development”, and formerly served as the Commercial Director of ElectroGas Malta.
“Malta is a small country with a lot of talent and agility,” she remarked of the country she decided to call home six years ago.
Ms Halpin stressed that a line in the sand needs to be drawn, where “politicians say we are going to be transparent, and we are going to empower people to be independent, free thinkers”.
She acknowledged that because of the size of the island and inherent familiarity, it will always be tougher. “Nowhere is perfect, and in Ireland we are having the same conversations, just in different accents,” she quipped.
“It is not a unique problem here, but it is magnified by the two-party syndrome.”
Ms Halpin is also taking part in an initiative called 40under40, which brings together 40 industry leaders under 40 years old to define a long-term vision for the country that places wellbeing at the centre.
When discussing the future of Malta, Ms Halpin said that for her, “failure would be the continuation of this tribal-style politics. What will Malta look like in 30 years if we don’t take positive steps? It would be dirty, with little to no fish, and ultimately fewer tourists. I think the country would have shot itself in the foot”.