Black Monday (Malta)

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Black Monday in Malta refers to 15 October 1979 when the Progress Press (publisher of The Times ) and the home of Eddie Fenech Adami, then Leader of the Opposition, were ransacked following a rally by the Labour Party.

Malta island republic in Europe

Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Italy, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2 (122 sq mi), Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely-populated country. Its capital is Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.2 The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese officially recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union.

Eddie Fenech Adami Maltese politician

Edoardo "Eddie" Fenech Adami is a Maltese politician and Nationalist politician who served as Prime Minister of Malta from 1987 until 1996, and again from 1998 until 2004. Subsequently, he was the seventh President of Malta from 2004 to 2009. He led his party to win five general elections, in 1981, 1987, 1992, 1998 and 2003. Staunchly pro-European, Fenech Adami is the longest serving Maltese prime minister since Malta's independence, and was fundamental for Malta's accession to the European Union.

Labour Party (Malta) political party in Malta

The Labour Party, formerly known as the Malta Labour Party (MLP), is a social-democratic political party in Malta. Along with the Nationalist Party (PN), the Labour Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in Malta. Since the March 2013 general election, the party has been the governing party in the Maltese House of Representatives. The Labour Party is a member of the Party of European Socialists, and was a member of the Socialist International until December 2014.

Contents

Background

A spontaneous political rally was held by Labour supporters following an alleged attempt on Prime Minister Dom Mintoff's life in his offices at the Auberge de Castille, Valletta.

Dom Mintoff Maltese politician

Domenico Mintoff was a Maltese politician, architect, anti-colonialist revolutionary, and civil engineer who was leader of the Labour Party from 1949 to 1984, and was 8th Prime Minister of Malta from 1955 to 1958, when Malta was still a British colony, and again, following independence, from 1971 to 1984. His tenure as Prime Minister saw the creation of a comprehensive welfare state, nationalisation of large corporations, a substantial increase in the general standard of living and the establishment of the Maltese republic, but was later on marred by a stagnant economy and outbreaks of political violence.

Auberge de Castille

The Auberge de Castille is an auberge in Valletta, Malta. It was originally built in the 1570s to house knights of the Order of Saint John from the langue of Castile, León and Portugal. The present building dates back to the 1740s, when it was completely rebuilt during the magistracy of Manuel Pinto da Fonseca. The new auberge was built in the Baroque style, and it has been called "probably the finest building in Malta". It now houses the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta.

Valletta Local council in South Eastern Region, Malta

Valletta is the capital city of Malta. Located in the south east of the island, between Marsamxett Harbour to the west and the Grand Harbour to the east, its population in 2014 was 6,444, while the metropolitan area around it has a population of 393,938. Valletta is the southernmost capital of Europe.

Events

That evening a large crowd gathered outside the Prime Minister's office in an expression of solidarity and from there marched toward the Progress Press offices on St. Paul Street, Valletta. The building was ransacked and set on fire. Many historical archives were burnt during the fire. Although the printing press was destroyed, The Times was still published as usual the following day (though in a reduced format) from the printing press of the Nationalist Party. The newspaper holds the record of never having missed an issue from its founding day. [1]

Also on this day, believing that their political rivals, the Nationalist Party, had some responsibility for the alleged attempt on the prime minister's life, Malta Labour Party supporters invaded the private residence of Dr. Edward Fenech Adami, leader of the Nationalist Party, ransacking his home and assaulting his wife, Mary, his five children and his elderly mother.

In both incidents the police chose not to intervene.

International response

The European Parliament and several European governments expressed deep concern regarding these incidents. Three days after Black Monday, Mintoff expressed his personal regret in writing to Mabel Strickland, proprietor of Progress Press. He explicitly condemned the violence in an interview published by the Italian newsmagazine Panorama on 11 November.

European Parliament directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union

The European Parliament (EP) is the only parliamentary institution of the European Union (EU) that is directly elected by EU citizens aged 18 or older. Together with the Council of the European Union, which should not be confused with the European Council and the Council of Europe, it exercises the legislative function of the EU. The Parliament is composed of 751 members (MEPs), that will become 705 starting from the 2019–2024 legislature, who represent the second-largest democratic electorate in the world and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world.

Mabel Strickland Anglo-Maltese journalist, newspaper proprietor and politician

Mabel Edeline Strickland,, was an Anglo-Maltese journalist, newspaper proprietor and politician.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

Aftermath

The perpetrators were not brought to justice.

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