The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
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Easing the tension

Noel Grima Sunday, 24 September 2023, 07:49 Last update: about 3 months ago

A few years ago we debated whether divorce should be introduced in Malta. Then we accepted. Since then, divorce has come to form part of the landscape. The much threatened tsunami of family breakdowns did not happen.

The above does not mean that everything is hunky dory. We still get family tragedies and cases of domestic violence, still too many, but overall it is indisputable that the tension has eased.


The purists, those who hold fast to religious beliefs, and also others, still bemoan the introduction of divorce but the country as a whole has moved on.

Over the past days we have been inundated with reminders of Euro-Pride with banners everywhere and the splurging of funds everywhere. The time has come to draw up the accounts.

But I have noticed a definite shift in the public attitude – being gay is getting to be accepted as a choice of life. It was not like that just a few years ago. It wasn’t like what used to happen to disabled people, at least in the villages, where they were hidden from view.

But in the case of people with gay tendencies the mechanism acted from these persons themselves. Sometimes I doubt if some even admitted the tendency to themselves.

The shift I have said I noticed seems to have started there. People have become comfortable with admitting to the tendency and the people around them are coming round to accepting it in their loved one.

Obviously, there’s still a long way to go. The debate is still ongoing and unfortunately as always politics gets to intrude and poison everything.

The national aim, in this as in all things, should be to ease the tensions. If people have come to be comfortable in their skins that is all the better for the country. When the bunting gets taken down and national life gets back to normal (if ever!) we might get to appreciate the gifts that each one of us brings to the collectivity.


The front candidate who looks like Freddie Portelli

On 22 October the people of Argentina vote in a presidential election. That day also happens to be the birthday of the leading candidate, Javier Gerardo Milei.

Seeing him addressing crowds always reminds me of our own Freddie Portelli, though people might disagree.

Milei is a character. A former goalkeeper who is not married and lives with his dominating sister, who keeps cloned dogs, he achieved notoriety and public exposure through his appearances at public debates and most of all with his outlandish proposals.

With Argentina facing default and the people facing poverty and hunger he has promised to do away with the Central Bank and to introduce the dollarization of the economy.

He is being called the Trump of Latin America, wants to abolish abortion and each month gives away his salary.

In the primaries held just a few weeks ago he surprisingly came on top and thus from a maverick became the front runner.


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