Some authorities prefer to give precedence to commercial entities in Valletta, rather than to residents, which goes against the ideal balance that Alexiei Dingli had sought during his decade as the capital’s mayor.

He also lamented to Times Talk that the emphasis was shifting towards entertainment, which would shift the balance even further away from residents, especially since there was no enforcement.

Alexiei Dingli frets that Valletta is losing out to commercial interests.

“There are areas of Valletta where the quality of life has worsened,” he admitted. “But if we remove the residents from Valletta, what will it become: a museum? A commercial centre? That is not the Valletta we have today.”

Expressing his disappointment with the capital’s long-term legacy after its reign as the Capital of Culture, he said no one had a vision for where the city would be in 2020, let alone 2030 or 2040.

He also called for reform of the concept of having a mayor who was ultimately toothless and who was not able to enforce the law, let alone have a say in the policies being imposed on his locality.

“We have one reform after another and mayors are just being weakened even more,” he said.

“It took me four years to get the funding and permits to change the pavements!”

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