Saturday, 14 June 2008

Gozo - Ecological island

Sabine Cassar-Alpert was commissioned by The Times to report the event when Gisela Kallenbach (Green MEP) took part in the Civil Forum organised by the EU Office Valletta regarding 'Gozo as an ecological island.

I thought to publish in full this feature which was published on the Times of Malta, since sometimes, some features are not accessible on-line after some weeks. And I think that the write-up by Sabine is a very good one. The photos that goes with this article are brought to us by courtesy of the Author herself. Here it goes:

Stronger than expected, according to Julian Vassallo, was the response from Gozitan residents to an invitation to discuss Gozo as an ecological island, the first of a series of civil fora to be organised by the European Parliament Valletta Office this year.

Around 100 attendees flocked to Ta' Mena Estate, an agro-tourism site located at Marsalforn Valley, to listen to keynote speaker Gisela Kallenbach, a German member of the European Parliament from the Greens/European Free Alliance Group, and to air their opinions about the requirements for making their island a better place to live in. However, discounting officials of various constituted bodies and members of Gozo's expatriate community, who formed a sizeable part of the audience, it was obvious that only a handful of native Gozitan residents were present. Dr Vassallo, head of the EP Valletta Office, explained that the citizens' fora, rather than being a series of lectures, had the purpose of collecting ideas from people who were directly affected by legislation and the planning of new projects.

Ms Kallenbach, who is currently a member of the European Parliament's committee on regional development, said that the committee had observed a much higher success rate of projects if citizens were involved in the decision-making process. A new strategy for distribution of EU funds was to demand an integrated approach that would see all authorities of a region collaborating on sectoral projects. Moreover, partnerships were encouraged between authorities and citizens, who often came up with more creative and innovative ideas.

Ms Kallenbach thanked Alternattiva Demokratika for inviting her to Gozo and for an extensive tour around the island. "You showed me the bright and the dark sides," she said. It had surprised her that the new road to San Lawrenz did not include a bicycle lane, and to see so many empty houses as well as new and abandoned construction sites. "But on the whole, from what I have seen, I really believe that Gozo is a unique place, it has potential for becoming an ecological island."

Before opening the discussion to the floor, hydrologist Marco Cremona outlined the importance of sustainable tourism and utilisation of renewable energy. The pressure on resources such as water was critical. If normally a person consumed an average of 70 to 80 litres per day, for each tourist in a 5-star hotel this figure was inflated to up to 300 litres. More groundwater was being extracted than input, resulting in the salination of aquifers. Even one of the islands' most obvious raw materials, limestone, was limited. If construction continued at its current rate, this resource would be used up in 50 years' time and would then have to be imported. So would it not be sensible to utilise currently-empty houses, which made up 30 per cent of all dwellings?

Mr Cremona gave the example of the small Danish island of Samso, which took part in ‒ and won ‒ a national contest for offshore islands to come up with an ecological master plan to become entirely energy-sustainable. Its 1,500 inhabitants worked together and devised a successful plan, which ultimately stimulated the economy and afforded the population an improved quality of life and a clean environment.

Ultimately it was up to the Gozitans to decide whether an ecological island was what they wanted. Were they prepared to limit the amount of tourists? Would all farmers accept organic farming, which was imperative for an ecological island? What about accessibility of walkways in the countryside, which was at present problematic when tourists met hunters?

Participation in the ensuing debate was lively and peppered with criticism, yet notably amic-able. Joe Spiteri, one of the owners of Ta' Mena Estate and responsible for its agricultural aspect, fully embraces the organic farming concept. But he pointed out that establishing an organic farm in Gozo was actually impossible. Regulations stipulate a minimum distance of five miles between organic and other farms, in order to eliminate the risk of contamination. This was unworkable on an island the size of Gozo, unless all farms were organic. Mr Spiteri also deplored the bureaucratic formalities which all but hindered anyone who wanted to establish an organic farm; he had waited for two years for a permit to construct a reservoir for the collection of rainwater.

