“Yes to divorce,” headlines the Times of Malta following the May 28 referendum in which 52.6% of ballots cast were in favour of introducing divorce on the island. A conservative, Catholic country, Malta is the last EU member states to lift the ban on divorce. The present law only authorises separations or the annulment of the marriage. Re-marriage is possible but only after a long procedure which pushes those Maltese that wish to divorce to do so abroad. “What is certain is that the outcome opens a new page in the history of Maltese society and its approach to tackling the ever-growing problem of failed marriages,” notes the Times of Malta editorial.
“The people haven’t just voted ‘Yes’ to divorce, they have signalled they are happy to embrace the modern age. The new Malta isn’t condemning and stifling, it is relaxed and open,” agrees the Malta Star. For the Times of Malta: “Now the focus shifts to Parliament and its members who have the duty and grave responsibility of translating the people’s mandate into legislation that encapsulates the main elements listed in the referendum question but also attain that about which there is national consensus: strengthening marriage and the family”. Finally, the paper concludes: “It is time for MPs to stand up and be counted, literally”.