Let's stop deluding ourselves about Malta's tezori

Published: July 13, 2010 at 3:42pm

What was that the prime minister said to reporters outside parliament the other day, when asked about divorce? Ah yes, ‘ghandna tezor hawn Malta‘ – by which he meant the family and the absence of divorce.

I guess the absence of divorce failed to prevent this lamentable situation, one of so very many.

If we are going to get anywhere soon, the first thing we must do is drop the self-deception and see things as they really are.

What shapes the nature of the Maltese family is not marriage or the absence of divorce but the tiny size of the country. Family members have no choice but to live within minutes of each other, even if they don’t want to – like this man who lives in a garage in his estranged wife’s garden.

The Times, Thursday, 8th July 2010
Husband jailed for a month for threatening wife

A 40-year-old man from Gudja was today jailed for a month after being found guilty of breaching the conditions of a previous court sentence and threatening his wife.

Inspector Arthur Mercieca said that on Wednesday morning, the man’s wife called him to say that her estranged husband was banging on the door of her house and threatening her. He explained that a court had previously ordered the accused not to go to the matrimonial home, although he lives in a garage which is accessible from the house through a garden.

He said that the accused was allowed to see the children one day every week. The husband and wife, he said, communicated through one of their daughters, a nine-year-old.

Last Wednesday the wife prepared the children to go swimming and sent them to see their father in the garage. He sent them back with a message that he could not keep them for the whole day but only till 2 p.m.

The wife then alleged that he went to the house and started banging on the door and on a window. He also threatened and insulted her.

She called the police. The inspector said this was not the first time that the accused had ignored court orders.

The accused told the court that when he sent the children back, his wife did not let them in. They were locked out and started crying. That, he said, was what led him to go to the house.

He denied having caused damage.

Magistrate Miriam Hayman said the accused should have been more mature than to send messages to his wife through a nine-year-old girl, and he should have called the police instead of reacting in this manner.

The accused was then jailed for a month.