The Malta Independent 25 October 2020, Sunday

‘I answered all your questions’: Ian Borg gives no answer on why media were not invited to signing

Giulia Magri Monday, 12 October 2020, 15:48 Last update: about 13 days ago

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Ian Borg gave no clear answer as to why the media were not invited to the controversial signing of a guardianship deal between the government and hunter’s federation (FKNK) granting the latter management of the Mizieb and Ahrax Woodlands on Friday.

The Malta Independent asked Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg as to why the media were not invited to the signing agreement between the government and FKNK over the management of woodlands in Mellieha on Friday.

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The signing agreement was initially planned to be on Sunday afternoon, with the FKNK even handing out invitations to the signing ceremony.  The agreement has drawn the ire of many environmentalists and NGOs and will see the areas be closed to the public during hunting seasons, which runs across nine months of the year.  Borg himself has defended the agreement, saying that it is merely formalising what already exists through a late 1980s letter signed by then Prime Minister Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici.

“It is not that we don’t want the media asking questions, just before the signing on Friday your own colleague had asked questions to me and Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia, so it is not because the media did not have to be there, there have been a number of contracts signed between the government and NGOs and other entities before similar to this daily.”

The media was not informed about the change of date of the signing nor invited to the actual event. On Sunday, around 100 people still went and protested at Mizieb.

Borg explained that FKNK were "mature enough" to cancel the signing ceremony on Sunday, so that no one faces any form of confrontations, due to the fact a protest was planned to be taking place against the signature.

He also mentioned that there are individuals who do not receive information from the Department of Information (DOI) and because of this, it was believed that the signing was a secret. “The moment the contract was signed we informed the public.”

Pressed once more as to why the media was not invited Borg stated that he had answered questions and had no more information to provide.

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