Paola square will be dug up and rebuilt again, three years after a much-trumpeted rehabilitation, PN MP Jason Azzopardi told Parliament on Wednesday.

“It is scandalous, and I couldn’t even believe it myself when I first heard that the square will be rebuilt all over again,” Azzopardi said.

He said that all the porfido paving will be replaced.

First announced back in 2015, the Pjazza Antoine de Paul's regeneration cost €3 million and was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in 2018. 

“Till this day, the fountains in front of the church are still without water, while the five zebra crossings are still without lights,” Azzopardi said on Wednesday.

He said he was informed that in the coming weeks, technical tests will be carried out across the square in preparations for its rebuilding next year.

The PN MP had tabled parliamentary questions addressed to Culture Minister Jose Herrera and Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg.

“Minister Herrera confirmed that a company has been selected to analyse the porfido paving and for testing to start in the coming weeks, so that works on the square can begin next year."

He added that Borg confirmed that tests will be carried out to check whether the square had been built correctly in the first place. 

“This news is scandalous. The original works caused a lot of difficulties for businesses and Paola residents. They suffered a lot of noise and construction. We lost all those beautiful trees, and were left with a grey square,” he said. 

He asked the government when it planned on informing the public, and Paola residents, about the rebuilding of the square.

“Why should it be down to an opposition MP to announce this news? Prime Minister, do you have any decency to inform the residents of Poala, Tarxien, The Three Cities about this decision and how it will impact them all? What about the businesses, residents, and Band Clubs in the square?”

He asked who will take responsibility "for the criminal offence". 

“When you break something in a shop you have to pay for it. When an employee makes a mistake, he must pay up. Who will pay for this mistake, which has cost the taxpayer €3 million? What will happen to the millions spent on this square? And my last question: who will pay for the new works?”

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