One gentleman angrily remarked that the "integrated approach", which Ms Kallenbach had mentioned, was not practised in Gozo. "What about Ħondoq?" he asked "80 per cent voted against, but the result is ignored!"

With regard to lack of water, which was a problem affecting the entire Mediterranean, Arnold Cassola remarked that the water treatment plant had been chosen without taking agriculture into consideration; its water cannot be used for farming. He also pointed out that families had to have two cars because the existing public transport provided no alternative.

Betty Berry, an English resident in Gozo for 32 years, said she still loved the island, but the air quality had deteriorated. It was an ordeal to visit Victoria in the mornings, due to traffic jams and massive, overloaded construction trucks that were way too large for the island. Were they ever checked for their axle weights?

An Australian gentleman, who together with his wife had chosen Gozo as location to set up a high-tech business after travelling to more than 30 countries all over the world, had words of praise for the support they had received from the local authorities. He marvels at the idea of Smart City, but would like to see it extended to Gozo, which was perfect for IT-related business, as no more than computers and internet access were needed.

In closing, Ms Kallenbach reiterated that it was a good idea to bring people together and let them encourage one another by working together. She expressed her hope that this was a start and not a one-time event.Following the discussion, all guests were treated to tasty samples of Ta' Mena's organically grown food and wine ‒ a practical approach to teaching the difference!

First Father's Day e-card I received

Some parenting experts say that "at some point not long after the baby is born, just about every new father gets hit with a sharp jolt of reality: he's a father--with new responsibilities, new pressures, new expectations to live up to. For some of them, this seemingly basic little epiphany comes early, before they leave the hospital. But for others, reality may not hit for a few days. Sooner or later, though, they all come to realize that their lives have changed forever. Sometimes the changes are subtle, sometimes not so subtle. But they're almost always surprising." (if you want to learn more this website is quite helpful. Click HERE)

I personally tend to disagree. As I expressed before in this blog (see HERE), I was lucky to share the 'pregnancy period' with my wife. I was not rushing to work then, I attended all hospital visits...became a househusband. Therefore the reality of becoming a father was not a shock.

I received an e-card from my brother (and sister-in-law) which live in NY. It was my first father's Day card!

While I was downloading it, my mind drifted away from the actual message. I experienced the virility, power, and pride at having created a new life. On the other, the feelings of helplessness when I can't satisfy (or sometimes even understand) my baby's needs.

My mind drifted on that first time that my baby fell asleep on my chest while I absentmindedly was stroking his back - here I discovered the true meaning of life.

My mind went to the lessons my child is teaching me already. One lesson I talked about it HERE. While watching my bro's e-card I was thinking how my baby is teaching me about planning and flexibility. Before I became a parent, getting ready to leave the house meant grabbing the car keys and call 'ready' and leave. But now, going on a trip with my wife and baby takes as much planning as an expedition to Mt. Everest. "Have we got an extra diaper just in case?" and will ask the same question two or three times just as I am walking out the door.

And finally I thought how different the subjects I talk about are now. I never imagined talking about leaky breasts, the color and consistency of the contents of the diaper. I smiled and cried when I thought about it. But I'm doing it. And I am loving it too.

Then back to reality and read the beautiful message my relatives from the Country of MR. Bush:

Dear Brother
Wishing you and your son the best ever.
May God shower you with his love and bestow on you health and peace.
With love always
From your brother Lino, Josephine, your nephew Matthew & Lisa

Friday, 13 June 2008

They want more traffic flow into Victoria

Even common sense say that anywhere on Earth where new roads are built and car parks are constructed - this encourages more traffic flow. But alas! Some Gozitans especially those into business think otherwise.

The story started when during the last 20 years the bus transport system in Gozo became almost inexistent. Bus trips between villages became unreliable and bus schedules very limited. Don't you dare file in a report with the Gozo Police or Gozo ADT. The only fixed and 'almost' reliable bus transport which remained is that from Mgarr Harbour to Victoria and vice versa. Click HERE and see the limited bus schedule in Gozo!

Then who blames families to purchase a car or two in order for them to maneuver around this tiny island? Who blames young people to quickly make a loan with a bank in order to purchase a car for them to be able to get to work on time?

