The Malta Independent 3 June 2020, Wednesday

Hamrun collapse: Government must recognise how it failed to help avoid another tragedy – Minister

Giulia Magri Tuesday, 10 March 2020, 10:41 Last update: about 4 months ago

The death of Miriam Pace is unacceptable and therefore the government must recognise how it has failed in order to avoid similar tragedies from happening again, Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance Edward Zammit Lewis told The Malta Independent.

Pace, a mother of two, was found beneath the rubble nearly eight hours after the building, in Hamrun, collapsed. The plot near her residence is being excavated.


“Our failures could have either resulted from government entities, from the architect’s judgement, from the contractors and from many others,” explained Zammit Lewis. He said that it is wrong that the private sector and the government point blame at one another, arguing that this is the wrong process to move forward.

This newsroom asked whether the court needs to hand out harsher fines to those contractors who fail to follow the law. Zammit Lewis said that “the courts need to be harsh when handing out fines; however the courts have their independence and impartiality.” As a Minister for Justice he provides them with the resources needed, however he explained that he will not interfere in their work.

“It is unjust to say that the reason this tragedy happened is simply because of a judicial issue”, Zammit Lewis said.

He added that certain matters can definitely be improved, referring to more enforcement, more people taking responsibility for what they have done, and showing more respect towards each other.

 He said that “we need to work together in order to prevent such a tragedy from happening again, as the value of a person’s life is ultimately the most important thing.”

Zammit Lewis added that although the “public trusts the government, this trust needs to be translated to responsibility by finding where the government has failed, in order to avoid another tragedy, similar to what happened to Miriam Pace, from happening again.”

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