An investment of €40 million is to be undertaken in the cancer sector with the building of a unit within the Mater Dei Grounds, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said. He said this investment would be annouced in the coming days.

Replying to questions by PBS journalist Keith Demicoli during a radio interview, the Prime Minister said that permit applications had already been submitted to Mepa and this would hopefully be in place by 2012.

Asked about hospital waiting lists, Dr Gonzi said that much more needed to be done but results were being achieved. A total of 114 operations were held daily in April against 108 in April last year, also at Mater Dei.

He said that there had been an increase of 362 operations in January, 89 in February, 500 in March and 200 April.

The Prime Minister also spoke on the reform of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority saying this would be in place before the end of the yea. He said that a lot of consultation had taken place and a balance had to be found between respect for the environment and the country’s sustainability.

Dr Gonzi said that he was willing to accept several of the proposals which had been made including by developers and non-governmental organisations.

Responsibility for the reform, he said when asked, had been passed on to parliamentary secretary Mario de Marco, who was also responsible for tourism, because of the link between tourism and the environment.

It was useless to spend millions of euros to market Malta for tourism purposes if the country was dirty and shabby.

On the controversial permit given for the development of a farmhouse in an outside development zone in Bahrija on land owned by former PN president Victor Scerri, the Prime Minister said that he believed that in resigning, Dr Scerri had taken the morally and ethically correct decision.

He said he had always believed Dr Scerri would take the right decision. Dr Scerri could now continue fighting his case, as he had a right to, as a normal citizen.

On the parking restrictions in 19 localities, Dr Gonzi said that these had been in place for months or years and they were recently gathered under one legal notice.

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