The Malta Independent 26 March 2019, Tuesday

TMID Editorial: Who filled Valletta’s streets?

Monday, 15 October 2018, 12:15 Last update: about 6 months ago

The head of Valletta 2018, Jason Micallef, was being rather silly when he boasted to L-Orizzont some days ago that the crowds of people in Valletta were due to the V18 activities.

Did Valletta 18 get two or more cruise liners in the Grand Harbour at the same time?

Did Valletta 18 get low cost carriers to Malta as have been coming in these past 10 years?


Did Valletta 18 drive frantic parents to Valletta in the final days before school restarted?

The answer to these three questions is obviously No, which goes to show that Mr Micallef’s boast was an empty one.

On the contrary, Valletta 18 was rather sporadic in the events it brought to Malta or organized. Many of the events patronized by Valletta 18 would have happened just the same but obviously help from V18 was more than welcome.

In his short interview, Mr Micallef refers to the completion of two projects, the MUZA and the Valletta Ditch without having to admit what everyone knows, that these projects are late in execution.

In the best Maltese tradition, we may probably get an inauguration when the actual building is far from ready and anyway will not be ready before 2018 is over.

If Valletta being the European Capital City of Culture for 2018 meant anything, it surely did not mean that so many private or public projects are in a state of incompletion. Such as the Magistral Palace, the St John’s Cathedral museum extension, many boutique hotels etc.

It is true that the Tritons Square was inaugurated on the eve of Valletta 18 and that it has turned out to be a pleasant addition to the entrance to the city but not even Mr Micallef dared add this to his list of boasts because he knows this was no V18 project.

Associated with V18 many would remember the effort that went into the upgrading of parts of Strait Street and the reopening of so many bars and music halls. This, true, is a V18 achievement.

Another project is the upgrading of the abattoir area at the lower end of Valletta. Unfortunately, we do not recall any upgrade in this regard so we cannot state at what stage has this project arrived.

The year is almost over and V18 still cannot claim any significant improvement in Valletta as a direct result of its efforts. We cannot mention problems such as the car congestion, the uneven pavements, the lack of effective transport from one end of the city to the other for these are not within the Valletta 18 remit.

This is The Malta Independent Daily editorial published on 15 October


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