OPINION: Can HE be ignored?

“HE”, here is His Excellency Dr. Gorg Vella, the President of the Maltese Republic. And the relevant questions which follow from the above are “How (to ignore him)?” and “In what

The person saddled with the main responsibility of answering these questions is of course the Prime Minister, Dr. Robert Abela, but he is not alone, with him there is also a full Cabinet.

So, … can the powers-that-be ignore President Vella’s open complaint about abusive and categorically bad development planned to take place in his own town and street (in Zejtun)?  But this is a development which, as it comes in a particular moment of this country’s now unified cry against further exaggerated building projects, fervently echoes the pleading of so many humble citizens in the whole of Malta and Gozo. Indeed can the Prime Minister and Cabinet persist in allowing everything in this sector to move on as usual, … that is the question.

🗞️ Il-President ta' Malta, George Vella jingħaqad maċ-ċittadini kollha b’intenzjoni tajba biex jagħmel appell sinċier u…

Posted by George Vella on Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Optimistically assuming that there is a quota of goodwill in Government to really get to the core of this serious matter, there is something good going for Prime Minister Abela. He did not have any preferred group concocting the present damage to the country’s environmental fibre in the fourth floor of his Party’s headquarters when he was about to become Prime Minister.

And his claimed love for good governance should give grist to any collective decision to simply kick out the whole of the present Planning Authority, and (assuming he has voting savvy also as one of his attributes) start accepting some of the many suggestions that, over several recent years, have been pouring into his office from many sources: NGOs, knowledgeable individuals, the media, local councils, people who really love Malta, and what not.

The Malta Developers’ Association mantra that their industry is the mainstay of Malta’s economy must be confronted head on and scotched for the negative economic externality that it is. Severing it from the tourism industry must also be taken head on. Respecting first the whole of Gozo, and then elsewhere in Malta, as no-further development zones, will give a good sign, and simply make many voters believe that the government is seeing the light on the road to Damascus.  

Even a simple decision like deciding that no more than one development permit per street in Malta will be issued for concurrent implementation, might go to appease many angry voters. But, above all, there is a great need for bringing the builders and constructors into some sort of forced involvement in government’s (forced and rushed because of the risk of missing EU funds?) infrastructure works. 

Even if a big stop were to be imposed on the issuance of any further buy-bringdown-rebuild PA permits, the whole of the B & C industry can be profitably involved in various still badly needed works in Malta … such as, for example, redoing the whole of Malta’s pavements country pathways for pedestrians who have been receiving a very bad deal for donkey’s years.  Of course Abela will face resistance from bulldozers like Ian Borg, IM’s Ing. Frederick Azzopardi, Sandro Chetcuti, and others….but that all comes with the job doesn’t it?

Finally, and this will be short: how absolutely puerile were those sectors of the local media who tried to criticize President Vella about – they alleged – only now speaking about the planned obscenity in his town! His office made short shrift of them by giving them a full five-page list of his previous pronouncements against precisely such developmental abuses. The man does have a heart, you know…..