Paceville has mushroomed into a lawless centre with ruthless rich 'gods' ruling the roost, according to Fr Hilary Tagliaferro.
It is not uncommon to hear about the notoriety of Paceville, but Fr Hilary is probably in the best position to give a snapshot of what is branded as Malta's entertainment mecca.
He has been working in the community for 50 years and founded the Millennium Chapel 18 years ago. Only last summer he opened a meditation garden in the environs of what is now a veritable concrete jungle, replete with gentlemen's clubs, massage parlours and clubs.
"There was never a plan for Paceville. There was never a future. We just let it grow without rules and laws. Everyone does what he likes. The rules of law doesn’t exist there. I’m disappointed with the way Paceville has become," Fr Hilary says in an interview with Times Talk.
The 84-year-old priest says many are now realising it is going to be very difficult to turn the clock back.
Whoever is successful in making more money than his neighbour is the king of Paceville
He speaks of the irony of having to “bless” the same entrepreneurs who are giving Paceville a bad name.
"The god of Paceville is money. Whoever is successful in making more money than his neighbour is the king of Paceville. There’s this competition among entrepreneurs."
Fr Hilary underlines the problems of the homeless and single mothers struggling to make ends meet and speaks about the paradox of the western world where the rich are getting richer and the poor becoming poorer.
He says corruption in Malta transcended politics and business and continues to infest football.
The football lover who once befriended football legend Pele says he is disappointed with the regress of Maltese football.
“Unfortunately, I always follow the national team. We have gone from bad to worse. We were never beaten 5-0 in our home ground (to Kosovo).”
He says the abandonment of the professional scheme and the massive “invasion” of foreign football players in local leagues was stifling the growth of Maltese football.
Watch the full interview with Fr Hilary above.
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