Read my lips: the EU wants Maltese out

▪️ Read my lips: the EU wants Maltese out ▪️ The perfect rebuke

No, not us prime achievers within the EU are the target, but our national language. This may be a pet subject for yours truly, but the recent revelation that an important EU bureau chaired by our own Maltese girl Roberta Metsola has decided to do without Maltese intepretation during its European Parliament sessions is a sobering indication. Perhaps the next European Parliament legislature will sound the death knell for the Maltese language, arguably one of the most interesting small languages that scholars everywhere marvel at.

We all know the decision to include the Maltese language as an official language of the European Union was a pre-referendum gambit aimed at avoiding a voter backlash. Recent surveys have shown how strong the use and love of Maltese are among the population.

So are the princes of Europe doing all this out of spite? I very much doubt it. The noose around our nation’s neck was fitted when the ruling Brits, for their political reasons and nothing else, chose to declare English as an official language of Malta. That it eventually turned out to be the perfect tool in the island’s commercial and educational progress over the decades is another realistic side of the issue. Bear in mind the officialdom given to English was intended more as a way to phase out the use of Italian as a second language that had been the case for centuries. The Language Question, which resulted in a deserved, popular promotion for the national language, left an indelible mark on the pages of our history.

But the situation as it is makes it easier for the EU bureaucrats and their political henchmen, unfortunately including our prima ballerina, to shed what they consider to be an inconvenience. To hell with respect to a member state’s national language and its fading official EU status.2

The reaction to Cyrus Engerer and Alex Agius Saliba’s revelations and their vehement condemnation of Metsola’s bureau has been huge. The Maltese may enjoy their linguistic prowess, but don’t touch their national language. This takes us back to the 8th of March 2003 referendum ploy in declaring Maltese to become an offical EU language. People now realise the intention was always, and still is, to gradually withdraw the Maltese language from all EU institutions on the pretext of “you Maltese speak English, don’t you?”. Of course they don’t do that, for example, to the Dutch and the Scandinavians, who speak English as good, if not better, than us.

But while the issue has raged on, it is remarkable how the academics at the University, the Maltese literary societies, the Akkademja tal-Malti, the National Council for the Maltese Language, individual authors, interpreters, and linguists have been conspicuous by their absence in the public debate. What is keeping them from coming out loud to denounce the EU bureau decision? Bread and butter? Political allegiance? Standard hypocrisy? While they were sharp and incisive in their groundless reaction to a simple appointment to the new Maltese Language Centre, the future of our national language inside the EU does not seem to worry them that much.

The most insipid retort in defence of the EU bureau decision was of course Roberta Metsola’s, insisting, in a letter to the Prime Minister, that government needed to produce more Maltese language interpreters. She did not, of course, say the existing Maltese interpreters – the only ones in an army of EU interpreters – have been subjected to part-time status and awful conditions, given the workload seems to be intentionally kept to a low degree.

Training and recruitment of interpreters are an EU area of concern and it is expected of them to provide the funds, find the tutors, and make sure to put the Maltese language on a par with all the rest of EU official languages. Anything less than that is confirmation of my prediction. Have you read my lips?

The perfect rebuke

Most European leaders of Amercian satellite nations have been in a quandary since Israel’s disproportionate response to the 7th October massacre by Hamas. They have always taken an anti-Arab stance. The zionist lobbies all over Europe are too strong to allow them even a choice. It’s just like going to Antwerp with the intention of taking over the diamond market.

The Germans especially, with guilt still oozing out of them since the Second World War provoked by a uniformed team of European dictators, have been incredulously pro-Israel and immune to the genocide still taking place in Gaza.

But diplomats and politicians everywhere have not been as naive or gullible. A very recent case in point was the perfect rebuke by Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim while standing right to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. A must-watch on social media, it merits being reproduced verbatim:

“You cannot find a solution by being so one-sided, in terms of looking only at one particular issue and erase 60 years of atrocities. The solution is not just releasing the hostages. What about the settlements? What about the behaviour of the settlers now? It continues daily! What about the dispossession? Their land, their rights, their dignity, their men, their women, their children? Are these of no concern? Where have we thrown away our humanity? Why this hypocrisy?”

Scholz must have slept badly that night, but not from the delicious Malaysian goodies served during the state dinner.

Olaf Scholz and Anwar Ibrahim hold a joint press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on 11th March, 2024. Photo: Bloomberg

Main photo: European Parliament/Javier Bernal Revert

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