Yes, we have no bananas

Published: July 13, 2010 at 6:06pm


The Times, today
35 overseas divorce decrees recognised last year

The Maltese public registry last year recognised 35 divorce decrees given abroad, according to information given in Parliament.

Nineteen of those decrees were made in the UK, five in Australia, two in Germany, and the others one each in Russia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Syria, Souh Africa, France, Canada, Slovenia and Belgium.

The registry recognised 30 overseas divorce decrees in 2008; 37 in 2007, 42 in 2006 and 40 in 2005.

During the same period, 11 divorce decrees were recognised in the public registry in Gozo.

856 marriages annulled in five years

Replying to other questions, put by Labour MP Justyne Caruana, Dr Gatt said 854 marriages were annulled between 2005 and 2009 .

The minister gave the following figures:

2005: 158 cases 130 Civil and 26 ecclesiastical.

2006: 194 cases, 168 civil and 26 ecclesiastical;

2007: 163 cases – 133 civil and 30 ecclesiastical;

2008: 183 cases – 147civil and 36 ecclesiastical

2009: 158 cases – 112 civil and 46 ecclesiastical.

25 Comments Comment

  1. kev says:

    From EU Commission’s press release:

    “The European Union’s first use of enhanced cooperation to help international couples approved by EU governments

    “European Union governments gave 14 EU countries the green light to push forward with rules allowing international couples to select which country’s law would apply to their divorce. The new rules, which still must be approved, will allow couples to avoid emotionally and financially costly proceedings. This is the first time in the EU’s history that countries have used the “enhanced cooperation” mechanism, which allows a group of at least nine nations to implement measures if all 27 Member States fail to reach agreement. The enhanced cooperation will apply in the 14 participating EU countries for now, but others can join at any time.”

    But this is even more mouth watering:

    From today’s Times: “Deficit narrows to €22.3m in Q1, debt rises to €4,045.4 million”

    That’s over €4 billion, or €4,045,400,000 – €10,113 per capita; €50,567 for a family of five.

    Well done to the PN and well done to Joseph who prefers to say nothing.

    • ciccio2010 says:

      Kev, you can use your argument to say that the debt is Euro 100,000 for a family of 10, and Euro 200,000 for a family of 20. And what is worse – that they get no quantity discounts!

      The positive side which you did not mention is that if the deficit is removed, then the debt will no longer rise. Once debt is capped, if left there for say 5 to 10 years, its value will decline significantly. Euro 1,000 of today was worth much more 10 to 20 years ago.

      • kev says:

        We pay interest on that debt, Ciccio – a Mater Dei a year. Mathematically, it is impossible to repay it. We are all slaves. The ONLY positive thing which YOU forgot to mention is that a proportion of it is owed to Maltese citizens who invested in government bonds.

        And if you’re banking on inflation, or hyperinflation – which cancels out debts – be sure that they are doing everything within their power, for richer or for poorer, to save the euro. Not for the sake of the sheeple, but for their soviet project: the EU state.

      • ciccio2010 says:

        Kev, as you point out, as long as most interest is paid to fellow Maltese citizens, and the debt is due to them – an estimate of mid-2009 puts the foreign debt at under 3% of bonds – then the nation does not have a major issue. Repayment is a mere redistribution of income.

        Do not forget that it was the Soviet economies that had (or still have) chronic hyperinflation up to some years ago. But who needs hyperinflation when home prices were inflating at about 10% or more p.a. in the West during the past decade.

      • ciccio very wrong. If debt is kept at an interest of 7% it will double over a period of 10 years, work it out using compound interest. So if the goverment issue €4 billion bonds at 7% interest it will double to €8 billion in just 10 years.

      • kev says:

        Ciccio, the Polish Zloty has been the strongest currency in the EU since the beginning of the crisis – so much so they were postponing (read ‘re-thinking’, even if they had no legal choice) their entry into the eurozone, until the Smolensk plane crash, which killed some of the most patriotic Polish politicians and government officials, including the Governor of the Polish Central Bank (and I’m not suggesting they were killed).

        Unlike our government and its lackey opposition, these Poles weren’t so keen at relinquishing their right to issue their own currency (some day the Maltese will look back on the euro celebrations with bewildering disgust).

        Where did you get the 3% external debt data, by the way?

