Italian political parties

I have gone through the newspaper (June 3) and, in my opinion, the caption provided by the AFP news agency under the Italian prime minister’s photo on the front page is not correct.

The party Fratelli d’Italia is not a far-right party.

I know it is difficult, for non-Italian people, to understand the various

differences among the Italian parties but, as an Italian, I can assure you there is no far-right party in the Italian parliament.

We have some like Ordine Nuovo, outside parliament, but the majority of the Italian population will never support them.

Fratelli d’Italia is a party that is located in the centre-right area and that is actually a great and substantial difference.


Taken for a ride

Soon after my piece, ‘Missing the wood for the trees’ (March 24), was published, a delegation from Din l-Art Ħelwa was invited to attend a meeting with Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri and the architects responsible for the Marsalforn road widening project.

The Marsalforn road widening project would see the uprooting of over 200 trees.The Marsalforn road widening project would see the uprooting of over 200 trees.

The meeting was called in response to my appeal to the minister to reconsider this pointless and ruinous project which would entail uprooting over 200 trees in this beautiful and tranquil valley between Victoria and Marsalforn, devastating the delicate ecosystem in the process.

In an interview this same minister had given to a journalist at The Malta Independent, he cynically claimed that the main purpose for the road widening project was to introduce a cycling lane.

During our meeting with him, it emerged that Malta’s foremost cycling NGO ROTA was not consulted before the plans were drawn up. ROTA had eventually labelled the project an “atrocity”, warning also that the road would become more unsafe if the road widening is implemented.

This “atrocity” should have struck some alarm bells, the pealing of which, however, must have, sadly, fallen on deaf ears.

In any case, after some discussion, our DLĦ delegation was assured that our concerns for the Marsalforn valley environment and its trees would be taken into account and the plans would be amended accordingly. Although under no obligation to do so, we were promised to be informed and presented with drawings of the proposed amendments to the project.

In the meantime, DLĦ met up with ROTA representatives in the hope that, once in possession of the amended plans, these could be reviewed by ROTA, which willingly agreed to this suggestion.

Various reminders have since been sent to the minister to forward these amended drawings if any, indeed, do exist, however, these new plans have not yet materialised.

In this age of frightening and rapid climate change, you would be forgiven for believing that the protection of our natural environment, our valleys and trees would be a foregone conclusion and a State priority. A priority that all would consent to without any hesitation whatsoever.

We can’t help feeling that we’ve all been taken for a ride. The proposed road widening project in Marsalforn valley has no redeeming qualities other than lining the pockets of some contractors.

PATRICK CALLEJA – president, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Valletta

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