Malta’s two major political parties traded accusations on Monday over Central Link road works plans and their impact on farmers in Attard.

The Nationalist Party kicked off the row with a statement in which it said that the government’s “arrogance” was leaving Attard farmers in a quandary.

“Farmers who are right in the path of the planned road have ended up not knowing what will happen to their land and their livelihoods,” the PN said, adding that the government was intent on steamrolling over these workers. 

The contentious €55 million Central Link project to add two lanes of traffic to a key thoroughfare between Attard and Rabat has prompted vociferous protests by people who say valuable agricultural land and around 500 trees will be lost as a result of it. 

Authorities say the road project is essential due to heavy traffic flows in the area, and point to cost-benefit studies which suggest that the widened road is among the better-value road projects on the cards.

They also insist that plans have been scaled down signficantly in response to criticism. On Monday, the Labour Party hit back at the PN by noting that an original plan for the area dating back to 2006 – when the PN was in office - would have cost farmers around 57 per cent more land than the existing project.

“The PN has no credibility when it comes to agricultural land and the Central Link project,” the party said. 

“They first proposed the project and are now saying they are against it because it is politically convenient to do so, without providing an alternative”. 

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