Defender of the bond | Beppe Fenech Adami

Beppe Fenech Adami, MP, is adamant that the divorce bill before Parliament is ‘sugar-coated’, and that he will oppose the legislation regardless how the referendum goes.

He carries the weight of his father’s aura, and prides himself to be an echo of those same principles and values he was brought up to not only believe in, but also to defend.

Second-born son to PN grandee Eddie Fenech Adami, 42 year-old Beppe, who was elected to Parliament in 2008, considers divorce as one of the “biggest decisions” to be taken by the country in the last 30 years.

Adamantly against the introduction of divorce in Malta, Beppe insists that should the country legislate in favour of divorce, it would “radically change society.”

But why does he think so?

Fenech Adami contends that beyond the religious argument, where marriage is considered an indissoluble institution, it is also becomes a matter for the State, which must ensure the protection of its citizens.

“What we are being asked to legislate is a ‘no fault’ divorce, where anybody can just walk away from a marriage, and obtain a divorce,” he says, adding that the law would practically give a free hand to any man or woman to walk out on his or her spouse, run off with a younger partner and remarry, leaving the first spouse high and dry.

Matters become worse when the first marriage would have borne children who would need to be maintained, and the subsequent marriage that would also bear children would also need maintaining.

“Remarrying would automatically give the new spouse the right to half of her husband’s earnings, besides caring for the children born out of the new family.

“Now consider a situation where the father would have had children from the first marriage, and is obliged by law to maintain them: can you tell me how he will afford this, unless we pass a divorce law that says whoever remarries must double his salary?”

As I try to interrupt him in a bid to explain that separated fathers or mothers who have had children from two relationships are still obliged by law to maintain children, and that the proposed law specifically provides for the protection of children, he insists on what he defined as a “catch” in the proposed bill.

“Don’t be blinded by the icing that coats the pill,” Fenech Adami says, adding that words like “guarantees for maintenance and protection of the children are hypocritical illusions.”

Fenech Adami insists that a normal working man earning €1,000 a month who would obtain a divorce could never afford to maintain a new wife and children.

“It would be absolute madness, because €500 of that salary would now belong to his new wife, then he would have to provide for his new children and also for the children from his previous marriage, and possibly also for his previous wife.

“If you had to ask me what I, as an MP, am being called to legislate, I would reply that this is a recipe for disaster, unless you brand it as ‘the rich man’s divorce’, because only the rich will eventually be able to afford one.”

So doesn’t Fenech Adami think that things would be different with cohabitation?

“Cohabitation exists and is not illegal, whereas divorce is illegal because it does not exist in our laws, so by regulating cohabitation one would simply be recognising certain rights to unmarried couples or persons under the same roof.”

Asked to expand, he says that it is dishonest for anyone to hit out at government over its intentions to present a law on cohabition rather than introduce divorce.

“Cohabition is legal and must be regularised for the benefit of all parties who share the same roof. It could be an unmarried couple, siblings or students or whoever, who would be granted certain rights to protect their interests should something go wrong between them while they live there.”

Fenech Adami however insists that cohabiting couples must never be granted the same rights and obligations as married couples.

I point out that it is specifically for this reason that pro-divorce campaigners insist on the huge difference between regularising cohabitation and legalising divorce.

“Government can never look at regularising cohabitation as some sort of substitute for divorce, as cohabitation is not marriage,” he insists.

On annulment, Fenech Adami states: “I am all for a more reasonable time in obtaining annulments, especially in cases which are straightforward.”

Is that all, however?

“Well, beyond the argument of responsible and prepared couples who enter marriage, the State must ensure that families remain healthy by constantly introducing family-friendly policies.”

Fenech Adami strays from time to time into criticising the opposition, who according to him has been “irresponsible” by simply “playing to the gallery” on the matter.

As he explains that no political party has a mandate to introduce divorce, it was obvious that a referendum must decide the issue.

“So while Joseph Muscat initially expressed himself against a referendum by even stressing that it would be a waste of time and money for the country, he is now insisting on one, conveniently playing an opportunistic game.”

“The worst part of it all is that Labour persists in playing to the gallery and refuses to take a stand on divorce, while conveniently fomenting confusion.”

I take him up on the word ‘confusion’ and refer him to the way the PN is handling the issue.

One week ago the PN’s Executive Committee voted by show of hands to take an anti-divorce stand, while also deciding to hold a referendum after a parliamentary debate.

