Malta cannot afford to eat away more areas to make space for flyovers, underpasses and tunnels, and an underground metro is probably not financially feasible, but a monorail would be ideal, President George Vella said on Saturday.

Speaking during an interview with Andrew Azzopardi on 103 Malta's Heart, Vella said he shares most people's concerns that the island is being engulfed by too many buildings which are not aesthetically pleasing and too many cars which are creating the necessity for ever-wider roads.

"For how long can we keep eating away at our areas with flyovers, underpasses and tunnels?" he said.

"There is a necessity for them, of course, because we have a lot of cars. But the real problem may be exactly that, that we have too many cars."

He went on to explain that an efficient mass transportation system would solve the problem but said he does not agree with an underground metro because it would probably not be financially feasible.

"We must rethink a new master plan for our mass transportation system, because traffic is terribly affecting our mental health as well," he said.

"I believe a monorail would be ideal for the Maltese scenario."

Vella said he has just returned from Qatar, where they managed to skilfully engineer a neat and orderly monorail system that is highly efficient and fast.

"Imagine getting from ┼╗ejtun to Valletta in 10 or 12 minutes with a monorail, for instance. If you had that option, it would be ridiculous to get into your car," Vella told Azzopardi.

The President also weighed in on aesthetically unpleasing buildings, referring to some modern apartment blocks as "boxes and squares".

"I've just been to Qatar. Buildings are very modern there, of course, but they are built with taste. Sometimes I feel that in Malta we're not finicky enough to ensure that modern buildings are still nice buildings," he said.

"And aside from that, the Maltese identity of architectural beauty has been influenced by the building styles of the Knights for centuries. That is our very own and it remains beautiful."

During the interview, Vella also touched on constitutional reform and said work on it is gaining momentum again lately after the pandemic stifled progress.

He also spoke about the Community Chest Fund, the effectiveness of state visits and diplomacy, ahead of the state visit of the Croatian President next week.

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