Photo: Pierre Sammut / DOI
The Mail On Sunday (www.dailymail.com) has published a story about Malta’s crucial role in the Brexit negotiations despite our country’s size. The piece plays on Malta’s colonial history, pitting the islands and the UK against each other in a fantasy colonial revenge story.
“Meet the Maltese former radio journalist who’s holding Britain hostage,” says the writer describing Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in an article outlining Malta’s role in the Brexit negotiations.
In almost every second sentence the scale and purported insignificance of Malta is pointed out, but conversely is described as the nation that “holds the destiny” of the UK in its hands.
“thanks to Brexit, Malta can hold its former colonial master hostage”
“In a strange twist of fate this insignificant nation currently holds the rotating Europe presidency, placing its leader at the core of discussions over our future,” the writer says. “Our terms of departure from the EU, our trade deals, our rights and our freedoms depend on winning agreement from the Maltese, the Cypriots, Croats, Czechs and all the EU crowd.”
The writer explains that despite being the smallest nation in the EU, Malta stands to gain a lot from Britain’s exit, and that Muscat is calling for treatment similar in sentiment to what Greece received when it sought a bailout.
“It is ruled by a government stained by swirling corruption rumours. And its entire economy is more than 20 times smaller than Britain’s single biggest firm”
Aside from its strategic Brexit position, the writer describes Malta as a country run by a government “stained by swirling corruption rumours”, yet with “a thriving economy” – unlike some other European states.
Maltese readers’ reactions to the colonial throwback has been mostly critical.
You can read the full Daily Mail article here.