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Title: The last lap : independence and freedom
Other Titles: Malta's quest for independence : reflections on the course of Maltese history
Authors: Frendo, Henry
Keywords: Malta -- History -- British occupation, 1800-1964
Malta -- History -- 1964-
Issue Date: 1989
Publisher: Valletta Publishing & Promotion Co. Ltd.
Citation: Frendo, H. (1989). The last lap : independence and freedom. In H. Frendo (Ed.), Malta's quest for independence : reflections on the course of Maltese history (pp. 282-264). VaIletta: Valletta Publishing.
Abstract: The title of this chapter really says it all: what mattered most in attaining independence was that this ushered in experimental years of internal freedom. Many ex-colonies - too many - obtained independence and became unfit to live in, producing refugees by the thousand. That certainly did not happen in Borg Olivier's Malta.1 By 1969 emigration reached rock bottom, return migration grew, settlers came to Malta from overseas. The economy boomed, creating problems of a different kind in its wake. But these were not so much problems of freedom as of economic well-being and learning to live together and to pull through: there was no repression whatsoever. On the contrary the MLP criticism (and a popular joke) was this: tghajjatx ghax tqajjem il-gvem! Government became rather inconspicuous, unobtrusive, intruding only perhaps by a certain apathy, as well as increasingly a lagging commitment on the part of Borg Olivier's ageing team, especially after 1969. Borg Olivier himself, having attained independence, was no longer at his prime, and his unfortunate private and family foibles did nothing to enhance his delivery. In spite of all that, the election result in 1971 was a very close shave indeed. The Nationalist Party, in government since 1962, did not even have a daily newspaper until 1970, on the eve of the election! By contrast the GWU daily L-Orizzont, started in 1962, and other pro-MLP organs lambasted the Borg Olivier administration constantly, and frequently enough, mercilessly. 1970 also saw the use of the GWU strike as a full-scale political weapon when dockyard workers were ordered to strike for months, disrupting the island's major industry mainly on the issue of flexibility. (This ceased to be such an issue when the government changed).
Description: Also includes Appendixes, Index and a note on sources used.
Appears in Collections:Malta's quest for independence : reflections on the course of Maltese history
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