The decision triggered an immediate reaction from pro-divorce campaigners who stressed that the referendum on divorce risks not being held, as anti-divorce hardliners were preparing to shoot down the bill in parliament.

That same day, Prime Minister and PN leader Lawrence Gonzi stressed during a press conference that he will vote against the bill but “hoped the people would have their say in a referendum.”

But that position changed on Monday, after Gonzi expressed his “readiness” to consider a referendum before a debate in the House, while also going a step further by changing his position on the question to be put to the electorate.

“What did you expect the Prime Minister to do when the Leader of the Opposition, while refusing to take a stand on divorce, starts to change the goalposts?” Fenech Adami asks.

“We are a political party and we must react whenever the goalposts are changed.”

Fenech Adami is of the opinion that the House commands an anti-divorce majority.

This situation poses a critical dilemma for the Prime Minister, who holds a single-seat majority in the House.

MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando has already declared that he will not be giving in to any changes to the bill, and on many other issues related to the divorce debate, including the question to be put to the electorate.

Fenech Adami takes a swipe at his backbench colleague Pullicino Orlando for presenting the bill without consulting the Prime Minister and fellow MPs, while standing by the Prime Minister’s proposal to have the referendum question reduced to a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to divorce.

He claims that the way Labour’s motion has proposed for the questions to be is “biased.”


“Yes, because the questions that Labour proposed for the referendum are not objective, and conveniently highlight the nice parts of the JPO bill, and ignore the perils to our families and society the same bill will bring.”

Fenech Adami adds that the question: ‘do you agree to divorce after four years apart, all avenues for reconciliation have been exhausted while maintenance is guaranteed and children are protected?’ is an “outright biased, unfair and distorted interpretation of the proposed legislation.”

While he insists that Muscat has turned the divorce issue into a political contest whereby he is instigating an anti-Gonzi vote, Fenech Adami says that the electorate is being blinded to the “real threats” behind such legislation.

“I insist that this bill proposes nothing more than a ‘no fault’ divorce, where any spouse can walk out one another and obtain a divorce without the other part even consenting to it.”

Fenech Adami remains unfazed by the fact that Malta remains the only country – except for the Philippines – to resist divorce. “Who cares if we are the last or the only? This is not a competition, but a matter of protecting our society from unnecessary decadence, and increased suffering to those who are already suffering.

“Those who would really benefit from divorce are those few who would find it convenient to probably run off with a younger partner, remarry and cast aside the previous spouse, causing further suffering, not to mention the children.”

So with such a hardline view against the introduction of divorce, Fenech Adami says that he will be making his voice heard during the ‘campaign’ towards the referendum.

“I will make my voice heard and definitely will not sit still, as it is my duty to warn the electorate about the high risks to our society by introducing divorce.”

But in the hypothesis that the majority of the electorate would say yes to the introduction of divorce, what would Fenech Adami do when the bill comes up for debate in the House?

“I will stick to my principles, and let us not forget that what the Labour Party is proposing is a consultative referendum. How can we ever change our fundamental beliefs?” he asks, though he admits that it has now become quite a complicated issue, given that Pullicino Orlando is adamant not to accept any changes that are expected to be pushed through by the hardline anti-divorce faction.

“Yes, it is a problem, and on many fronts it is a big problem! On the one hand it proves the PN right when issuing its resolution (that a parliamentary debate was necessary before the referendum); and on the other, the way things have changed now – should a referendum favour divorce – it would could potentially send the House back to the drawing board.”

The whole issue risks jamming the entire parliamentary process, as Pullicino Orlando persists in standing his ground.

The Prime Minister himself is one of those considered to be adamantly against the introduction of divorce, and should the House approve the bill leaving government without a majority on this ‘big decision’, as previously described, does Fenech Adami forecast a showdown?

“Well, let’s not be too dramatic about it. We’ll cross the bridge when we come to it.

“After all, this is what democracy is all about.”

