The Malta Independent 21 March 2019, Thursday

Abortion on socialist manifesto: Labour EP candidates stick to party line

Jeremy Micallef Monday, 4 March 2019, 09:07 Last update: about 17 days ago

Malta Labour Party MEP candidates have stuck by their party line with regards to issues of taxation, and sexual and reproductive rights.

The Party of European Socialists recently published its full manifesto for the upcoming 2019 European Parliament Elections, and as the Labour Party is part of PES, this newspaper got in contact with the contesting candidates for their views on three issues detailed in the manifesto.

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Whilst the majority of candidates are yet to give their positions, Miriam Dalli, Fleur Vella, Alfred Sant, and Josianne Cutajar all noted that the abovementioned subjects are matters of national competence, and that the Labour Party’s position is “well known and very clear”.

Indeed, current Labour MEPs have been outspoken in their opposition to tax harmonization, and the same can be said about abortion too.

The first issue pertained to a call for a common European approach to “ensure a proper level of effective taxation and stop downward corporate tax competition”.

Candidates were asked for their positions on tax harmonization between EU member states, a policy which smaller member states regard as something which would severely hurt their competitiveness in the business realm.

Sticking to taxation, another suggestion made in the climate change and sustainability chapter of the PES manifesto was the proposal that “CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions should be taxed EU-wide in a socially fair way, making polluters pay and supporting investment in affordable clean energy”.

The Yellow Jacket protests in Paris all started when fuel prices were taking their toll on the populace due to French President Emmanuel Macron’s Contribution Climat Énergie (CCE), a French version of the carbon tax which increases year on year, which led to months of protests in the capital.

The final question pertained to the subject of sexual and reproductive rights.

As part of their "feminist Europe" plan, PES said that they will ensure that every individual has access to their full sexual and reproductive rights as "every person has the right to decide over their own body".

Veiled reference to abortion ‘worrying’

In a Facebook post, PN MEP David Casa said: “The electoral manifesto of the Socialist Group - which Partit Laburista MEPs form part of - has formally endorsed the introduction of abortion.

I, together with my Partit Nazzjonalista colleagues, will continue to be consistent on this matter and fight for the protection of human life - at every stage.”

PN MEP candidate Peter Agius said it was "very worrying" that the document includes "veiled references to abortion".

"This is not only of concern to myself and many Maltese people attached as we are to the fundamental right to life and human dignity from conception, but it also points to a worrying disregard to the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality enshrined in the Treaty of the European Union, leaving these matters in the hands of the Member States", Agius said. 

"Even more concerning than the two points above, is the fact that we have a supposedly strong Malta Labour Party part of the European Socialists who seems to be impotent to change any of this", he added.

 

 

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