The Malta Independent 23 April 2024, Tuesday
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‘No comment’: Comino operator doesn't say why he filled area with deckchairs before tourists arrived

Sabrina Zammit Wednesday, 19 July 2023, 14:11 Last update: about 9 months ago

A Comino deckchair operator has refused to say why he had already filled an area close to Blue Lagoon with deckchairs before tourists arrived.

Last week, The Malta Independent was on site in Comino and asked why – early in the morning – there were already so many deckchairs in place when there was no tourist in sight yet.

“No comment,” he answered.

The man repeated the same answer and left the scene after being pressured.

The same problem was also highlighted last week by independent candidate Arnold Cassola in a post on social media.

“Blue Lagoon; deckchairs blocking access to the sea. So what?” he wrote sarcastically.

Last April Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said that “only around 35% of the deck chairs that were present last year would be present this year at the Blue Lagoon.”

This came after overcrowding on the picturesque island reached a breaking point, leading to NGOs to hold direct action by removing deckchairs from the bay themselves.

Questions were sent to the Tourism Ministry asking whether these 35% were allowed to put deckchairs before any tourist is present. However as of the time of the publication of this article, no answer had been received.

Late last month, Moviment Graffitti expressed its 'disgust' at what it said is the encroachment by rental deckchairs operators on garigue land close to the Blue Lagoon in Comino, "all with the blessing of the authorities."

"Not only does this move does run counter to the demands put forward by organisations and the public in the protests that took place last summer, but also exposes the weakness of ERA - the authority responsible for the safeguarding and conservation of Natura 2000 sites - and that of the Minister for the Environment, Miriam Dalli, in the face of commercial forces that are posing a very real threat to our natural heritage," the NGO said.

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