The Malta Independent 19 September 2019, Thursday

Updated (2): Access to Manoel Island closed off again, mayor publishes photos of 'neglect'

Neil Camilleri Wednesday, 14 September 2016, 11:23 Last update: about 4 years ago

Access to the shoreline at Manoel Island was closed off again this morning as security officers at the site were instructed to close the gates. The order came at 9:30am.

Earlier in the day the Kamp Emergenza Ambjent activist group said the gates were still open. In fact people are still turning up at the main gate, only to be turned away by the security officers.
Journalists from this newsroom also met a man who had been locked inside.

"They let me in but never said they would be locking the gate behind me." Eventually he managed to get out using a hole in the metal fence, one of the access points opened up by the activists in Saturday.

In the meantime Kamp Emerģenza Ambjent and the Gzira Local Council are organizing a clean-up day at Manoel Island this Saturday at 10am. The activists are encouring the general public to take part in this event following last Saturday's opening of access to this place.

In the meantime Gzira Mayor Conrad Borg Manche has uploaded several pictures which, he says, show the level of neglect at Manoel Island.

These include pictures of overgrown fortifications, a busted door and rooms full of construction materials.  

“MIDI says it invested €400 million in Tigne and Manoel Island. I doubt if 0.05% of that was spent on Manoel Island.” The Mayor also accused MIDI of generating profits from public land.

Mr Borg Manche said the consortium would do better to tell the public how many extra units it squeezed into Tigne Point instead of making up stories about vandalism.

Turning to Fort Manoel, Mr Borg Manche said MIDI had only restored the outer areas and the inner courtyard, where private events are held.

He said the company pretended to be worried about vandalism but doors leading up to the fort from the ditch had been left open “on purpose.” He insisted that any damage was done before Saturday’s protest.

In the meantime a Manoel Island Clean-up is being organized by the Kamp Emerģenza Ambjent and the Gzira Local Council. It is unclear whether the event, scheduled for 10am, will go ahead as planned seeing that access to Manoel Island has been closed. 

Valletta 2018 Foundation Chairman Jason Micallef has weighed in on the situation, saying that the only vandalism was caused by the Mizzis’ MIDI consortium “when it built those pigeon boxes in Tigne.”
Mr Micallef said the Tigne Point development ruined the views from Valletta and Marsamxett.

“This is the legacy that these prim donnas of Maltese commerce will leave behind them. They have forgotten how much they manoeuvred to have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, forgiven when they dumped construction materials in the sea.”


Mr Micallef said the Gzira Mayor deserved full support for doing what others had lacked the courage to do for 16 years. “I expect the government to support him with all possible means because this perfect silence is very worrying. This country seems to have become the territory of six powerful families who do not need Manoel Island’s shore to go swimming because they have luxurious yacths. This is shameful.”


MIDI says acts of vandalism committed in Manoel Island after break-in by activists

Manoel Island ‘open to the public again’ as activists cut through MIDI gates and fences


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