Arab Today, arab today malta commemorates coming anniversary of freedom day
Last Updated : GMT 20:31:08
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Malta commemorates coming anniversary of Freedom Day

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Malta commemorates coming anniversary of Freedom Day

Valletta - XINHUA

Malta's ruling party -- Labour Party on Sunday evening commemorates the coming 35th anniversary of Freedom Day, which marks the definite withdrawal of British troops and the Royal Navy from Malta on March 31, 1979. Labour Party functionaries, MPs and supporters are present. With video clips of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi being played on a big screen, Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat called on his supporters to rally for the freedom from prejudice in a short speech at the foot of the Freedom Monument in Vittoriosa. Describing it as the next big challenge, Muscat said freedom from prejudice was a question of dignity. "We must respect individuals' choice... not to pity them or mock them, this is real freedom," Muscat said. Addressed to the public for the last time before her resignation as Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity next Tuesday, President-elect Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca described Freedom Day as the culmination of a long political process. "It was not just the closure of another military base. Malta at the time depended on the military base for its economic survival. Freedom Day represents economic and cultural freedom from a way of life that depended on others," she said. She described Freedom Day as a national triumph "of a mentality that cut loose its dependence on others". The traditional regatta race and Freedom Day activities will be held on Monday. On 31 March, 1979 the last British Forces left Malta which spelt the end of a permanent military presence in the archipelago. After gaining independence in 1964 and becoming a republic ten years later, on the departure of the British troops, Malta became independent de facto as well as de jure. Malta has the highest number of public holidays in the EU and Freedom Day is one of the national holidays which have been at the centre of an ongoing debate about whether Malta should have more than one national holiday.

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