John Camilleri
Kemm kien ikun ahjar li kieku dan Beppe Fenech Adami ma fetahx halqu fuq zwieg u divorzju. Tejt ghax hu moqdi sew bl-annullamenti tak-knisja? U min gieli ra xi kumment tieghi fuq dan il-sit jaf li mhux qed nitkellem hekk ghax jien xi Laburist (anzi il-kuntrarju).
With people like Beppe representing female constituency on his district, rest assured spouses who are being abused or whose marriages are at wit's end do not need any enemies. But it also proves how much respect and tolerance he has for his spouse and his children if he is willing to defend an annullment that declares marriages never existed denying spousal and children civil rights for support and maintenance. Let's not forget these great crusaders all got fat milking a cow named Malta and are not willing to give up their gains through their responsibilities of a civil law that protects broken marriages especially when your family has been through 3 disastrous matings and 3 convienant annulments.
Some idiots here are stating that unless you have been married you can't have an opinion about divorce. Well that is just fine and dandy. So we can exclued people like that golly wog looking person, Raphael Vassallo, (he really needs a haircut), Fsadni and basically more than half the population. Ludicrous. That is what you get when you deal with peanut eating monkeys.
@Whiteowl What utter rubbish. So, why not allow for the choice for aortion and just let people choose. Veru tal genn gbin, prosit.
falzonsilvio ghalfejn qed jehel l-ispizjar siehbi. Ghidlu l-kelma proprja ghax issa m'ghadniex fi zmien meta kien hemm hafna li tkazaw meta instemghet il-kelma qahba fil-Madonna tac-Coqqa. Jew jekk trid tkun ftit pulit mad-dottore ghalmenu ghidlu "il-kabura" li hija kelma Maltija aktar antika li tfisser l-istess. U mela kulhadd iwahhal fl-ispizjar miskin meta ma jahti xejn.
Karl, Jien ma nafx ghalfejn din il gazzetta trid bilfors tati spazju lill dawn l'ipokriti. Wiehed wiehed jippruvaw min ghalihom jipperswadu lill Maltin u kull wiehed minnhom jergu lura meta l-qarrejja jirribattu. L'ewwel beda missieru ex-president li tant ghandu x'ipatti ghall emilu , wara gie Sur Camilleri crucjat tal Kuria li haseb il mentalita ta Malta reget lura ghall 1950's, w issa twikkejna b' dan id- difensur tar rabta. Tlett minn nies li mghandhomx l'ebda krittu mal poplu Malti ghax kulhadd jaf x'isarfu dawn idifensuri tal fidi fiz zwieg. Forsi Malta titghallem biex nies bhal dawn l'unika raguni li qeghdin f'din il fehma ghax huma obligati. Nies bil villell ta nofs miljun mhumiex sejrin jaqblu ma divorzju ghax inkella l-mara tehodlu nofs il flus, pero favur l'annullament ghax dak jghid liz-zwieg qatt ma kien jezisti w mara w tfal jibqu b';xejn.
I disagree with all mentioned by Fenech Adami the principle here is the choice for a divorce if so needed .The choice has to be an option it does not mean one has to use it ..
I understand the above Fenech Adami has no marital problems of his own and has never been in need of taking the shit to apply for annulment and wait for procedures to start. . . keeping life on hold . . .to be able to start living again. . . that is what divorce is about and not like he is trying to picture it. . . as if all men are going to leave their first wife and run off with a younger one. . !!!!!! Is he assuming that MAltese people have no common sense at all???? Is he assuming that in reality the Maltee people to not believe anymore in the values of church marriage!!!?? Why is he and his fellow parties so afraid that MAlta is going to be turned upside down with divorce!!!??? We are a population of educated (thanks to PN) people and we have had our doors open to the whole EU (thanks to PN). . . well if we were ready to be treated as EU citizens then we are ready to fight for our right . Beacause divorce is the right to start a new leaf in one's life especially when annulment is not possible. . And we should not be hindered from this right. . Then who has been lucky with one's spouse or who wants to stick to one's spouse even if he / makes his/her llife hell . . then it is up to each individual to decide. . NOT YOURS MR. FENECH ADAMI
