Prime Minister reflects on Dom Mintoff and the Labour Party during Freedom Day speech

"The Labour Party never had an easy life - but it always delivered," he said

Photo: Partit Laburista
Photo: Partit Laburista

Civil liberties, social reforms, and Dom Mintoff's role in gaining independence took centre stage during the Prime Minister's Freedom Day speech. 

"The Labour Party never had an easy life - but it always delivered," Robert Abela said. "Dom Mintoff and the Labour Party faced a storm against all those who didn't want to let go from power."

He mentioned that Mintoff had started writing about freedom and independence from British colonialism in January 1959, 20 years before the last of the British troops and Royal Navy withdrew from Malta.

"With power, we're now living this dream."

Abela went on to contemplate liberation, and what that means in 21st century Malta. 

"For us, liberation means decreasing poverty, as we've done from 2013," he said. "As the Labour Party statute says, the success of society is measured by the situation of its least fortunate."

Abela used this as the rationale behind investing in jobs and the economy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. "We invested millions of euro to save 100,000 jobs, and at the same time we didn't stop to think about those who might be facing difficult situations."

He said that this was the reason government moved forward with the pre-1995 rent reform.

"Is it not a form of liberation to have peace of mind and a roof above your head, without threats that someone will kick you out from one day to another?"

Abela further committed to implement further reforms to tackle prejudice and inequality, noting the parliamentary reform that will see gender quotas come into force. 

"“Above all, freedom is the peace of mind that institutions are working with independence and full impartiality," he said.