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Dom Mintoff at PL March 31 commemoration

The crowd at Vittoriosa this evening.

The crowd at Vittoriosa this evening.

Former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, 92, made a surprise appearance at the Labour Party's Freedom Day commemoration this evening in Vittoriosa.

Eyewitnesses said the former Labour leader, who has not been seen at a PL activity for many years, was in the crowd and met and shook hands with Joseph Muscat.

The Labour Party is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Freedom Day, when the British military base in Malta closed down on March 31, 1979.

The activity includes a mass meeting and the laying of flowers on the Freedom Monument.

The highlight of activities 30 years ago was the raising of the Maltese flag instead of the Union Flag and the lighting of the 'freedom torch' by Mr Mintoff and then GWU General Secretary Gorg Agius, who passed away recently.

Official celebrations tomorrow include a parade and the laying of flowers on the monument by the President and the Prime Minister. There will be a regatta in the afternoon.

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