It is obvious that Joseph Muscat was lying when before the election he gave the impression that his government would change tack when it comes to overdevelopment and respect for our quality of life, that is our environment.
Some people forget, but basically what we are seeing is the continuation of the Nationalists’ love affair with their donors: the big construction lobby.
Simon Busuttil – the anointed favourite one since at least 2004 – can bend over backwards and sweet talk as much as he likes, but it’s the same story all over again, maybe this time in fast forward.
He can also do everyone a favour and stop posturing as someone ‘new’ – he has been a very prominent PN politician since at least 2004 – campaigning for people to support PN policies, from the destruction of millions of metres square of virgin land to appeasing the hunters, even bragging ‘kemm ħdimt għalikom’ every now and again.
Manipulation is the order of the day. Take the extension of the development zones in 2006 – by Simon’s friends and colleagues, when he was already active in politics – it was rushed through before new, more demanding EU rules came into force.
Manipulation galore. Take the illegal extension of a hotel on public land in Marfa. Silence and the usual ignorant statements about ‘l-ekonomija’.
The examples are too many to mention in a short article. I will never forget reports from my AD colleagues and European Parliamentarians of Simon Busuttil and his minions bending over backwards to retain the illogical practice of spring hunting – calling anyone who opposed this ‘traitors’. The usual manipulation and shameless sucking up to the usual lobbies.
Recently we have had the PL and PN joining forces once again, in favour of a massive car racing track. Chris Agius and David Agius giving this land grabbing hotel-restaurants and bars-with-racetrack their blessing.
In Gozo the PL and PN have joined forces too with Chris Said and Franco Mercieca intent on increasing air pollution, traffic and destroying Gozo. A recent report in Maltatoday mentions the Pitstop petrol station in Mdina Road in H’Attard. It informs us that MPs from the ‘two major parties’ had opposed the development in 2006.
Now the owners want to build a restaurant.
What the article failed to do was to define what the ‘opposition’ consisted of – especially that of Nationalist MPs, since the party was in government. The so called ‘opposition’ was gate-crashing a press conference to appear to be in solidarity with residents. In that same year these same PN parliamentarians voted in favour of the massive extension of the development zones and failed to insist on a proper policy to limit the number and footprint of petrol stations.
Some people may be impressed by the PN’s opposition to the shameful Zonqor development. Some people were fooled by the PL’s and Muscat’s nice words before the election, when his neo-Nationalist policies should have been clear to all.
Recent history shows us that all the posturing and platitudes from both Busuttil and Muscat are just hot air and empty words.
Ralph Cassar is AD Secretary General and a local councillor in Ħ’Attard.