Mass Meeting – Qala, Gozo – 15th February 1987
L-Onor. P.M. Dr.Joseph Muscat at St. Peter & St. Paul Square, Nadur Gozo on 1.6 2014. Filmat: Joe Grech
Labour Leader Joseph Muscat in Sannat, Gozo, on Saturday 26, Jan 2013.
Speaking at a protest meeting in Ramla l-Hamra, addressing a crowd of over 200 Gozitans and many other Maltese and ex-pats who invested on Gozo, Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson Dr Harry Vassallo said that the issue of a permit for the constructions of tens of villas on the clay slopes below Calypso’s Cave was an environmental and planning blasphemy which cannot be tolerated.
Dr. Vassallo supported statements made by Ramblers president Lino Bugeja who addressed the meeting and said that if this permit was allowed to proceed it was hard to imagine what other planning outrage could be prevented.
“If anyone imagined that the issue of the permit was the end of the affair he was seriously mistaken. This is the beginning of the beginning. As we did for the Ta’ Cenc and Xaghra l-Hamra issue we are committed to support the residents in their fight for their basic human rights. As registered objectors, we will appeal before the Mepa Appeals Board, we will take the matter to our domestic courts and before every enforcement agency in the EU. We are already in touch with DG Environment which is fully aware of the situation. This is another case where Mepa granted a permit when it should have dismissed the application in the first place. This is another example where Mepa is showing weakness with the strong and strength with the weak. It must be remembered that enforcement through the demolition of illegal structures was held in abeyance for decades. This is an insolent slap in the face to anyone who depends on the rule of law to protect him or her from the powerful and the unscrupulous.”
“This insolence shows that people in power do not recognize the profound political change that is taking place in the country. At every major violation we witness the coming together of local councils with NGOs, civil society and church organizations. Alliances are being formed regardless of traditional political party alliances. Whoever is against us on this is in favour of corruption. Whoever opposes us is in favour of the defeat of the law and of citizens rights; whoever is against us today wants to cheat future generations of their right to inherit this splendid place in the way we have known it.AD will not compromise with those who abuse their legal authority to permit that which they are duty bound to prevent. We will pursue this matter until those responsible will be held personally liable for all the damage they may cause. They are not authorized by law to defeat the law and have acted beyond their powers. They can no longer claim immunity for the consequences of their actions. This is an electoral promise which citizens can only fully achieve by voting AD in parliament. Nobody in the country imagines that any such development application would have been filed or would have been countenanced by the authorities let alone issued with a permit if the Minister of Environment was a Green. If the Minister’s name was Harry Vassallo, Arnold Cassola, Victor Galea, Mario Mallia, Stephen Cachia, Ralph Cassar or any other AD official instead of George Pullicino we all know that such things would never happen. AD will be standing for election in every electoral district and will seek the support of all Maltese and Gozitans to ensure that the country will stop wasting time and tax-payer’s money in fighting illegalities and abuse of authority, but work to ensure a better and sustainable future.” Profs Arnold Cassola also addressed the meeting and said “During the meeting between The Maltese Greens and the Green Italian Minister Alfonso Pecoararo Scanio this morning, the suggestion was made that Gozo could best exploit its resources providing employment for all Gozitans. This can be achieved if it followed the examples of some Italian islands and became what is technically known as an ‘ecological island’. AD’s proposition to have Gozo set itself a target to provide cheaper and cleaner energy to its residents and to utilize the 35,000 vacant properties for hospitality purposes would create a new and long-lasting attraction to visitors and create new jobs for Gozitans in Gozo.” Profs. Cassola informed that the Italian Government is actively trying to convince the Maltese Government to implement such a strategy and is considering various forms of assistance. Xaghra Mayor Mr. Cordina informed that his council is unanimously opposing this massive development. AD Secretary General Victor Galea stated:”Even though the Xaghra Local Council is made up of Nationalists and Labour councilors, today they set an example by putting the national interest before partisan pique.” He thanked the Ramblers Association, Friends of the Earth, Graffitti, Moviment Harsien Hondoq and all other representatives from other organizations who are giving their support.
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Labour Mass Meeting.
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