Dan qieghed fil-Parlament mhux ghax hu xi stilla, imma ghax ghandu kunjomu dak li hu.Mill-argumenti tieghu tinduna xi stoffa hu. Tal-biki. Viva l-Alma Mater u d-dottorati li tohrog bhal pastizzi !. U ma ninsewx li darba ex-ministru Nazzjonalista kien irrefera ghal EFA bhala "demel minn Birkirkara". U darb'ohra, dik li tiddelitta bil-blogs moqzieza u protetta minn fuq, alludiet ghall-istess EFA bhala "Bicca avukat tar-rahal".U lil Beppe nghidulu facli tparla meta tkun fil-pozizzjoni tieghek, imma difficli meta tkun bhalna cittadin komuni. Jista' jghidilna danli jippretendi li hu xi l-istilla, kif tlieta minn familtu akkwistaw l-annullament ?. Biex ma tweggghax lin-nies li jinsabu fi- krizi matrimonjali int l-inqas wiehed li kellek titkellem. Viva d-dinastiji.
Pauline Moran
The problem with Maltese politics is the dynasty of some of these political Maltese families who straddle the legislative, judiciary and executive. Not to mention those appointed to the bench because of their political loyalties.
Beppe says: “What we are being asked to legislate is a ‘no fault’ divorce, where anybody can just walk away from a marriage, and obtain a divorce,” he says, adding that the law would practically give a free hand to any man or woman to walk out on his or her spouse, run off with a younger partner and remarry, leaving the first spouse high and dry." I am sorry Beppe but some people might run off with an older partner. Even one of the same gender! Perhaps this comment reflects more on you than those who leave the marriage. No fault divorce is available in most civilised countries. I mean let's say that one person is at fault and there are a few children of the marriage. What is the point of rehashing the past? How will this rehashing of the past help them develop a civilised attitude towards each other and in the interest of the children? It only aggravates matters. And how will not having divorce legislation stop any one from cohabiting with a younger partner, I ask? No, it is your kind of approach that is not in the best interest of families.
Hypocracy at its very best. Everyone speaks from his own position. I am sure that the Fenech Adamis stand in a strong position to obtain a quick annulment should divorce not be legislated.
I find the arguments of mr fenech adami to be screamingly disturbing and littered with all sorts of abberations I will only take one of the many statements made. Quote Fenech Adami insists that a normal working man earning €1,000 a month who would obtain a divorce could never afford to maintain a new wife and children unquote. What a mentality! so what if his 'new' wife earned 4,000 a month? or does this not cross the person's mind because for him a woman is but a wife keeping a home? What if his first wife ran away with another man and her children and he was not entitled to give her any maintenance? And his 'new' wife held down a job and was of independent means? It is shocking to see what kind of thinking is present in our parliament!
“Cohabitation exists and is not illegal, whereas divorce is illegal because it does not exist in our laws, so by regulating cohabitation one would simply be recognising certain rights to unmarried couples or persons under the same roof.” A chip of the old block when it comes to logic, Plato would have learned a lot from the Fenech Adamis.
Luke Camilleri
What's good for brother goose is not good for the gander..... That is what democracy is all about..... all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others!
Jane Eyre how about some flying plates?
Jane Eyre/DCG continue shedding your crocodile tears. People are commenting here not on your blog. Not that a lot of people comment there because you use different names yourself to make your blog appear popular. But what can anyone expect except a lot of hot air from someone who thinks she is the beginning and the end of everything?
I have a small group of 9 mates. 6 are PN and 3 were PL. Two will vote for PN because of divorce and one does not wnat to talk about it. I see a lot of this in my group of friends. Last weekend we met in Paceville. It seems that people are pissed off with teh confusion that has come on because the PL won't say here or there. I am sure that many more PL votyers wil join the PN ranks on divorce. Maybe not as many as I wish but still, from what I see, it is a start.