The geography of Gozo makes it almost impossible to travel from one place to another without entering into Victoria - Victoria being in the centre of this island. For tourist and first time visitors to the island, traffic signs and diversions are a joke in the face - yes even today 2008.

However instead of proposing sustainable alternatives, we can read a couple of people (mainly from Victoria) lamenting about the problem. Don't blame them. Read for example Sabine Cassar-Alpert experience in the traffic gem in Victoria [photo included: courtesy of Sabine Cassar-Alpert]. Or Mike Wagstaff in his letter to the Times here.
Even Paul M. Cassar, also from Victoria shared his bit.

But what in my opinion is poor is some of their logic.

People like George Edward Cremona is proposing a ring road. Then the Victoria Local Councilis proposing yet a ring road and more car park spaces! No Green thinking of course.

What is Green thinking about?
Click on the video clip below:

...and if you want to read more about The Green Party's 22 proposals for a radical reform in public transport in Gozo read HERE.

Last article by Dr. Harry Vassallo on The Times as the AD Leader

Give them the tools

It appears that many people too easily assumed that my promise to resign my post as chairman of the Green party was to be taken with a pinch of salt. It appears that power is intoxicating and not a few make fools of themselves in the end by clinging on too long.

Perhaps I have the advantage on them because the power and glory that is the share of the leader of the Greens is just a tot and not enough to inebriate anybody. It is time to go and I am going.

In this too I believe that I serve the political party I have co-founded and served as soldier, staff officer and general for almost 19 years: Alternattiva Demokratika, as all political parties, will contest the European Parliament elections this time next year. In order to present a fresh proposal, it would be best to have a break with the past, a new image. And how better than by having somebody new flying the flag?

There is not much time available to make all the necessary changes and to establish the leadership in the public mind, not a day to spare. Judging by the report prepared by the commission engaged to analyse the general election results, AD will have to start from scratch. It seems there was nothing there at all. Certainly no money to speak of and the handful of people involved were obliged to multitask to breaking point. It's all true.

It has been a matter of keeping up appearances for a very long time. The age of volunteers is long gone, our socio-economic model has changed over the years and people expect to be paid for work, not least for hard work and often unrewarding of itself. The few who do it gratis are overburdened twice over because they are so few and because they too have to survive in the rat race.

It is poor consolation that AD may be the only political party with its books in the black and its soul intact. The commission's report certifies the Greens clean. But clean and unable to communicate one's vision is also a betrayal of a sacred trust.

Although still out in the cold, the Greens have positioned themselves evenly between the PN and the MLP, sitting astride the centre with a support exceeding the difference between the main contenders. The fact that the PN and the MLP together with the mainstream media avoid this fact as though observing a taboo only serves to underscore the Greens' potential for themselves, for a possible political ally and for all those seeking a radical change and able to invest time, effort or money to achieve it.

Tomorrow's extraordinary general meeting is billed as a changing of the guard and as the start of the discussion on the clinical dissection which the commission's report claims to be. Nobody will be asked to take a vote; there is nothing to be decided on; no official document before us to approve or otherwise, so nobody will check whether one's subscription is paid up. Party members, old and new, as well as interested bystanders, will be most welcome.

I do not expect that there will be time for everybody to have their say on each of the very many issues raised in the commission's report, so the event will be something of a media ritual, but this does not make it any less a watershed in our history which should be attended by those who have watched our progress with interest.

It will also be a farewell and a time to augur the new leadership the strength and persistence it will need to address the many shortcomings pointed out by the commission as well as the wisdom to weigh up and decide on the policy and strategy issues raised. I certainly hope that, in the coming weeks, it will have the benefit of many contributions from the party grassroots and not only the good wishes of all concerned. It is time to look forward, for me and for the party. I confess that I am looking forward to charging realistically for my services once more: no more free legal advice, no more environmental consultation gratis, no more political lobbying as an unpaid public service, no more articles, policy documents or even formal correspondence written without significant financial reward. At last it will become politically correct for me to accept the tempting eco-business proposals I have puritanically refused by the dozen.

