The president of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association has been operating a restaurant for several years without a permit to cook on site.

Matthew Pace, who was appointed MHRA president in August, is facing legal action by the Malta Tourism Authority for operating 47 Summer Nights in Marsascala without a Class 6 permit that allows him to cook there.

The restaurant, widely recognised as a Marsascala landmark, belongs to Alexander Cutajar and has been rented to Mr Pace’s company Illusions Ltd since 2001. Although the permit issue stretches back a number of years, Mr Pace ­– who as MHRA president represents restaurateurs – has yet to regularise his position.

Contacted for a reaction, Mr Pace claimed the lease agreement signed with Mr Cutajar stated the establishment was covered by an on-site cooking permit; however, Mr Pace said, he later discovered this was not the case.

He added that he had attempted to obtain the necessary permit but had been hindered by the landlord’s failure to provide him with the relevant documents.

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