Hypocracy is living with a man or a woman who is not your wife or husband. You cannot give your word only to say I did not mean it. I admire men like Beppe and Adrian Vassallo. He is not afraid to voice principles. It is people who stand for something of value that stand out amongts all men. I will vote for conservative PN politicians. i would vote for conservative PL candidates but they make me sick not taking a position on such an important issue. Never agin PL:. Divorce is a line you should never have meddled with.
is-separazzjoni hija trawma fuq kulhadd diga! min ghandu lil xi hadd fil-familja li ghaddha min din l-esperjenza jaf! pero il-bnidem go fih isib il-kuragg , ghax il-bniedem go fih ghandu r-rieda li jghix- wara trawma l-indiviwu kapaci johrog minnha u mit-trawma johrob u jizviluppa hjar (normalment) (jekk ikunu jew sabu l-appogg ta hbieb familjari etc..) bhal ma mix-xewk tohrog l-isbah warda ,hekk ukoll wara -trawma tas-separazzjoni tista tohrog ghal-hajja ferm ahjar. It-tfal l-istess haga .... fl-ahhar mil-ahhar kwazi l-istess -separazzjoni - divorzju u annullamnet- it-tfal il-mara u r=ragel (jghaddu mil-isstes trawma) id-differenza qedha biss- ezempju : 1.separazzjoni matrimonjali - jibqghu mizzewgin jghixu separati, bi tfal maqsumin jew ma genitur wihed.(kull kaz differenti) 2.annullamneti= ikollok provi bizzejjed sabiex turi li z-zwieg ma kienx validu. ezempju omosesswalita , qerq ingann , etc.. 3.divorzju kwazi l-istess bha seperazzjoni - minbarra li min irid mit-tnjen li isseparaw jista jizewweg - manetiment u hell xorta -listess .. il-kbira hi u l-insult tas separati min naha tal-PN -ghax hu fil-gvern ghal dawn is-snin kollha. li jekk ragel telqitu l-mara u marret tghix ma ragel iehor u ghandom t-tfal , dak ir-ragel (l-ewwel wiehed) ghali ligi li ghandna ghadhu mizzeweg lil dik (akka l-mara tieghu dik ehh? u halluna ahjar tidhaq mili tibki. jew bil-knotra eh ir-ragel telaq u mar jghix ma mara ohra etc... dawn it-tnejn ghandom id-dritt li jizzewgu u dawk li gew abbandunati ghandom id-drit li jinhallu min dak iz-zwieg- U halluna dahqux nies akat:)
Dottor Beppe, mhux ahjar tghidilna kif il-familja tieghek ghamiltu biex irnexxilkom tiehdu tliet annullamenti fi zmien qasir biex tkunu tistghu tergghu tizzewgu? X'kumbinazzjoni tliet annullamentyi fl-istess familja!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tkomplux sejrin b'din il-farsa, U morru saqqu l-hass tal-Marsa.
l-izpizjar milli jkolli jaghtik Pepp! Missierek qal l z-zwieg jigi rabta coff! mela zwigijiet ta 3 mit tfal tieghu , li jigu hutek, kumbinazzjoni it-tlieta kellhom dritt ghan null? ostra kbira ta 3 mill-istess familja jiehdu null ehh! dak kienu 3 rabtiet coff eh sur lawrence gonzu u ibnu beppe:) tiskanta hux kif 3 mill-istess familja hadu n-Null! imma kollox sar by the Law hux sur beppe? min jikmanda jaghmel il-ligi hux hekk? hekk hu, mela min jghamel il-ligi jaghmel li jrid ;-) inthom qed tahsbu li in-nies kollha cwiec ghid? komplu bil-awtorita li ghandkom u l-poter la il-maggoranza hekk trid- issa meta jmiss lil dawk li mhux qed jaghtu kaz, imbghad JISTEMBHU sakemm ma jkunx tard wisq! Prevention is better than Cure! RESIST OR SERVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAKE UP MALTA!
Tal moviment LE il hin kollu iddeffsu lit tfal fl-argumenti taghhom. Nixtieq nistaqsi x'differenza taghddi bejn Poggut-separat-annulament u divorzju fejn jidhol il well being tat tfal?
Like Father Like son! ;-) who cares what you do ? I don't !
What a farce....who is he to talk? Why does,nt he look at his family? What reasons doid they have to get annuled....some of us know what they where. Go back to your cage and stay there
Lahqilna iehor anki dan ser jghamilha ta SALVATUR bhal missieru Dr Eddie Fenech Adami Dr Peppe Adamii niskanta meta ghandek 3 HUTEK id divorzjati ghax la hadu l-ANNULLAMENT mil KNISJA dawn hutek jistaw jergaw JIZZEWGU Niskanta ukoll li meta kien presitend missierek kull nhar ta HADD kontu TMORRU IL FAMILJA KOLLHA TAGHKOM U TIEKLU BXEJN MIN FUQ DAHAR IN NIES ghallura qalbek ma tghidlekx li dan ma kellux isir Int la ma ghandekx PROBLEMI bi zwieg tieghek min ghandu il problemi SEWWA li JIBQA IKKAKKRAT sa kemm jigi biex imut Hallina nghixu fil kwiet Peppe
Isabelle Borg
Veru tad-dahk! Dan jaf li biex tiskogra trid tkun pur? Aktar ma titkellmu aktar taqaw fil-hama.
I cannot understand how Beppe Fenech Adami was not capable to convince members of his own familiy not have their marriage NULLED. How does he imagine to convince the public..