It may not be a bad idea for the party to work out something on these lines itself. With no public financing of political parties available, how can all those who turn to the Greens for support continue to expect them to campaign for them with no resources? Perhaps the commission's report will make the matter more easily acceptable.

The Greens need almost nothing more than this: the commitment is there, the vision is clear, their relevance grows by the minute. They do need support and encouragement. It is Malta that needs the Greens and not the other way around. Perhaps we should all stop taking them for granted.

Dr Vassallo is the outgoing chairman of Alternattiva Demokratika - the Green party.,

Make your actions reflect your words

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail with the following video clip attached. He even suggested to put in on my blog.
Why? Simply watch for yourself.
Don't you think that this is the plea of the many Greens around the world?
Clip on the LINK to watch this amazing video clip.
Share the message around our planet.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Kif ghandek titnejjek bin-nies step by step

Step 1
Ibghat circulari fid-djar tan-nies (votanti) tal-lokalita' tieghek b'dan it-titlu:
'Skema ghall-Promozzjoni ta' Energija Minn Sorsi Alternattivi (RES) Ghall-Lokalita' _______ .'

Step 2
Ghidilhom li l-kunsill lokali tieghek qieghed jahdem fuq programm tal-Unjoni Ewropeja dwar il-promozzjoni ta' energija minn sorsi alternattivi.

Step 3
Iktbilhom li se tkunu qed tahdmu biex jingabu fondi mill-Unjoni Ewropeja u "tkunu intom ir-residenti li tibbenefikaw minn dawn il-fondi."

Step 4
Iktbilhom u dahhalielhom f'rashom li l-iskema se tkun miftuha ghal dawn iz-zewg sistemi:-

Step 5
Ipprova fhemhom fil-qosor dwar is-Solar water Heaters billi tghidilhom li solar water heater jista' jkun mod effettiv sabiex isahhan l-ilma fid-dar taghhom bis-shana tax-xemx. Ghidilhom li solar water heater hu maghmul minn tank ta' l-ilma mahdum apposta u mqabbad ma' panella li tixrob is-shana tax-xemx. It-tank ta' l-ilma jigi mgezwer b'materjal biex inaqaas it-telf ta' shana li tingabar mill-panella. L-ilma li jissahhan mill-panella jingabar f'dan it-tank ta' l-ilma u minn hemm ikun jista' jintuza ghall-bzonnijiet tad-dar. Kompli spjegalhom li minhabba n-nuqqas ta' xemx fiz-zmien tax-xitwa, is-solar water heater jigi nstallat b'apparat ta' l-elettriku biex jissahhan l-ilma f'kaz li t-temperatura ta' l-ilma ma tkunx daqs kemm mixtieqa.

Step 6
Biex zgur il-votanti tieghek jifmhu x'qed tipprova tghidilhom iktbilhom li jekk ghandhom water heater ta' l-elettriku li jesa' tmenin litru ilma, l-ispiza ta' sena ta' l-elettriku tiswa madwar Euro153.74 jekk higi mixghul ghal saghtejn kuljum.

Step 7
Izda iktbilhom ukoll li jekk jigi nstallat solar water heater u jekk tiehu li x-xemx issahhan fuq perijodu ta' tmien xhur, l-ispiza tonqos ghal madwar Euro51.25. Qis li tiktbilhom li is-surcharge tigi kkunsidrata b'50%.

Tinsiex tiktbilhom ukoll dwar il-photovoltaic Cells (PV Cells). Tibzax. Ghidilhom li l-photovoltaic cells huma panelli specjali li jigu nstallati fuq il-bjut sabiex ibiddlu d-dawl tax-xemx f'elettriku. Ghidilhom li l-elettriku mbaghad ikun jista' jintuza biex ihaddem apparat iehor li jahdem bl-elettriku jew l-istess elettriku ggenerat mill-panelli jista' jigi moghti lill-Korporazzjoni Enemalta. Fhemhom li l-ahhar kaz, l-Enemalta thallas lura lis-sid tal-panella ghall-ammont ta' elettriku provdut.

