The Malta Developers Association has said it is being unfairly targeted by those with an “anti-development agenda”, saying others involved in property development are not being demonised in the same way.

“Property development is not done solely by members of the MDA, but also by hoteliers, commercial businesses and private individuals,” the MDA said in a statement issued by its president Michael Stivala.

“However, it is only members of the MDA who are being demonized by some people who seem intent on stopping development in our country.”

The MDA statement comes days after activist group Moviment Graffitti led a protest outside the lobby group’s Santa Venera offices. Dressed in black costumes as the Grim Reaper, activists held up caskets and signs announcing the ‘death’ of Malta’s environment.

It is not the first time that Graffitti has focused its criticism on the developers’ lobby: the activist group also led a protest outside MDA offices in 2019

In its statement on Tuesday, the MDA argued that the construction sector was an important part of the national economy.

“Several property developers are financed through bond issues in which many small investors including families and pensioners have invested their savings,” the MDA said as it vowed to continue to defend its members “and their right to continue investing, as long as they continue respecting all regulations, laws and policies.”

The MDA said that it would be meeting with government representatives “in the coming days” to highlight excessive red tape that it says is hampering investment.

MDA president Stivala and other stakeholders in the sector have emphasised that point when speaking with the press, arguing that many buyers are being forced to purchase properties on plan because bureaucracy is delaying construction projects.

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