The Malta Independent 6 December 2023, Wednesday
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Graffitti calls on local council, ERA to shoulder responsibility for ‘wrong decision’ to cut trees

Sabrina Zammit Wednesday, 15 November 2023, 20:09 Last update: about 20 days ago

Moviment Graffitti is calling on the Mosta Local Council and the Environment & Resources Authority to shoulder the responsibility for taking the ‘wrong decision’ which would have led to the cutting of a set of trees close to the locality’s square.

The ficus trees were only saved after Mosta mayor Chris Grech announced a u-turn on Wednesday afternoon when faced with uproar and protesters sleeping at the site in order to prevent works from continuing.


During a protest on Wednesday night, Moviment Graffitti speaker Marie Claire Gatt said that the NGO is also appealing to authorities to enact a law and make it possible for citizens, as well as NGOs to appeal decisions taken by the ERA.

She added that when decisions are taken, there should be a system where the general public is notified in the future “to avoid such instances.”

She said that this has been an “ongoing fight for a number of years”, listing some of the other major developments which were not environmentally friendly, such as the Paola square project and other proposed projects such as that proposed on Manoel Island.

She continued however that “thanks to the passion and determination of many people we always managed to stand our ground like we did this week in Mosta.”

Gatt said that the people have the power and that politicians “should answer to us.”

She also questioned ERA’s intentions saying that in the past “we saw a string of approvals from ERA which were not in favour of safeguarding the environment.”

Gatt added that the ERA should, on the contrary, be naturally biased in its decisions and be in favour of the environment.

The same concern was also shared by BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana, who also added that “it only took the Local Council 60 seconds to decide on uprooting these trees.”

He also addressed Mosta mayor Chris Grech and asked whether it was time for him “to pack and leave.”

There were also many among those present who simultaneously expressed their shock and disbelieve when they learned that the trees were going to be removed.

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