The Malta Independent 25 April 2019, Thursday

Partit Demokratiku 'shames government' on Corinthia negotiations

Saturday, 9 February 2019, 12:46 Last update: about 3 months ago

Partit Demokratiku today welcomed having the Corinthia deal going back to the drawing board, but urges all those in opposition to it not to celebrate prematurely, as it has yet to be seen exactly what will be renegotiated.

Godfrey Farrugia said that "The government is only just seeking legal advice on whether the Corinthia project constitutes a violation of the EU's state aid rules, for selling public land below market value, so as to subsidise a private business. Is the same environmentally destructive deal going to be renegotiated, only at a higher price for the Corinthia Group? If so, then we still have work to do to ensure that what is agreed on is less of a disaster for residents."

MEP candidate Martin Cauchi Inglott points out, "Even with the Corinthia plans supposedly going back to the drawing board, Minister  Konrad Mizzi is still talking about the 25 year timeline for the project as if it were a done deal. Residents, local councils, NGOs and the Opposition should all be involved in renegotiations on the deal because we are talking about PUBLIC LAND and a project affecting everyone. The Memorandum of Understanding must be published and we need to have a clear roadmap for the way forward. We will not be cheated further behind closed doors."

MEP candidate Camilla Appelgren echoed the position of Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar: “State-owned maritime and coastal land is subject to Directive Bolkenstein Services which prohibits the automatic renewal of such concessions without EU wide tendering.” PD notes that this concession is effectively an automatic renewal.

Partit Demokratiku emphasises that

(i) In the local plan, the Corinthia area is designated for hotel development only;

(ii) Same as for residential development, no permit can be issued, unless the local plan is changed;

(iii) Changing the local plan involves a process that is set out in the legislation – a process that involves various stages of consultation.

By committing itself in the MoU with Corinthia, the government has rendered any future public consultation on the local plan change and on the eventual development permit application a sham.

PD said it is in favour of a deal which gives the people what is rightly theirs and fair and square with all investors.

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