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.

17 Comments Comment

  1. ciccio2010 says:

    Mizuri biex insahhu il-familja:

    1. Get this couple one of those terraced houses with an underlying garage and a swimming pool. While giving the impression of living under one roof, they can remain separated and their children can swim at home. This should keep the bishops (and the Presidenti emeriti) happy.

    2. This estranged husband and wife should be taught how to communicate via the internet (Malta as a centre of IT excellence and the rest…).

    Or else, they can be allowed to do what they would have done had they lived anywhere else: find a lawyer, get divorced, and put their ‘marriage’ to rest once and for all. And let those children grow up in a more stable environment.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Ciccio, lest noffrilek post ta’ konsulent fuq Conjugal ICT Development Policy. 40,000 Euro fis-sena, cash, no questions asked, petrol u mobile imhallas, segretarja (middle-aged) taghmillek il-café. Xi tghid?

      • ciccio2010 says:

        HP, although, prima facie, the salary you offer is not competitive enough – for instance, it is not better than Marisa Micallef Leyson’s, who holds a job at the Centru Nazzjonali – I must admit that the perks you have thrown in, including the coffee, tip the balance in your favour. After all, Marisa’s job is just a “functionaire.” You’re offering something better.

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        Imma jien noffri vue imprenable sur le grand port de Malte. U upgrade minn consultant ghal CEO, bil-licenzja li tibbulxittja lill-folol ghall-bqija ta’ hajtek.

      • ciccio2010 says:

        HP, thanks so much. I prefer to keep my current humble job of consultant on “mizuri biex insahhu il-familja.” After all, there is a good chance I will get a call from the Prime Minister to advise him on this, and in Castille, I still get a view of the harbour. And if I prove to be a good car, I may get a salary of up to 90K+.

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        Inheggek taccetta, Ciccio, ghax next in line hemm wiehed li l-Graf Zeppelin jghir ghalih tant huwa gasbag.

      • ciccio2010 says:

        HP, why, do you find my comments boring?

      • Min Weber says:

        Baxxter – ibdel l-eta’ tas-segretarja, u ciccio2010 jidhlilha.

        Mhux lis-segretarja, pastaz! Lill-offerta…

        Irrid nghidlek kollox jien, jewwilla?

      • ciccio2010 says:

        @ Min Weber. Thanks for helping with the deal – if I may say, you smelled the (secretary’s) coffee (should have exclamation marks here). I actually had an exclamation mark after “…I must admit that the perks you have thrown in, including the coffee…” in my earlier post, but, fairly enough, Daphne removed it – which is why I had it in parenthesis in the first place (should be another one here). Now, for the avoidance of doubt, that secretary must be LESS than middle-aged, not older. No offence to anyone, eh.

  2. Karl Flores says:

    Any MP who votes according to religious belief can never be impartial or rational.

    • Joethemaltaman says:

      Karl, I don’t agree with this statement. We live in a country with one MP per 5800 people, even less if you count just those eligible to vote. If you think that a particular candidate puts his religious beliefs before his civic duties, then just don’t vote him in. We know our politicians inside-out, yet we still vote for nutjobs, ghax tghidx kemm hu ragel sew u tar-ruh. Then we expect them to act appropriately.

  3. Ronnie says:

    Once I had commented that a party with Gonzi as its leader and which has arch conservatives Tonio Borg, Tonio Fenech and Jason Azzopardi within it’s ranks will never ever even contemplate introducing divorce. Unfortunately I am being proven right.

    Joe Muscat’s fence-sitting on the divorce issue is very telling of what sort of politician he is – an opportunist with very little cojones and who would like to be all things to all people.

    X’pajjiz tal-biki!

  4. Libertas says:

    And people argue that civil divorce hurts children.

    What about these children in our present system who are despatched to their father’s ‘garage’ and then sent back to their mother’s only to be locked, weeping, outside?

    L-aqwa li nghixu l-fiction li l-familja Maltija l-aqwa familja tal-univers.

  5. John Schembri says:

    With divorce and without divorce, couples: married or otherwise, will beat each other and even kill each other.
    Sometimes partners in a relationship will be violent when one wants to divorce the other.

  6. Hypatia says:

    Yes, Maltese politicians either think we live in cuckoo-land or they want us to believe that we do. I cannot think of any country in Europe or anywhere in the west where politicians possess such poor knowledge of their own society.

    But imagine… if we had to enact a divorce law and the Pope had to come to visit again, how could we give him the impression that Malta will be for ever a paladin of Catholicism, a true and worthy child of our Father the Apostle Paul who even removed the venom from the Maltese viper to prevent us from ever being poisoned? It’s a metaphor: the poison from overseas will not prevail against us. Uninterrupted Christianity since apostolic times.

    How could we convince the Pope that we are unlike all the rest of the rotten world that has forsaken its values? Some fanatics will tell you that, if you want divorce, just leave the country and settle elsewhere. This is the special preserve of Catholics only.

    These little islets always speak in the superlative: we are the most hospitable, not just hospitable; we are the most Catholic, not just Catholic; we have the most beautiful country, we have the most interesting history, we have the best work force, we have the best values, we have the strongest families, we have the best festi, the loudest bangs with each village outdoing the next. Yes, tezori.

    We have even invented words like “mill-iprem”, more than “prim” which already means “prime” (of the best quality) but the primest (like saying the firstest). It is the psychology of Lilliput. Jonathan Swift would have written about Malta instead of Lilliput had he known of its existence.

    We are in the middle of the sea which is in the middle of the world. The cosmos is Maltacentric. We are a hub of this and a hub of that. We have a vision 2015 too. What sort of vision is it? Would we still be without divorce in 2015 when we are destined to be a centre of excellence? Maybe the absence of divorce is conceived as part of that excellence?

    In a world where satellites and the internet have turned the planet into a global hamlet, we still think of ourselves as different from the rest. I only completed very short courses in psychology and cannot make a proper analysis.

    Perhaps someone else can.

  7. Brian*14 says:

    Just read the article in today’s Times “Pullicino Orlando wants Parliament debate by January” and the comments below it.
    I was particularly shocked at Joe Zammit’s contributions and cannot believe such ignorance still exists.
    Whatever happened to Church and State separation? Civil rights and liberties, freedom of choice, freedom of expression?
    In as much as I would most probably never opt for a divorce, I still want that choice and if the Church ever had to deny me such a right, then I prefer not calling myself Catholic.

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