Moviment Graffitti is calling for a ban of large boats that transport hundreds of tourists to Comino every day, urging the government to address the small island's capacity.

Exactly one month ago, Graffitti activists dismantled deckchairs and umbrellas set up in Blue Lagoon,  in protests against operators encroaching onto the public bay.

Two days later Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo announced that no sunbeds will be allowed on the sandy beach at the lagoon. Prime Minister Robert Abela meanwhile claimed the authorities had succeeded in striking “the right balance” between the people’s rights and those of operators providing beach services in Comino.

Video: Graffitti Malta

But on Monday, Graffitti published an update of the situation - caught on tape - insisting that "the idea of balance on Comino is a lie".

While it was true that there were no longer deckchairs on the beach, vendors were still setting up chairs before tourists arrive on the island, both on the jetty, and the other sandy area, the NGO said.

Activists also spotted remains of pineapple cocktails all over the island, together with plastic cups and other rubbish.

"After a couple of hours of relative tranquillity, large boats start arriving and depositing hundreds of tourists onto the island. Moviment Graffitti is calling for these big boats to be banned from Comino.

"While Blue Lagoon has been our main focus so far, it is by no means the only problem area of Comino. A walk along the coast reveals just how strained this little island is now, let alone if the government goes ahead with plans to attract even more visitors," the NGO warned.

Further inland, access to San Niklaw Bay has been completely blocked off by Hili Group, it added in a statement.

"Returning to Blue Lagoon in the afternoon, the need to urgently address the issue of capacity on Comino is even more obvious. Now it’s hard to even move, let alone find a place to put your towel. The many kiosks are now also in full swing, with loud music blaring from each one of them.

"If this is Abela’s ideal of balance, then this paradise between Malta and Gozo will be destroyed in a few years. Instead of empty words, action needs to be taken now."

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