The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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Privatisation of Gozo Channel: ‘Gozitans, workers need reassurance’ – PN says; government replies

Saturday, 1 October 2022, 13:42 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Nationalist Party said Saturday that it has information which indicates that there are plans for Gozo Channel company to be privatised.

The claim was later denied by the government.

In a news conference held by the PN spokesperson for Gozo Alex Borg and the PN spokesperson for the Maritime sector Ivan Castillo, it was said that this information is worrying not only to the PN but also to workers and all those who make use of the service.

The PN questioned if plans have been drawn up to change the current business model being used, as well as asked if there were studies and consultations done.

“Since the Gozo Channel is the life link between Malta and Gozo, residents of Gozo as well as all those who visit and do business there completely depend on this essential service,” the PN said.

“The Nationalist Party understands the importance of the Gozo Channel not only as a business but also as an essential service that provides for the livelihood of Gozitan families. Therefore, the people deserve to know both the long term and immediate plans for the Gozo Channel,” the PN said.

The PN called for answers by government to clarify if it is true that plans have been drafted for the privatization of the Gozo Channel, as well as plans to change the ports of Cirkewwa and Mgarr in Gozo.

It questioned what will be done to workers who are employed both directly and indirectly with the Gozo Channel. The PN also questioned if this will be part of the reduction in the budget promised by government, and what are the repercussions of this reduction.

“Will the Gozo Channel suffer the same fate as Air Malta? Have there been studies done to establish if this essential service needs to be privatized?” it asked.

It questioned whether workers employed full time with the service, and those employed through contractors for the Gozo Channel who are doing the same work, are paid differently and have different working conditions.

The PN called on government for clear answers in light of the uncertainties. 

In a statement, the government said that no privatisation process is on the cards.

The government said it is committed to invested in the company.

It will also work to improve connectivity between the two islands.

 

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