        As to the 10% p.a. inflation – again, where did you get this data from?

      • ciccio2010 says:

        The information about the 3% and the 10% comes from a quick search I did on the net (you know, the Maltese make very limited use of the internet).
        I kept the links in case you would ask.

        1. About the 3%, follow this link:

        And search for the following: “The fact that only a very small part of the public debt is in foreign hands (<3% of bonds) and almost all debt is issued in domestic currency reduces the risk of the high public debt level.”

        One must not confuse this with Malta’s (total) external debt, which includes that from the consolidation of the banking sector, including those foreign banks with an office here, and other private debt.

        Kev, did you say that you are “not suggesting they were killed”? Is that something stronger than “suggesting” you are doing there?

        2. About the 10% change in house prices, follow this link:

        See the main headlines on page 1, and the top right hand chart on page 3. Of course, you have to make an allowance for the period of the financial crisis, when home prices nose-dived.

        @Leonard Ellul Bonici
        Is this a family attempt?
        With respect to your comment on compound interest, as far as I am aware, no government bond is subject to compounding interest. To my knowledge, governments pay interest when due, six monthly or annually. With our tax at source, this is even more of an incentive, as the government withholds immediately part of the payment. And you should know that a rate of 7% is about the maximum the Maltese government pays, and there are several bonds ranging from 3.5 to 7%.

      • kev says:

        Ciccio – concerning point 1, < 3% does seem to be the case, but hard data is not really available. Here’s the Eurostat link which includes data on debt held by non-residents (< 5% in this case):

        That does help a little, even if it has sponged out potential productive investment (the intake from government bonds hardly ever goes towards healthy investment), while of course the population as a whole would still need to service this debt to the benefit of the very few.

        Here’s the relative graph:,_2007.PNG&filetimestamp=20090430095957

        As for the Smolensk affair – I am not suggesting anything, full stop.

        Concerning point 2 – you are referring to the housing bubble, which is hardly a measure of price or currency inflation (I had missed the word ‘home’ in your comment). House prices go up when a lot of credit is available – lots of money chasing fewer houses, offset by building booms, again offset by more credit (credit – money – created out of thin air as a consequence of fractional reserve banking, might I add; in other words, money which never really existed – good for banks for they receive interest on money they never really had, hence the house of cards effect).

      • ciccio2010 says:

        Glad to see you feel better with the low rate of foreign ownership of our debt. Good to be happy when the news is good.
        You say “while of course the population as a whole would still need to service this debt to the benefit of the very few.”

        Actually, graph 4, which is the one you link to very specifically, shows that Malta has the EU’s highest rate of non-financial resident ownership of the government’s debt – in other words, private persons hold a higher percentage of the Maltese government’s debt here in Malta than our counterparts in Europe.

        So your statement above should not be of a major concern either. Unless we get into a sovereign debt crises, of course (read about Japan here).

        My comment about house prices should be taken in the context of comments you made about hyperinflation and the Euro (which has been in use since 2000). What I mean is that when central bankers keep interest rates low as they are doing right now and as they did in the early part of 2000s, real asset inflation may be higher than CPI inflation – which in Europe (and beyond) usually has a target of 2%.

        Unfortunately, I have to turn to the UK (which is a non-euro country) for statistics, but then it is not very different from Europe. A recent Halifax report shows that, despite the bubble and the crisis, home prices in the UK doubled over the past decade – after including the period of the financial crisis of 2007-2010. Borrowing from Leonard Ellul Bonici’s maths above (which I think is right), it means that home prices compounded at an average of about 7% p.a. That surely was not the rate of CPI inflation, or target inflation, was it?

        See Halifax report here:
        See “27 January – Halifax – UK House Prices Doubled During the 2000s”

      • Joseph A Borg says:

        kev you said the Polish Zloty has been the strongest currency in the EU since the beginning of the crisis

        Poland is a very big country with a large potential for growth. Its economy was stunted to nothing during the soviet occupation. Their economy should be growing simply to correct those 60 years. We are a small island with nothing but human resources so we need to plug into the most favourable economies we can and the Euro was great for that reason.

      • kev says:

        Ciccio, if house prices doubled, that can only reflect easy credit – unless construction stopped, which is not the case. But it still is a bubble and it can either collapse or self-adjust through (hyper)inflation.

