How on earth can a derelict room in the middle of rural fields ever possibly be given the go-ahead from any authority to be turned into a villa with all the amenities asked for? The Planning Authority and the environmental authorities, there to supposedly support the people, are failing miserably to protect us citizens, both when it comes to this and other such developments.

On behalf of all the people I have met and who approached me, I do protest most strongly against this monstrosity. Shame on all those in positions of authority who, no matter from which side of the political sphere they come from, approved this permit.

As a former Labour member of Parliament and Labour representative, and mostly also as a Gozitan, I condemn most strongly and without any reservation this decision.

Those involved are not protecting the citizen but, as seen in the public view, are in cahoots with the money mongrels whose aim is solely to add more millions to the stack already in their pockets.

The applicants, in my view, are only the visible set of people involved. I do question how it is that the main contractor/s who appear/s on the permits only a few years ago depended on the renting of an upper floor to the Gozo Ministry for €186,000 yearly just to avoid foreclosure by the bank and then, all of a sudden, were able to find enough funds to build a multi-complex building in St Julian’s and so many other buildings.

If the Labour Party does not take immediate action to stop this rape of our countryside and village cores, this inactivity will come back to haunt it

Were one a Catholic maniac who believes everything one is told, one would state that it’s a miracle. But people in a normal world would say otherwise. These will say that there exist many high-end financial vultures who, although they may appear in public life as holier than thou, are the real sharks/hyenas in the background.

These are the real backers of this destruction. These people have no political affiliation except one: how to milk the system and add more millions to those that they have already accumulated.

Some individuals are also remarking that foreign monies could also be involved, especially when one considers the huge financial amount one needs for the projects in the pipeline.

The present administration, which is the Labour government, whom I support, must keep taking note of all the complaints and disappointments of the public regarding these permits.

The government says the Planning Authority is independent but, and I say BUT (with capital letters), this authority does fall under the overall authority of the government and the present Labour administration.

If the government – if the Labour Party – does not take immediate, tough and positive action to stop this rape of our habitat, countryside and village cores, this inactivity will come back to haunt it in the future. I, for one, am angered by these abusive permits.

Both Malta and the EU agreed that Gozo is considered to be rural.

So, how is it that, now, these monstrous permits for tall buildings and outside development zones are issued, with one excuse after another?

Shame, shame on all concerned.

The normal citizen is not only fed up but totally disgusted with the issuing of these permits. So, revise these policies today (or shall I say yesterday) before it is too late. Let the people enjoy and leave the treasures we have to the present generation and future ones.

This permit was issued against all the valid objections made. Why, and on what grounds? The submitted permit stated falsely that a woman used to live there at the beginning of this century. This submission proved to be false.

The Planning Commission chairwoman was quoted as saying that no one in her family was involved although her husband and son worked for the applicant.

She should have recused herself from this issue and not let herself be part of the final scandalous decision. The ultimate decision was not accepted or well-received by anyone at all, expect the developers.

I, and so many others, support without any reservation the Qala council’s appeal against this permit. I again declare: shame on all those involved in the issuing of this permit.

Revoke and dismiss it at once.

Lino Debono is a former Labour MP.

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