Prime Minister Robert Abela has declared he is open to discussion about other reforms which are necessary, among which the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use and the discrimination of prostitution, whilst making it clear Malta would not become a country of brothels.
Interviewed during the Insights programme on TVM yesterday by Glen Falzon, Dr Abela stated that the subject of euthanasia should not be swept under the carpet, adding he saw nothing wrong in having a national discussion on abortion.
The Prime Minister stated he is still of the same mindset that cannabis for recreational use should be legalised. Dr Abela remarked that there has already been a reduction in penalties for those caught with small amounts of cannabis for personal use.
“What now remains is whether we should go for direction, whether we should increase the number of grams considered as being for exclusive use – meaning I consider this to be a measure about which we should not hesitate – and after that, whether we should eventually proceed towards the next step where you have issues of exclusive use, where one would remove it completely.”
On prostitution, Dr Abela expressed the opinion that neither prostitutes nor their clients should end up in prison. The Prime Minister made it clear, however, that Malta would not become a country of brothels.
“Instead of on the other hand going for a new crime for the client, this would be going to extremes. The issue as I see it, but I am prepared to listen, is to go for the decriminalisation of prostitutes. To go to extremes and opt for what is known as the Nordic model… in my opinion, this is going to extremes.”
Questioned about euthanasia, the Prime Minister stated he still has not formed an opinion, but he feels a decision should be taken.
“I don’t think we should sweep this issue under the carpet, not even because it affects its lack of introduction, or its introduction, which we cannot say because it’s just a few, or because there are many. That’s where the reality lies. I appeal for a debate on the subject, leading to a unified opinion.”
Questioned about whether a referendum should be held on abortion, the Prime Minister reiterated his position against the introduction of abortion in the country. He stated, however, that he is not against a national discussion on the issue, even by civil society.
“It is an opinion I have formed and which I have not changed, but which leaves for an ongoing discussion even if I would like to participate and say why I am against abortion, and I can make my voice heard about the reasons, but I understand there are different views, and I am prepared to listen.”
Regarding overcrowding in prisons, Dr Abela said an extension to Corradino prisons is not excluded. During the interview, the Prime Minister was also asked about other issues, including the economy, the rule of law, Air Malta and the pandemic.
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