A YouTube video showing loads of mixed waste bags on the pavements in St Paul’s Bay was probably taken on Saturday morning before the black rubbish bags were collected, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo has insisted, adding that the locality is still an attractive destination. 

“I beg to differ with the person who took the video because St Paul’s Bay, Buġibba and Qawra have a lot more to offer, and all the country has more to offer,” he said.

In a YouTube video, ‘Avoid Malta in 2023’, vlogger Alex Mark walks around St Paul’s Bay, describing the garbage that is left uncollected for hours, too much traffic, “crazy driving”, and over-construction. 

“If I had to choose this place as a holiday destination, I would never do it, because I went to Tenerife; it’s a paradise island, it’s clean, public transport is flawless, and everything is cheaper,” the YouTuber said on the video that garnered some 45,000 views. 

Tourism Minister Clatyon Bartolo does not agree with vlogger Alex Mark. Video: Daniel Ellul

Commenting on the video, Bartolo said, “it is completely untrue that Malta only has those things (garbage and construction) to offer; it has a lot of elements of quality, culture and tradition to offer”.

Bartolo said: “The YouTuber should have visited Mellieħa, Rabat, Dingli, Buskett, Għar Lapsi, Wied Iż-Żurrieq, Marsaxlokk, Valletta, the Three Cities or Mdina, these are all among the tourist product of our country, not to mention Gozo.”

We will begin a process of regeneration for that entire zone- Clayton Bartolo

Bartolo said St Paul’s Bay is “still attractive to tourists”. In the near future, the government will be investing in the locality to refurbish Buġibba square. 

“From there, we will begin a process of regeneration for that entire zone,” he said. 

Referring to the black garbage bags shown on the pavements throughout the video, Bartolo said it was “obvious” that black bags are on the streets in the morning before they are collected. 

“The problem is when those bags are taken out on other days – and the government is enforcing the law on this issue and organising extra collections,” he said.

Garbage collection has been a hot-button topic lately, especially in densely populated areas like St Paul’s Bay and Sliema.

St Paul’s Bay residents gathered in Buġibba square last July, decrying how their hometown was turning into a “pigsty”. And last week, a large crowd of Sliema residents gathered in protest in Fond Għadir, saying the town had become “a filthy, buzzing, concrete metropolitan”.

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