        What I see today is more of the same, which does not bode well for the future. You cannot keep creating money out of thin air without offsetting with real wealth and real savings – and certainly not with more bank-created credit. It has not yet spiralled out of control only because our computerised world is producing more at less costs – but this is all syphoned off by banks (interests) and currency inflation (printing of money, which they call ‘quanitative easing’).

        The ECB is very cautious on quantitative easing, not so the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve (which is privately controlled by global bankers – and this is official. A very good book on how global bankers created the Federal Reserve is ‘The Creature from Jekyll Island’ by G. Edward Griffin).

      • ciccio2010 says:

        Kev, new debt kills old debt. It is technically known as “rolling-over.” Then, as a last resort, there is always the Easy-Credit Bank.

  2. Min Weber says:

    Dangerous argument. There are how many women who go for abortion abroad? Does it follow that we should legalize abortion too?

    [Daphne – Well, yes, of course it does. But let’s take things one step at a time. Abortion is not that pressing. All you need is a Flyaway Tour and a little bit of money. You don’t have to take up residence anywhere. And please, let’s not have emotive arguments about baby-carcasses. I’m talking popping a pill two days after intercourse, not the butchery of infants. But I don’t want this to turn into an abortion debate. Let’s stick to the subject.]

    • Min Weber says:

      Allow me to stick to the subject by using abortion as an analogy.

      As you know, in the US, abortion was introduced not by means of a law, but as a consequence of a Supreme Court judgment (

      As you also know, the American people have never really accepted this judicial imposition, as it were. Killings of abortion doctors are not uncommon in the US.

      Also, the judicial “imposition” hardened Christian fundamentalists.

      When such controversial issues – e.g. divorce, abortion – are resolved heavy-handedly, and not through debate, the reaction is always strong, and conservative. Not compassionate conservative, but irrational conservative.

      Let us see in advance the backlash to impositions done in the name of progress.

    • David Buttigieg says:

      Well abortion is arguably a different case to divorce because many people believe (I happen to be one of them) that abortion directly affects (by killing) a child.

      Actually I do not agree we should legalise divorce because everyone else does it (although that implies something)

      Divorce is a right, civil or otherwise, and that is the only reason it must be introduced!

  3. ciccio2010 says:

    Why should our society accept a divorce decree from Syria or South Africa, for instance, but not one decided locally? What does our society know about the divorce laws of those countries, to accept them?

    Does not make sense to me. Time to have divorce Made in Malta.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Something along the lines of: “Il-Knisja Maltija sawwritu, l-ipokrizija Maltija kissritu. Issa d-divorzju Malti se jaghtih hajja gdida. Ixtri Malti – ixtri lokali. Divorzju Malti. L-aqwa fis-suq. Ghall-prezz fenomenali ta’ 299 Euro.”

  4. Cannot Resist Anymore says:

    No, we have no bananas! In today’s court rulings…

    Families come to blows in sacristy on the day of the Holy Communion of their son!

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      “Names are not being published to protect the identity of the child.”

      Names are not being published to avoid acute embarrassment for the child, more like.

  5. With the population you have in Malta, 800+ annulments are shocking – sadly, post-Vatican II churchmen treat annulment like a form of divorce.

    It is not!

    Marriage cannot be dissolved – that is Church teaching. No “civil right” can take that way. Rights come from God, not the State…the state exists to administers His laws.

    • Joseph A Borg says:

      “Rights come from God, not the State…the state exists to administers His laws”

      Your argument is specious and highly offensive. You’re spitting on and trampling the definition of a secular state, for which many Europeans died. Learn some history before you come here spouting your religious fervour.

      Kings and dictators used to hide their absolute power behind the useless term “by the grace of god”. A prime minister in a secular republic should be guided by the phrase “we the people” and the president should be enforcing that part of the constitution, instead of grovelling in front of the man in white.

      [Daphne – The US president when taking the oath of office: So help me, God.]

      • David Buttigieg says:

        Actually the phrase “so help me God” is not required for the oath of office to be legal, even though the President is free to add it him/herself – the chief justice, when prompting the oath never says it, or should never say it as there have been a few accidents.

      • Joseph A Borg says:

        You made me look it up… and found this very interesting article by a former presidential speech writer:

Leave a Comment