Front page.
NEWS | Wednesday, 06 August 2008

Mintoff - ten of the best, ten of the worst moments

On Dom Mintoff’s 92nd birthday anniversary, MaltaToday salutes the fiery former Labour prime minister with a reminder of Il-Perit’s 10 moments of glory and his 10 moments of shame

10 moments of glory

1947 As Dr Boffa’s public works minister, and an up-and-coming architect, he was engaged in reconstruction and slum demolition in Cottonera.

1959 Mintoff envisions Malta’s future as a neutral member in the European Union when proposing his vision for Malta as a ‘Switzerland in the Mediterranean’ in an article entitled A New Plan for Malta, penned for the New Statesman in 1959.

1962-1971 51,000 “soldiers of steel” still vote for MLP in the general elections despite the Church’s imposition of mortal sin. In 1971, Mintoff wins by a slim one-seat majority in parliament after the Church lifts its imposition of mortal sin on Labourites in 1969.

1972 After nine months of negotiations with Britain, Mintoff finally signs an agreement extending for another seven years Britain’s right to use Malta as a naval base. Mintoff did not get the $72 million in annual rent he originally demanded, but he did get a handsome $36.4 million – about three times what Malta received before Mintoff started setting deadlines for British withdrawal.

1973 Mintoff’s first government decriminalises homosexuality.

1974 Malta ditches British monarchy to become a republic – a move also supported by most Nationalist MPs. The non-partisan former British governor Sir Anthony Mamo is appointed President.

1975 Mintoff introduces civil marriage – a measure which for the first time makes a distinction between Church and State.

1979 The introduction of the two-thirds pension scheme, the payment of one-twelfth of a wage or salary per week as a Social Security contribution for entitlement to two-thirds of his pensionable income. In 1980, maternity leave is also introduced.

1979 Closure of the British military base as Malta shifts its fortress economy to new pastures.

1986 Mintoff brokers an agreement between the two parties which enshrines majority rule in the Constitution together with neutrality and non-alignment, thus paving the way for a change in government in 1987.

10 moments of shame

1949 Mintoff splits Labour into two after ousting the moderate Paul Boffa, depriving it of a majority until 1955.

1956 Mintoff pushes for integration with Great Britian despite clear signs that Britian was not even interested. In a referendum, 75% vote ‘Yes’ for integration but the result is questionable due to a boycott by 40% of the electorate in response to concerns raised by opposition parties and by the Catholic Church.

1973 Mintoff nationalises the National Bank of Malta without offering compensation to shareholders.

1970s Mintoff closes the Faculty of Arts, imposing a strictly utilitarian policy on university courses.

1975 Mintoff holds up the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe for 52 days as he stubbornly insists on a special insert on Mediterranean peace and security in the CSCE declaration.

1978 Mintoff tames the General Workers Union by incorporating it within the Labour Party through a statutory fusion, clashing with former union leader Joe Attard Kingswell in the process.

1979 The offices and printing rooms of The Times of Malta are ransacked and set on fire during a spontaneous political rally by MLP supporters following allegations of a failed attempt on Prime Minister’s life in his offices at the Auberge de Castille. Mintoff fails to condemn the violence.

1981 Labour remains in government notwithstanding the fact that 51% of the electorate voted in favour of the PN. The victory is sanctioned due to the supremacy of seats, which is constitutionally legal.

1984 Mintoff handpicks Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici as his successor, depriving his own party of a strong leader as he keeps pulling the strings.

1998 Mintoff denies Alfred Sant a majority in parliament on the Cottonera yacht marina motion, paving the way for Nationalist re-election and the re-activation of Malta’s EU membership application, which he would later campaign against.

Any comments?
If you wish your comments to be published in our Letters pages please click button below.
Please write a contact number and a postal address where you may be contacted.




MaltaToday News
06 August 2008

The albatross around Joseph Muscat's neck

‘I won't work with him'
Michael Falzon draws the line

Re-electing a loser!

One step forward,
two steps back

PN, AD congratulate MLP administration

Jason Azzopardi for Spain Expo

Shipyard talks fail, government issues retirement schemes today

Tuna expert disputes Malta export figures

Karl Chircop in ‘deep coma’

TVM and One TV lead audience survey

Precarity on the upturn, labour market data shows

AD congratulates government on positive Mideast message

Ratification of Malta-Greece double tax agreement

Bupa insurance ‘cut’ would be ‘theft’ - Frank Portelli

Dockyard blues: spotting the bully

Mintoff - ten of the best, ten of the worst moments

Was foreign tuna passed off as Maltese exports?

Copyright © MediaToday Co. Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 9016, Malta, Europe
Managing editor Saviour Balzan | Tel. ++356 21382741 | Fax: ++356 21385075 | Email