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Spiteri, Lino

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Times of Malta - Malta | 23/09/2007

Maltese Independence Day celebrated by nationalists

Columnist Lino Spiteri reflects on Maltese Independence Day celebrated on September 21st. "Over here Independence Day is a synonym for division and partisanship. When Nationalist Leader Dr George Borg Olivier led Malta to independence in 1964 the early reaction of his main opponent, Opposition Leader Dom Mintoff, was that the day had its significance, in allowing the people to decide for themselves. Not long after, that single positive note was loaded with heavy Labour scorn - Malta's independence was not for real, since the island remained tied to Britain with a defence agreement, which allowed the former colonial power to keep and maintain a full-blown military base here. From the start, therefore, Independence Day was celebrated by the Nationalists alone. They do that in as partisan a manner as possible. The programme of 'celebrations' for this year, was no different."

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