The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
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If we truly want to save Ggantija, decisions reflecting that need to be taken - Grech

Sabrina Zammit Sunday, 19 November 2023, 13:46 Last update: about 16 days ago

If we truly want to save Ggantija, decisions reflecting that need to be taken, PN Leader Bernard Grech said on Sunday.

Grech was reacting to a Planning authority's decision which granted approval for the development of apartments less than 200m away from the megalithic temples in Xaghra, Gozo.

The application will see 22 apartments and 20 garages built on the edge of the Xagħra Development Zone.

The site currently consists of an existing two storey building with an ancillary garage and stores, and with undeveloped land at the rear. The front of the site overlooks Triq il-Parsott.


"We cannot make compromises with things we hold dear", Grech said, while comparing the decision makers to parents who are sabotaging their children's wellbeing.

He said that apart from having global historical value, the temples are also something that distinguishes Gozo from Malta.

"Can't we learn from our past mistakes?", asked Grech whilst also questioning whether the nation would like to have another 'Malta version two' in Gozo, with reference to its over-development.

Grech also touched upon the recent budget announced by the government.

He said that, as a family changes its direction for the best outcome when encountering challenges, this needs to happen in Malta, adding that this is the aim of the PN's 'budget vision of economic excellence'.

The PN Leader questioned how the government could endorse its current economic plan when "the debt increased, criminality increased and security decreased", in the country.

He said that the PN's plan is based on quality and "not on quantity."

The PN Leader also mentioned other problems which are directly linked to the government's current plan, such as overpopulation and a health care system that is not just.

As an example, to explain the overpopulation, he said that nowadays classroom are having 25 or even more students in them, whereas before it used to be less. He said that because of this, students are not given the desired individual attention and are thus being affected by "this government's lack of planning".

On the healthcare sector, Grech referred to a particular patient in Gozo who was in her eighties and needed an urgent operation. She was told that she was going to be operated that same week, thus she followed the usual protocol before an operation (that also includes not eating for a number of hours before the operation). However, even after she was ready for the operation, Gozo hospital personnel told her to go back home "because they did not have the space to operate on her as promised".

"People can't take it anymore, they want solutions and we (politicians) need to decide for the people", he said.

Whilst staying on the topic Gozo, Grech also noted how the budget lacked vision for an investment in a fourth ferry for the Gozo channel line.

To operate the current fourth vessel it costs around €13500 a day, he said, "and that price does not include the price of fuel or the many instances of damage".

He said that apart from costing this much, it does not serve persons with disability as, if it is found that the ferry is not accessible ,"the person in question needs to wait for the next scheduled ferry".

In conclusion, Grech said that "Gozo is not an experiment or an island that belongs to four developers." He said that the PN recognises that the Island is home to many "busy families...that need and want an excellent Gozo".

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