Current Affairs
One third of Maltese population would consider cremation – consultation document launched

Malta will enact a law before summer so that cremation of corpses may be allowed; with the choice upon death will be between cremation and burial.

While the Government is receiving comments from the public on the law, a survey showed that a quarter of Maltese choose cremation if they have this choice. Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said that the Government is planning that before Easter holidays, Parliament starts discussing this law which provides for a regulatory framework so the cremation will be permitted.

Minister Fearne added that during the consultation process until the 29th March, a series of questions are being made on how cremation can be regulated.

“For example, this includes whether the Government should regularize even the number of crematories in the country or not. If we should allow the private sector to decide itself whether there should be more than one crematorium or if we should say no because the country does not need more than one. If we should use methods to keep, for example, samples of a corpse due to forensic cases in the future. There can be future cases where a corpse is needed to be tested on court order….if it is burnt or cremated, the possibility is not there”, Minister Fearne added.

The Government also asked whether it may consider partnership with the private sector so that cremation services are offered jointly and if a registry is needed for an individual to register his/her wish of being cremated after death.

The cremation law was proposed by Deputy Rosianne Cutajar who said that this choice is not only a liberal measure, but also an environmental one.

“We have a small country that cannot continue to occupy the few land we have to build more graves. I proposed the regulation of cremation in our country to provide an alternative to the individuals. We are saying that cremation causes less damage to environment”.

Ms Cutajar added that cremation is cheaper than  normal burial, saying many people are choosing this alternative abroad, which costs some €5,500. There were four applications, she said, by the private sector to build crematories in Malta, which were withdrawn due to the lack of regulatory framework. Currently, only burials are carried out in Malta, and in rare cases at sea in a specific location.

 

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