The Malta Independent 27 September 2023, Wednesday
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Balance needs to be found between development and environmental protection, PN leader says

Sunday, 13 June 2021, 11:18 Last update: about 3 years ago

A balance needs to be found between development and environmental protection, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said in a brief comment on NET FM on Sunday.

Grech said that no country moves forward without a reasonable element of development. "The country can't move forward or improve people's lives by stagnating development. We need development even in construction. We need development in terms of foreign investors who want to open businesses or factories for example." He spoke of the need to also protect the rights of others, however, and not just of those developing. Development should not come at all costs.

He mentioned a recent meeting he had with a Balzan resident, who has seen the area around his home built up by apartments. The resident said he would now be forced to leave his home because of this, rather than enjoy it.

He spoke of the need to find balance between the rights of developers, neighbours as well as the environment.

Grech also spoke about mental health care. He said that people's mental health is being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He stressed that the difficulties surrounding mental health in the country are not just about medical care, but also mental tiredness due to the current Covid-19 situation.

He spoke about people being at the centre of the PN, and the importance of looking after mental health and not just physical health.

Recently, the PN revealed its mental health policy plans, in which the PN had said that it wanted Mt Carmel Hospital to be closed down. Instead, a mental health hospital near Mater Dei would be constructed.

"We want to remove the stigma around mental health, and everyone who needs mental health care should be met in a hospital that is geared up with the tools of today's world." He said that Mt Carmel is still a building that can be utilised and that the PN has ideas for it, but said that the PN's plan would be to open a new mental health hospital.

"As we have an emergency that cares for physical injuries at Mater Dei, we want an emergency that deals with mental health problems."

In its proposals, the PN had suggested the setting up of an Emergency Psychiatry Team in the Mater Dei emergency department.

Next, the Opposition leader spoke about PBS. "It is becoming more evident to many people that the government is abusing and capturing the institutions that are meant to provide news and analyse it," he said about TVM.

He said the PN is being given the minimum attention in TVM news reports, describing the situation as grave. He also said that PBS is also ignoring declarations by the Broadcasting Authority. "Not only is TVM captured by the PL, but now we have cases where they are ignoring the broadcasting authority."

He said that if the leader of a political party speaks, it must be reported.

Turning to the PN, he spoke about the party regenerating in terms of ideas, policies and having new people contribute.


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