During a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of Freedom Day held at Vittoriosa yesterday, the Prime Minister and Labour Party Leader Joseph Muscat said that Freedom does not mean Isolation but motivates Equality. He maintained that those who opine that Freedom Day is an event of extreme nationalism had not understood the dream of former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff who dreamt off and gave birth to this day.
In the ceremony held alongside the Freedom Monument that Mintoff had mounted for the first time 40 years ago, Muscat said the day had crowned the dreams of our forefathers, had strengthened social justice – including social benefits, pensions, maternity leave, measures that had propelled the community ahead. Dr Muscat mentioned how Dom Mintoff had dreamt of the day and had led the people to achieve it and today this placed the country on an equal footing with other countries. Muscat mentioned other personalities who had dreamt of Malta’s freedom, including Mikiel Anton Vassalli and Ġorġ Borg Olivier.
Dr Muscat said that Freedom Day symbolises that people have worked in the knowledge that all people are equal and that equality means that no particular sector has less rights than any other sector.
He said that in today’s free Malta the country has to continue the path for total equality between men and women and that although some people may be shocked to have to admit it, women should be regarded as having the same value as men and not of having a lesser value. Dr Muscat explained that in a reform to follow women are to attain the same equality right in the country’s highest institutions, including Parliament. He added that although reforms have always followed a period of suffering, the Labour Movement is proud it has never been afraid to take decisions that have led to Malta’s freedom and modernisation.
On the completion of his speech PM Muscat and his wife Michelle Muscat ignited the Flame of Freedom atop the monument.