Today the Parliament of Malta (streamed live here from 6pm onwards) will be discussing the sale of ODZ public land at Zonqor, Marsascala, to Jordanian business group Sadeen,
Despite being opposed by Front Harsien ODZ, environmental NGOs, Alternattiva Demokratika The Green Party, the Nationalist Party, internal opposition within Labour, and most of Maltese civil society, and despite being characterised by the biggest ever environmental protest in Malta, the Labour Government will proceed with its plans in a bulldozer-like fashion. The only concession given by Government is to reduce the footprint of development on legally-protected ODZ land. Still, the Government is giving away Malta's public domain to big business interests.
In a process lacking transparency and proper consultation, Government has failed to publish the heads of agreement with Sadeen group, has sabotaged the environment parliamentary committee which is discussing alternatives to development at Zonqor, and has ignored advice from the Environment and Planning Authority which has suggested sustainable alternatives to Zonqor.
Today, history is being written: The Malta Government's exclusive Christmas present to Sadeen.
FRONT HARSIEN ODZ
PRESS RELEASE: 15/12/15
Zonqor: Government bulldozes ahead
Front Harsien ODZ expressed its opposition to Government's manoeuvres for sale of public land to Jordanian Sadeen Group.
"The Labour Government is selling Malta's public domain through a very rushed process with no transparency. Government has failed to publish its heads of agreement with Sadeen group, has bypassed the parliamentary environment committee and is ignoring advice from MEPA on sustainable alternatives to Zonqor"
"Government is ignoring Front Harsien ODZ, all opposition parties, internal opposition within Labour, all environmental NGOs, civil society and Malta's biggest ever environmental protest. The only concession given by Government, to reduce the footprint of ODZ development, is not enough, as a huge area of ODZ public land will still be given to the Jordanian big business group. Government also violated its own SPED policy as it did not consider all alternatives before deciding to sell Zonqor".
"The Zonqor issue is a clear example of bad governance. Front Harsien ODZ will remain vigilant and active in opposing the proposed development, which still has to pass through planning process".
"Members of Parliament who vote in favour of the sale of Zonqor will not be considered as credible when, before the next elections, they will attempt to show their environmental credentials"