Step 9
Biex zgur il-votanti tieghek jifmhuk, semmilhom il-flus fil-but. Allura iktbilhom hekk: "L-ammont ta' elettriku ggenerat minn PV Cell tiddependi fuq id-daqs tal-panella. Jekk ikollok panella tal-1kEh din kapaci tiggenera madwar 1300kWh f'sena. Jekk dan l-elettriku jinghata lill-Enemalta, dan ifisser li l-Enamalta taghtik lura Euro90.85."

Step 10
Importanti li tispjega li l-pjan tal-Kunsill Lokali tieghek hu li jinghata sussidju ta' 50% fuq dawn iz-zewgt sistemi ta' energija u dan sa massimu ta' elf Ewro (1,000).

Step 11
Biex zgur tigbed is-simpatija u turihom kemm thobbhom lill-dawk li ghandhom il-vot ghidilhom li din l-iskema tkun miftuha ghar-residenti tal-lokalita tieghek BISS.

Step 12
Ma din ic-cirkulari nizzel li f'dan l-istadju il-kunsill Lokali tieghek qieghed jigbor taghrif dwar l-interess li hemm fil-lokalita' ghal dawn is-sistemi. Allura iktbilhom hekk:
"Ghalhekk, dawr il-votanti, cioe' ir-residenti interessati ghandhom jimlew il-formola t'hawn taht u jibghatuha malajr kemm jista' jkun fl-ufficcju tal-Kunsill Lokali jew icemplu fl-ufficcju tal-Kunsill" (u aghtihom it-telephone number just in case), "biex jesprimu l-interess taghhom u dan sa' mhux aktar tard ____ "(u aghtihom deadline).

Step 13
Biex tkun safe iktbilhom ukoll hekk: " Meta tkun qed turi l-interess tieghek f'din l-iskema, ma jkunx qed ifisser li inti marbut biex tinstalla xi wahda minn dawn iz-zewg sistemi."

Step 14
IMPORTANTI HAFNA : Make sure li tibghat din ic-cirkulari/ittra/applikazzjoni lill-votanti QABEL l-elezzjoni (hekk per-ezempju ghall-ahhar ta' Jannar izda zgur mhux f'Marzu!)

Step 15 (easy)
Halli l-elezzjoni tghaddi.

Step 16
Xi xahrejn WARA l-elezzjoni ibghat cirkulari fuq letterhead tal-kunsill u bil-kulur, lil dawk ic-'cwiec' kollha li emnuk u baghtulek l-informazzjoni dwarhom u li jixtiequ jiffrankaw xi sold. Tinsiex tibghat ukoll lil dawk il-povri 'ambjentalisti' li applikaw sabiex fil-lokalita' tieghek ikollkom ambjent b'sahhtu.

Step 17
Iktbilhom hekk:
"Naghmel referenza ghall-iskema ghall-promozzjoni ta' Energija minn Sorsi Alternattivi ghall-Lokalita'.........
Ngharrfek li l-Kunsill Lokali tar-rahal taghna ghadu kif gie nfurmat li l-progett propost minnu ma giex accettat u li ghalhekk mhux se jitkompla l-process ta' l-applikazzjoni." (Qis li ma tghidilhomx kif u x'fatta il-progett ma giex accettat).

Step 18
Biex ma tahraqhomx sa l-ahhar, anzi biex tkompli tittamahom, ikkonkludi hekk:
"Il-Kunsill Lokali taghna jwieghed li se jkun qieghed jahdem fuq progetti u programmi ohra ta' l-Unjoni Ewropeja, b'tama li l-lokalita' taghna tibbenefika wkoll minn dawn il-fondi."

Ikteb din ic-cirkulari (ta' wara l-elezzjoni) b'large fonts (14 jew akbar) u qis li ma tiffirmax int bhala sindku izda qabbad lis-Segretarja Ezekuttiva.

Tajba eh?

Wiehed li ghandu l-vot fuq il-kunsill lokali taz-Zebbug li miskin mela' l-applikazzjoni u baghatha lill-kunsill bit-tama li ser jiehu xi haga ghal wara l-elezzjoni ghaddieli d-dokumenti kollha li rcieva QABEL u WARA l-elezzjoni.

