Sunday

26th Jan 2020

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.

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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.

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