Sunday, 3 August 2008
MEPA gives green light for cruise liner berths at Xlendi Bay
Nothing against having a cruise liner visiting Gozo every so often. But I am still astonished by the fact that no feasibility and sustainability study was carried out. Moreover an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) seems to be out of the vocabulary of the Gozo feudal system or to be politically correct : the Ministry for the quasi-republic of Gozo.
Many of us are still astound to open the local papers and read that MEPA approved of this 'secretive' project at Xlendi Bay.
MEPA = Malta Environment Planning Authority under the auspices of The Prim Minister of our Republic.
Since no Environmental Impact Assessment took place and moreover no consultation ever took place either, many are raising justified questions:
1) So how does a buoy off Xlendi translate into full time jobs?
2) How many full time jobs is this going to create?
3) After all that money spent on Imgarr Harbour why can't the cruise lines make use of those facilities?
4) When was a study regarding the sustainability of cruise tourism on Gozo carried out?
5) What is the cost of these berths and has a swot analysis been done on this project?
6) Who actually benefits economically? Is it the country visited or is it only the owners of the cruisers and the tour operators?
7) If no traffic assessment was done, are they now simply going to add a few car parks,in Xlendi be of more use?
8) How does this futs into the eco-gozo concept?
9) How is marine life going to be effected?
10)Why was an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) dismissed once again?
As a common citizen, this morning I wrote to the EU asking for clarifications on whether the fact that the government decided to omit an EIA is in breach with the EU Directives. Will have to wait for an answer.
I did not dare ask these questions to the Gozo Ministry for obvious reasons.