Jien nghidlu, 'Taqtox qelbik sihib. Xi darba jasluluk il-hamis buzuz (bulbs in English) li weghdik il-GunzujPN bex bihim tifranka mill-kunt tad-dawl.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Jien OK u int?

Niltaqa' ma' nies li jghiduli li jammirawna.

X'hin nistaqsihom 'l ghaliex il-maggor parti jghiduli: "Tal-kuragg li ghandkom li tmorru kontra l-kurrent u fejn hu tajjeb tghidu li hu tajjeb u fejn hu hazin tghidu li hu hazin ghamlu min ghamlu."

"Allahares m'hawnx intom", ighidulna. "Komplu ahdmu".

Imbaghad nhobb nistaqsi "X'hemm bzonn nahdmu/naghmlu?"

...u hawn tibda litanija ta' suggerimenti:

'Ahdmu biex iggibu fondi ghal partit'
'Messkom tigru wara n-nies u ddahhluhom membri'
'Messkom taghmlu programmi fuq ir-radju u t-TV'
'L-ufficju ghandkom bzonn izzommuh miftuh kuljum'
'Qabbdu lil xi hadd mat-telephone ikellem lin-nies'
Organizzaw dik u organizzaw hekk u ghamlu hekk u hekk.... u l-lista ma tispicca qatt!

U mbaghad nistaqsi: INT X'TISTA TAGHMEL?

u r-risposta tvarja:

"Jien m'ghandix cans"
"Jien nahdem mal-Gvern u nibza li jaghmluli vendikazzjoni"
"Jien imhabbat...ghandi bizzejjed x'naghmel"

u l-aktar wahda komuni... "ma rridx niccappas" ( u dawn l-istess nies tarahom fil-kju quddiem il-garaxijiet fejn jaqdu l-membri parlamentari tad-distrett!)

Imma ssib dawk il-ftit li tassew jaghtu valur lid-demokrazija u l-futur taghhom u tal-familji taghhom. Jidhlu ghal xi bicca xoghol imqar zghira.

Alternattiva Demokratika ghadha kif ghamlet pubbliku r-rapport tat-telfa elettorali. Tista' taqrah bl-Ingliz billi taghfas hawnhekk. Jekk tippreferi bil-Malti tista taqrah minn hawn.

Issa jmiss li naghmlu xi haga. Ahna? jien? int? min?

Jekk jinteressak il-futur tad-demokrazija f'pajjizek, l
-anqas li tista' taghmel bhalissa huwa li tattendi laqgha straordinarja li ser issir nhar is-Sibt li gej fil-Waterfront Hotel, The Strand, Gzira. Nibdew bejn id-9.00 u d-9.30 u nlestu f'xi nofsinhar. Issir elezzjoni ta' kumitat ezekuttiv gdid ta' Alternattiva Demokratika - the Green Party. Ir-registrazzjoni bla hlas.

Jien OK, u int?

untapped potential in agroturism

The latest discovery by the government of the Republic of Malta is that of the Parliamentary Secretary Mario de Marco when he stated that "Malta has considerable untapped potential in agrotourism and rural tourism"

Isn't that great?

Don't worry Hon. de Marco, nobody in beloved Malta will ever call you a tree-hugger :)

Speaking at the EMCS forum at the Hilton last Wednesday, he said this went beyond accommodation to rural weddings, wine tours and visits to producers of delicatessen items. Click on the items to read more possibilities!

He said that the internationalisation of property needed a coherent strategy that brought together both the public and private sector. This would have to ensure that quality remained a priority.

Linking property to tourism, he said that millions travel to owner-owned property - 15 million from Malta's four main markets in Europe alone. These increased by 6.1 per cent last year over 2006. In addition, they stay longer on average - two nights over the average for all types of tourists.

Thank God for this realization. Well done de Marco. Slowly slowly we can get there. Just put the money where the.......

Gozo an ecological island? No joke!

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