Sociologist, Local Councillor, Politician from Malta
MEP Candidate - Partit Nazzjonalista (EPP).

Friday, September 23, 2016

Manoel Island, Gzira Council and the Government

Tomorrow, KEA and the Gzira Local Council will be organizing a protest to claim access to the island's foreshore. The protest very much captures the mood of many people who are concerned with Malta's overdevelopment, and is a build up of activism in the past days on this same issue. 

In reply, MIDI's CEO Luke Coppini has written that MIDI has contractual obligations with the Government. 

Malta's legislation is clear about access to the foreshore, and Government also has contractual obligations with MIDI. It is now up to Government take action on the MIDI foreshore and up to the court (if necessary, and if asked to do so) to give a ruling, unless some form of consensual agreement is reached.  The ball is therefore now in Government's court. 

Incidentally, the Planning Authority recently approved development on the Gzira promenade. Only 2 metres of passageway will be left in the area making way for a private lido. 

As regards calls for the 'opening up' of Manoel Island, I think that one should be clear about what this means. If it means creating a 'family park',  this requires Government intervention, especially in view of Government's contract with MIDI. This goes way beyond having access to the foreshore. 

On a national level this had been proposed by a political party (Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party) in 2012. The following links refer: 

Should the Gzira Local Council be proposing to the Government to intervene to create a 'family park', it must discuss this in an official council meeting and decide accordingly. The public and the press have a right to attend local council meetings. 

Should the Gzira Local Council agree to propose to Government to create a family park in Manoel Island, it will then be up to Government to take action.  Again, it will be up to the court (if necessary, and if asked to do so) to interpret the issue with regard to Government's contract with MIDI.

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