Lessons learnt from the Arab spring

In a press conference in Valletta, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party augured that the 5+5 summit gives due importance to issues such as  human rights and the social and ecological dimensions of Euro-Mediterannean politics. AD called for a formal treaty of cooperation between the EU and the new Arab democracies.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, who attended the official opening of the 5+5 summit at Castille Palace, said: “It is a feather in Malta’s cap that the 5+5 summit is being hosted here”.

“We fully support the democratisation of the Arab world following the events of the  Arab spring.  We should work so that the EU offers these countries a strong economic, social, ecological and political perspective through a formal treaty of cooperation in the Mediterranean between the EU and the new Arab democracies”.

“The Arab Spring showed that history can be rewritten through popular uprisings against authoritarian rule. Yet this does not mean that pertinent issues revolving around human rights, social justice and ecology should now be ignored. For example, Libya should ratify the Geneva convention so as to do way with atrocities concerning immigrants. Women and various minorities in countries like Libya, Egypt and Tunisia should have their rights guaranteed. Issues concerning sustainable use of water and the risks of nuclear energy should be given the importance they deserve”.

Prof. Arnold Cassola, AD spokesperson on EU and International Affairs said: “The Arab spring uprisings have given new hope to the oppressed people of the region.  However, it has also exposed the greed and hypocrisy of certain sectors of the developed world, which were more intent on making profit through the sale of arms to the brutal dictators rather than thinking of the well-being of the populations involved.  The sale of nuclear technology by Sarkozy to Gaddafi and Ben Ali, and of about £40 million worth of military and paramilitary equipment in the year ending September 30, 2010 by the British government to Gaddafi are cases in point.  Certainly, this military hardware came in handy over the last six months of Gaddafi’s regime”.

“Even Malta was not immune to this widespread greed and egoism, with over 87 million euros of blood money invested by Gaddafi, his family and entourage in our country.  Alternattiva Demokratika augurs that the political leaders of the developed world learn from the mistakes of the past, and do not repeat them in the future: double speak, double standards, the lust for money and the lust for power simply do not pay!  Sharing resources fairly, providing equal opportunities and investing for the benefit of local populations is a win-win situation for all”.