The movement against divorce this afternoon accused the Divorce Movement of trying to confuse the people's minds after it claimed that Malta last year recognised an average of one foreign-registered divorce per week.

The Zwieg Bla-Divorzju Movement said it was dishonest of the Divorce Movement not to have said that Malta was obliged to recognise decisions taken by foreign courts, in the same way as decisions by the Maltese courts are recognised aborad.

Furthermore, the Divorce Movement should have said how many of the foreign-recognised divorces were between foreigners who opted to move to Malta.

It said that the type of divorce which the Divorce Movement wanted to 'impose' on Maltese society would be quick no-fault divorce after only four years.

During the Divorce Movement press conference, former Nationalist Minister Michael Falzon said the  authorities in Malta last year, on average, recognised one foreign-registered divorce per week.

He said that the enactment of a Divorce Law in Malta would end discrimination between those who could afford to live abroad in order to get divorced, and those who could not.

Labour MP Evarist Bartolo, speaking outside Evans Building, where civil marriages are registered, said that in the 36 years since Malta started recognising divorce granted abroad, recognition had been granted in 785 cases.

The rate was constantly increasing, he said. The spouses were either both Maltese, both foreigners, or a mix. Over the years, 422 of the divorces recognised by Malta were registered in the UK, followed by 112 from Australia, 43 from the US, 31 from Germany, 29 from Canada, and 18 from Italy.

Mr Bartolo said that even if the proposed divorce law was enacted, getting divorced in Malta would still be much harder than in those countries.

Deborah Schembri, chairman of the Divorce Movement, observed that the No camp was not opposing the recognition of overseas divorce. In the Philippines they stuck to their principles and all divorces were forbidden and not recognised.

(Figures given in parliament by Austin Gatt recently, show that 47 overseas divorces were recognised last year).


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