In case you were wondering who to thank for your day off, it’s Malta’s former Prime Minister George Borg Olivier, who ushered in Malta’s Independence from the British back in 1964.
Fifty-two years ago, on a glorious summer day, Malta got the keys to her castle. And while most of us celebrated today’s momentous anniversary appropriately by getting zibel on some beach or eating till we pass out, the politicos were out and about pumping their chests for attention.
We followed the news so you didn’t have to, and this is how it all went down.
It all started pretty appropriately. The Times published a replica of its September 21st 1964 edition so people could relive history at home… or at the beach.
It seemed as if this would be just another particularly Instagrammable day.
But the front pages focused on last night’s speech by Simon Busuttil who promised to lead a coalition against corruption.
He was addressing the Nationalist Party’s annual Independenza mass meeting, which is also host to an unintentionally hilarious song contest. This year’s winner was Dario Bezzina with his rather on-the-nose song: Se Naslu Zgur (We’ll definitely get there.)
Independent MP Marlene Farrugia quickly took Simon Busuttil’s lead and confirmed that she would be meeting him to discuss the forming of a coalition against corruption.
“It is time for UNITING for what is RIGHT,” she said on Facebook with too many capital letters.
And it didn’t take long for Archbishop Charles Scicluna to join the party. Addressing a celebratory mass, he too had some harsh words for the gov.
“Governance based on spin, on obscure dealings, and on a constant reticence to allow public scrutiny, irrespective of the myriad laws and the solemn promises, is definitely not good governance. Government based on the Orwellian disregard of the truth will one day implode, whereas transparency and accountability are the values that will make us Maltese truly and rightly proud of our government.”