The Malta Independent 18 April 2024, Thursday
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AD Says government should reclaim Manoel Island from MIDI

Malta Independent Sunday, 22 April 2012, 00:00 Last update: about 12 years ago

Alternattiva Demokratika approved a motion yesterday that calls for the government to reclaim Manoel Island from Midi, rid the area of speculative development and convert it into a recreational public park.

AD chairman Michael Briguglio was among those who spoke on the subject during the party’s AGM at the Osborne Hotel yesterday morning. He said too much land had been handed over to the big developers that finance the PN and the PL, especially in the Gżira/Sliema area.

“We don’t want a repetition of the Tigné disaster at Manoel Island. Our party is not financed by speculators and developers, and we are duty-bound to talk about such issues.”

The motion reads: “A motion on Manoel Island, resolving that government should make amends from the damage which it has caused with the consent of the Opposition Labour Party as a result of their misconceived politics of encouraging development at all costs, and consequently resolves that government should reclaim Manoel Island back from Midi and convert it to a recreational park accessible to the public, containing community facilities freeing the space from speculative development and that this should be done without payment of any form of compensation to Midi.”

AD also approved two other motions, one regarding poverty and the need for an increase in the minimum wage and a realistic evaluation of the COLA mechanism, and another on the sustainable use of energy.

In the closing speech, Mr Briguglio said he considers the past year as the most important one since he was appointed chairman. He mentioned, in particular, the election of two councillors in the local elections, and the introduction of divorce legislation.

AD had had the courage to start the ball rolling for the introduction of divorce legislation by writing to members of parliament a few years ago, said Mr Briguglio. This had led to action being taken by Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, and eventually Labour MP Evarist Bartolo, and the eventual formation of the ‘Yes’ movement, in which AD played a leading role.

As for the local elections, he said the party had reversed a trend, as none of its candidates had managed to be elected in the 2009 elections.

Saying that AD will definitely be contesting the forthcoming general election, he said the draft version of its election manifesto is ready.

“Our team of people working on the manifesto has covered a number of areas ranging from the economy to sport. We will put forward clear and concrete proposals. People will know exactly where we stand. Over the coming year, AD will maintain its role as the progressive party and will continue to talk about social justice, protection of the environment and sustainability, among other things.”

He said the party will continue to prove that it is distinct from the PN and the PL. AD does not receive a cent from big businesses and it can tell things the way they really are. Despite the differences between the two big parties, they are both hell-bent on maintaining an election system that is tailor-made for their needs, said Mr Briguglio.

“AD’s vote cannot be taken for granted and can determine the result of the general election. We’re looking for new candidates for the local elections and the general election, as well as activists who would like to contribute to the party’s development.”

The members of AD’s executive council, approved during yesterday’s AGM, are: Michael Briguglio, Ralph Cassar, Carmel Cacopardo, Henrik Piski, Simon Galea, Arnold Cassola, Angele Deguara, André Vella, Mark Scerri, Richard Schranz and Nighat Urpani. The party is expected to announce its new team of spokesmen in the near future.

Mr Urpani and Mr Briguglio, together with Saviour Rizzo, will form part of a panel of speakers at the launch of a new publication entitled Green jobs from a small state perspective: case studies from Malta on 19 May. The event will be held at Dar l-Ewropa, 254 Triq San Pawl, Valletta, and will start at 10am.

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