The Malta Independent 25 September 2018, Tuesday

Adrian Delia’s choice of shadows

Carmel Cacopardo Tuesday, 20 March 2018, 14:52 Last update: about 7 months ago

Apparently Adrian Delia is not preoccupied if, instead of shadows cast by trees, we are restricted to shadows cast by high buildings. This conclusion results from a comment picked up by the media when he had the opportunity to listen to a Sandro Chetcuti lecture urging the PN to be business-friendly, just like Joseph Muscat’s Labour Party.

This is not the first instance of Sandro Chetcuti lecturing the major political parties. On other occasions he has compared the Nationalist Party and the Labour Party to two supermarkets which periodically make fantastic special offers available. Members of the Malta Developers’ Association, he claimed, are on the lookout for the discount season as this is when they switch their custom from one supermarket to the other.

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Dealing with a business-friendly government has been a field day for those intent on making hay while the sun shines, and casts its shadows – both the relatively short ones cast by trees and the much longer ones cast by high rises. It seems that Delia the developer has now morphed completely into Delia the Party leader, producing a 21st century developer-politician: a strange combination, but somehow it was always there under the surface – the developer wading his way through overdrafts and tax disputes. Various other politicians have, in the past, put their finger in the development pie. Now we have the opposite experience: a developer putting his finger in the political pie!

The conflict between the so-called development and the environment is never-ending and the problems created will not be easier to tackle with developer-politicians being substituted by a politician developer.

Adrian Delia was reported as saying that he wanted to focus on “long-term planning for the industry”, that is the building construction industry. Most probably, that was Delia the developer speaking. Whether Delia the politician has contrasting views is too early to say.

The press has been busy reporting that Delia the politician has been courting high-rise developers. Various meetings have been held with established developers, in particular those involved in the most controversial projects currently in the pipeline. Obviously, the development lobby is working the Opposition, seeking its support in the minefield through which they are currently navigating. Whether any (financial) donations were made to help alleviate the debt-trodden PN cash-box is anybody’s guess at this point in time.

These meetings come at an interesting point in time, when the Malta Developers’ Association President has been appointed as an advisor to the Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Property Market. Given that it was considered that this appointment did not give rise to ‘any conflict of interest’, most probably this situation will now be remedied by simultaneously seeking to advise the opposing sides of Parliament.

The Malta Developers’ Association is clearly encouraging Delia to follow in Joseph Muscat’s footsteps of business friendliness and Delia seems determined to barge in, oblivious to the inevitable consequence that, as a result, he will further embed the PN in the developers’ pockets.

The rape of our land is work in progress. It has been going on for over 40 years and, unfortunately, the end is not yet in sight. The substitution of shadows cast by trees by those cast by high-rises goes on.  

They call this progress.

 

An architect and civil engineer, the author is Chairman of Alternattiva Demokratika -The Green Party in Malta. [email protected] ,    http://carmelcacopardo.wordpress.com

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