Joseph Muscat to campaign 'personally' on divorce, but no party effort

Joseph Muscat will campaign personally but "not as Opposition leader" in calling for yes vote in divorce referendum.

The Opposition leader said he will be campaigning to show why Malta needs divorce. “I will be doing this as Joseph and not as the leader of the PL."

Muscat also announced that next Wednesday, the PL will present a motion in parliament calling for new measures to safeguard the family structure.

Muscat said the issue of divorce goes a step further: “We are discussing tolerance. What right does a person have to interfere with the happiness of another person?” he asked.

Muscat also criticised the cohabitation law, stating that without the divorce law “it would be an attempt to cover things up with hypocrisy”. He also added that, whatever the referendum result will be, he will bow his head to what the Maltese want.

“I am not going to change my stand, but in Parliament I will see that what people want, people get.”

He also criticised those who tried to confuse minds by mixing divorce and abortion issues together. “The PL is against abortion, full stop,” he said.

Asked by journalist Charmaine Craus whether this means that the Prime Minister is losing his trust, Muscat said this is not an issue whether the Labour Party should blow its own trumpet or not.

“What we did shows our responsibility towards the Maltese. We weren’t running after a victory of numbers or waiting to shout that the Prime Minister has lost a vote,” Muscat said. “Our aim was for the Labour parliamentary group, with a free vote, to be together against the Prime Minister’s aim not to pass the referendum motion.”

Muscat reiterated that Gonzi’s vote against the motion only meant he was against the electorate voicing its opinion on the issue.

“People are not going to be asked to vote against any type of divorce: we are calling for a particular type of divorce, a responsible one,” he said.

Arguing for the yes vote, Muscat said divorce safeguards children born in the second family, since to date, only the first marriage guarantees maintenance.  Muscat added that with or without divorce, families will still break down.

Muscat said children will always suffer, whether it being an annulment, separation or divorce. “Divorce simply recognises the state of fact that a marriage has ended, on contrary to annulment which sees marriage as never happened,” he said.

On Libya, Muscat said Malta should follow the "cautious path it has undertaken so far... We should only respect the United Nation’s resolution, while insisting that Malta’s role is not to serve as a military base. Malta should continue to be the humanitarian hub it has been so far.”

Muscat added that following the latest events in Libya, Maltese should appreciate the cautious stand taken so far. On the economic impact which the crisis might have on Malta, Muscat said government should be present to aid those impacted: “Government cannot be the ‘big brother’, but at the same time it cannot shake off its responsibility and let companies and independent workers suffer alone.”

Recalling the humanitarian aid which Malta has given so far, Muscat said in case of  an immigration influx, EU member states should reciprocate the solidarity shown by the island and share the burden.

“By rights I expect them to show the solidarity we have shown with other European countries. This is going to be Europe’s solidarity test,” he said.

On Air Malta, Muscat said he was glad that government has withdrawn his insistency for the signing of the non-disclosure agreement. “This week, our experts have started looking into the plan being designed,” he said.

But Muscat also said he still does not trust the Prime Minister with his decisions: “Government’s track record on its negotiations with the EU and how it implements them is not satisfactory,” he said. Referring to the Marsa power station, Muscat said government has spent these last 25 years saying he was going to shut it down. “And yet here we are again with the Prime Minister asking the EU to extend the power station’s operation once again,” he said, adding Malta does not yet know whether the EU will accept or not.

“If the EU does not accept, we will be faced with large fines.”

Muscat also said that in the last year, government had all the time in the world to redeploy workers at the Marsa power station into other sectors of Enemalta and safeguard their jobs.

Tolerance is of the most importance! Cause as I said before,"Today can be me or you, Tomorrow can be our children, The day after can be our grandchildren". Unfortunatley! For example ,just an example same social problems, In the old times if a teenage girl came pregnant was like , like a thunder in blue sky , every body like astonished and Bla bla bla.don't get me wrong, cause that is still a worrying thing. all i am saying is that these days its so common. So like the seperation thing , unfortunatley it's so common that almost all families have someone . bro sister son daughter niece nephew etc.. The PN made the worst ever things by decalring they are against divorce . Separation of maltese citizens, well it all begin I admit in the 60's ,altough in the 80's , Iwas PN supporter(with Tessera) by seperation of the maltese people. when the church hand in hand with the PN seperated and seeded the seeds of hate by saying the labour supporters to the left the PN supporters to the right. Cause personally i don't belive in a hell or heaven. And now again the PN are again seperating ppl. This time it is 2011 and the hate between the maltese wil be much more. To ALL MPs "I THINK THAT EVERY MALTESE CITIZEN HAS THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE HOW HE OR SHE LIVES!" AND YES , NO MP CAN EVER TELL ME , HOW TO LIVE MY LIFE ! RESIST OR SERVE!