Right to Left: Prof. Arnold Cassola, Gisela Kallenbach MEP and myself at Ta' Cenc.
Spending the day with the German Green MEP Gisela Kallenbach was an experience in itself. Touring her around the Island on Thursday last is an experience I will hardly ever forget.
Photo: Meeting with Perm. Sec. at the Ministry for Gozo
It was the Green Party's dream/vision to see Gozo being turned into an ecological island. It was part of the AD's (The Green Party) political manifesto for Gozo. Still is. Read specifically the section on 23 proposals for creating new, modern and sustainable jobs in Gozo by clicking here.
It was great having somebody from abroad who states that what we are proposing for the island of Gozo makes sense. (Mind you, even GonziPN said so before last general election by adopting our proposal in his list of electoral promises). Remember?
This was Ms. Kallenbach's 2nd visit to Gozo. She came as a holiday maker about 10 years ago.
The 1st thing that she noticed which driving her about was the lack of public transport and the massive increase in traffic especially in Victoria. Infact, due to the traffic jams, we were 10 minutes late for our appointment at the Gozo Ministry.
The 2nd thing she noticed was the amount of empty shell flats in places like Marsalforn and Xlendi and the empty neglected dwellings in the village cores. In my mind I was enyouing playing a game: I was counting the signs saying 'FOR SALE' on the way from Ta' Cenc to Sannat and Munxar. When we arrived in Xlendi I simply gave up.
The 3rd thing the MEP noticed was the new EU funded roads from Mgarr to Victoria (opps sorry...from Mgarr to Ghajnsielem) and the Victoria - St. Lawrence (opps again! the Victoria to Gharb) roads. "Why talking about an eco-island and no single bicycle lane?" Then on the road to Gharb, she told me to stop the car. She wanted to take a photo! "No space for bicycle lanes but huge space to put the EU Propaganda board."
We visited many places besides Ta' Cenc, Hondoq, Ramla l-Hamra. and Dwejra's concrete new building. We visited the new cemetery of Nadur on our way to Ramla l-Hamra. Farmers explained how the Church destroyed the water table by digging on the water aquifer in order to sell graves in this pristine land. Yes. money talks money walks.
Photo: Destroying pristine land at Nadur
We visited other places and Gozitan workers (read by clicking here).
During her tour on Gozo, the Green MEP Gisela Kallenbach concluded that besides all the mishaps “Gozo has all the potential for innovative sustainable jobs”.
Later on in the evening, Ms. Kallenbach was invited by the EP Office - Valletta to be their gueat speaker for a 'civil forum' on 'Gozo as an ecological Island'. The Malta Independent on Sunday Editor Noel Grima, did an interesting feature about this. Click here. I especially like the title: Gozo an ecological island? You must be joking