The Malta Independent 25 September 2022, Sunday
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MHRA cannot pick and choose, it said nothing on ‘tables and chairs’ abuse – Jason Micallef

Semira Abbas Shalan Thursday, 15 September 2022, 11:56 Last update: about 10 days ago

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association cannot pick and choose when and what to criticise, Valletta Cultural Agency chief Jason Micallef said Thursday.

In comments to The Malta Independent, Micallef said the MHRA did not issue statements when there was abuse by restaurant owners who used public space for tables and chairs for their patrons.

Micallef was asked for his reaction to a statement from the MHRA which said that the capital city was becoming “too loud” and that it is not fitting as a high end destination. The MHRA statement followed an interview with the Valletta mayor Alfred Zammit, carried by The Malta Independent on Sunday, who said that the issue regarding late night music was under control.

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Micallef said that the MHRA had remained quiet when there were complaints regarding the occupation of pavements and streets by restaurant and hotel owners in Valletta.

It would be wrong to try to undermine the “economic, social and cultural” success that has been achieved in the capital city in the last 10 years, he said, referring to the presence of more people in the evening.

Everybody benefited from this success, he said, including restaurant and hotel owners in Valletta.

The MHRA should be clear, he said, because there are restaurants which play loud music in the evenings. Does the MHRA represent them, Micallef asked.

He did admit, however, that things could have been done better, and he said that he has passed this message when he had the chance.

The extension of the curfew with regard to the playing of music in some Valletta streets from 11pm to 1am has created controversy, as some residents protested that their lifestyle has had to change. The government however did not amend the legal notice and voted against a motion by the Opposition to revoke it.

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