Tuesday, 27 January 2009

MaltaToday: Bait for liberals? [Interview with Edward Demicoli]

25.1.9 by James Debono

[Excerpts from the Interview. The whole interview can be found at the hyperlink above.]

He comes straight out of the PN’s ‘broad church’. But is the party stretching itself beyond its limits by fielding anti-Spring hunting and pro-divorce Edward Demicoli [former officer for the Malta EU-Information Centre]?


But Demicoli insists that he remains free to express his views within the party. “I am proud of contesting with the PN because they don’t put a gag on your mouth by putting a €15,000 fine on your head,” a snide remark at the PL’s decision to fine any MEP candidates that don’t abide by party directives.

Even on divorce, yet another untouchable issue for Nationalists, his position deviates from that of the party’s establishment. Demicoli states he will “surely vote in favour” in a referendum on divorce, even if he prefers divorce to be introduced through a free vote in parliament. “This is not a matter which should be decided through a referendum. A serious analysis of the situation should be made and on the basis of this, the necessary measures taken by parliament.”

He also qualifies his support for divorce by advocating measures aimed at strengthening families. “There is no single solution to the problem of marital breakdown. But I believe that divorce is one of the solutions. But apart from introducing divorce we have to take measures which strengthen the family. For example people, who opt for a civil marriage should also be offered marriage preparation courses.”

Although the European parliament has presently no jurisdiction on moral matters like divorce and gay marriages, it often votes on resolutions urging member states to introduce gay marriages. And both PN MEPs David Casa and Simon Busuttil have voted against these resolutions.

While favouring the recognition of same sex partnerships, Demicoli opposes gay marriage. “Discrimination based on sexual orientation is unacceptable in all cases. But the definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman should remain. On the other hand all couples who live together including same sex couples should enjoy the same civil rights.”

[P. Attard's Note: I do not find Mr. Demicoli very convincing since the other PN MEPs didn't support resolutions which condemmend homophobia even though Mr. Casa wrote he is favour of gay marriage. Mr. Demicoli is in a conservative party and might be ordered to vote according to the party's lines.]

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