Let’s have a referendum - Michael Briguglio

Malta Today 6 January 2008


Zminijietna - Voice of the Left is calling on all Maltese political parties and civil society organisations to start a national debate on the need of a referendum for the EU Treaty.
The process for a referendum in Malta on the EU Treaty will enable the Maltese public to discuss and decide upon such a fundamental issue that forms part of everyday democracy. It is shameful that the Nationalist and Labour Parties are not discussing the need for such a referendum. The same can be said as regards various opinionists and civil society organisations who had campaigned for a referendum upon Malta’s accession to the EU.

On the other hand, Zminijietna welcomes the fact that Alternattiva Demokratika, Azzjoni Nazzjonali, Campaign for National Independence, Labour MEP John Attard Montalto and Nationalist MEP Simon Busuttil have spoken about the need for the public to decide on this issue.

However, we do not agree with AD on the need for a single European-wide referendum. We believe that each member state is to hold its own referendum, as each member state entered the EU as an individual country.

The attempt by the EU Commission and various national governments – including Malta’s – to stifle debate is unacceptable and is a profound disrespect for democracy and for the verdict expressed by the French and Dutch peoples in the 2005 referendums which rejected the proposed EU Constitution.

The cryptic words of Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who was the architect of the EU Constitution (and who visited Malta a few days ago) show a profound disrespect for democracy. In an open letter to Le Monde and a few other European newspapers a few weeks ago, he said that the EU’s new treaty is the same as the rejected constitution and that it is only the format that has been changed, in order that referendums may be avoided.

Zminijietna – Voice of the Left is supporting various campaigns within the EU for a referendum on the Treaty, and urged those in favour of a referendum to sign the petition at http://x09.eu. More info on Zminijietna’s stance can be obtained at www.zminijietna.org.

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