The Natalis Notabilis Committee, organisers of an enchanting annual Christmas Village held in the heart of the picturesque Rabat, is the latest victim to suffer the wrath of inflation.

In a public statement, the committee wrote that to organise the largest Christmas Village in Malta, “with a specific set-up and one sole aim to be reached, which is to make profit to distribute to various charitable entities and to conserve and preserve our Maltese Heritage,” costs “tens of thousands of euro”.

“Following the absence of the last two years due to COVID, and what is happening in Eastern Europe now, we are finding it difficult, almost impossible, to find financial backup from the usual sponsor partners and from any of the authorities.”

A look at the last event it held in 2019 shows several sponsors: V&C Group, Kinnie, Maypole, Busy Bee, Centrepac, Bottegin Palazzo Xara and even the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry.

This year, owing to a release of post-pandemic pent up demand and chaos across shipping routes, as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine wreaking havoc on international markets, inflation has taken its toll on businesses and consumers alike. Essential food items, raw materials, and a wide range of hard-to-do-without items have ballooned in price, more so for a small island nation like Malta that is cut off from the rest of Europe.

Together with a worker shortage putting pressure on wages, with employers left with no choice but to increase wages if they want to retain staff and hire new employees, who are scarce right now, there is less funding available for non-essential expenditure, such as the sponsoring of a Christmas Village and other charitable projects.

Writing to the public, the Natalis Notabilis committee shared:

“We were promised funding which never materialised and therefore the event is not feasible to organise and eventually make ends meet. We agreed that the burden of the costs cannot go neither on the participants nor on us the volunteers.

“Unfortunately, the decision of all the Committee members due to the financial commitments of an event like ours bring, is that we do not want to organise something not up to the standards we are used to and therefore Natalis Notabilis Christmas Village will not be organised for the time being.

“We apologise to the hundreds of messages we are receiving on our page, which we didn’t reply back for the reason that the decision was not taken lightly.

“We are still here, working on new ideas and we promise that when the time comes, it is going to be the best experience ever. We are even here to meet anyone who is ready to help us and support us financially and even with other ideas so that our dream will be achieved again soon.”

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