Monday

22nd Apr 2019

Malta decides on EU membership

A month after the contested result of the referendum on EU membership, the people of Malta will go to the polls again tomorrow, Saturday, to vote in the general election - a result which will bind whether Malta joins the EU or not in the next enlargement.

The Opposition and Labour leader Alfred Sant has stated that if he wins the next election, he will not sign the Accession Treaty in Athens a few days later, on the 16 April.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

He said that as from next Monday, the new Labour government will be ready to go to Brussels to negotiate a partnership with the EU.

Alfred Sant also said that after he negotiates the European Partnership agreement, he will then ask the electorate to choose between this agreement and full membership in a referendum. The EU door will be left open, Mr Sant claimed.

Referendum on 8 March

The result of the referendum on EU membership held on 8 March brought a narrow majority to the yes side, but was contested by the Labour Party which said that less than half of the electorate voted yes.

In two separate mass meetings last night, the Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami and Alfred Sant broke out in tirades against each other.

"The EU is the only subject they [government] talk about whereas we will be giving importance to other issues in the country, like the children's future, health and senior citizens," Alfred Sant said on Thursday.

"We don't need to be part of something big. The Maltese are capable enough and we will build on our strength."

Malta's place is in the EU

Eddie Fenech Adami on the other hand said Malta will lose its "credibility" if Mr Sant does not respect the result of the referendum and sign the Accession Treaty next week.

"Malta's place is in the EU", he said. "Outside the EU there will only be stagnation. The Malta Labour Party is not presenting itself as a serious alternative government. The two month tax exemption it is proposing will not help the economy get back on its feet" the Prime Minister said.

The Labour Party proposed that if it won the election, self-employed and workers earning up to 25,000 euro a year will be exempted from paying income tax in the first two months, whilst for farmers and fishermen the same exemption would be from five to ten years.

The pro-EU small Green Party, Alternattiva Demokratika, aimed part of its campaign to Labour party supporters who are in favour of EU membership.

Tensions mount over Kosovo-Serbia deal

Serbia will never recognise Kosovo, Serbia's foreign minister has said, as the Western Balkans heads into a new period of turbulence.

Opinion

EU should brace for a more authoritarian Erdogan

The new blend of religious nationalism will be more anti-West and anti-EU, as Brussels has anything but leverage on Turkey. The first signs of this strong rhetoric are already visible.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us