Friday, 20 June 2008

Sorry to repeat again: 'Fortifications Restoration Project’

Today the Hon. George Pullicino, Minister for Resources and Rural Affairs of our Republic addressed the public seminar on 'Fortifications Restoration Project' . What a great coincidence with the letter published on The Times today by the Xewkija resident Frankie Vella!

Pullicino is saying (no repetitions) that a fortune is to be spent on the restoration and rehabilitation of Malta's most important fortifications to make them an integral part of the country's cultural product. Priority is being given to the lines of fortifications in Valletta, Vittoriosa, Mdina and the Cittadella in Gozo. (See video on The Times by clicking HERE).


This discourse, we read about since two years ago. Read HERE.

For example Minister for 'all' the Gozitans said on the 19th May 2006 that
"Restoration work is currently under way on the outer north westerly walls of the Gozo Citadel. The work, which is being funded by the Gozo Ministry, involves the consolidation of part of the fortified wall system, the reconstruction of a totally collapsed stretch of the same wall and the complete removal and replacement of highly weathered stone to allow, amongst other things, the reestablishment of original 17th century features."
Read more HERE.

On the other hand, people like Frankie, and Joseph had been highlightening the
I suggest you read Joseph's contribution by clicking HERE (with photos) on the

"...ruins which stand not as monuments of the past but as evidence of the present disregard by the current government with regards to that which is of historical value in the centre of Gozo. Whether this is due to an inability to fund this site or a utilitarian objectivity stating that there is no perceivable monetary return for this investment it is subject to debate."

Frankie Vella's letter can be read HERE. I like the title: Cittadella under attack from weeds.

Let's continue fighting the attack or are we no more living in the feudal system?

Thursday, 19 June 2008

No biodiesel on Gozo

Bill Hopkinson from Xaghra is partially right when he commented on The Times today that biodiesel is still not available here on Gozo.

On the other hand, when we talk about biodiesel, one should not take it for granted that such measures are 100% eco-friendly.

One needs to be very clear on bio-fuels.

I don't think it is morally right to promote those biofuels that are produced from agricultural land that is taken on purpose for the growing of soya, mais or whatever to produce ethanol etc.
On the other hand, one should accept bio-fuel, where this is produced from the leftovers of waste that would otherwise be ending up in the waste cycle.

On the other hand, in countries like Sweden it is useful to produce biofuels from the nature that dies NATURALLY every year in the millions of forests they have.

It would be better to recycle the kitchen frying oil in Malta and Gozo into bio fuel rather than letting it finish in the drains and water table. I remember that Prof. Arnold Cassola was strongly promoting this during his campaign for the European parliament elections three years ago while in a meeting with the Gozo Tourism Association and the Gozo Business Chamber.

I remember clearly.....hardly anybody took notice then. But things change!

Thanks to Mr. Hopkinson for raising this issue again.

I thought to share this website with those of you who are interested in this topic. Click HERE

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Malta missed it. Why?

The local media missed it. Arnold Cassola mentioned this during his first speech as new AD Leader. I am told that the One News were more interested to report that Dr. Vassallo cleaned up the office toilet. The Net News (as typical under GonziPN) did not give coverage at all. The printed media missed on this one as well. How insular we are at times. I feel sad.

On the 10th June 2008 (just 7 days ago) all EU member states participated in the Urban Audit. Sorry not ALL member states. The government of the Republic of Malta was not there. Why? Was he busy following the latest developments at Mistra and Fort Cambridge in order to give his trademark on environmental credibility?

The Urban Audit brings together a broad range of indicators on the quality of life in European cities.

The purpose of the conference was twofold:

  • To provide information on The Urban Audit to city representatives and other interested communities. Beyond participants in the Urban Audit, the conference provides the opportunity for anyone interested in urban statistics to collect useful information and make contacts.
  • To present the ways in which the Commission, Member States and cities have benefited from the Urban Audit.

A number of key questions for the future of cities were dealt with during the conference, including the aging of the population, migration phenomena, housing, competitiveness and the attractiveness of cities. Each of these areas was addressed by the Urban Audit.

Is the government of Malta not interested? I think that when the Malta Independent on Sunday editor choose to give such a title to the Gozo as an ecological island concept was right. He called it: Gozo an ecological island? You must be joking


Monday, 16 June 2008

New Leader for AD

Last Saturday those enthusiastic members and supporters of AD attended an Extraordinary General Meeting to discuss the general election results and to elect a new executive committee.

I would say that the whole event was a healthy exercise of the party. It was also well attended.

People were free to speak up. Many did.

After a short presentation by Carmel Cacopardo highlighting the most important points in the report commissioned by the party, many others aired their views about the way forward for the party.
The main points which were elicited:
* the party needs to work harder to get its message across to a wider audience.
* the party needs to remain principled on issues ranging from the environment to civil rights.
* the party needs to emphasize more the link between the economy, labour issues and the environment.
* the party needs to work harder at locality level and form a strong party base.
* the party needs to keep on working closely with civil society and the independent media.
* the party must cooperate with progressive movements and social and environmental NGOs to offer a strong, constructive and modern opposition to goverment.

Ralph Cassar, Arnold Cassola, Adrian Grima, Stephen Cachia, Alistair Farrugia, Jurgen Balzan, Carmel Hili, Robert Callus, David Mangion, Henrik Piski, Oison Dillon Jones, were amongst those who intervened during the discussion. Mario Mallia chaired the meeting.

The speech by outgoing party chairperson Dr. Harry Vassallo was quite emotional. He thanked all those with whom he had worked as Chairperson throughout the past 9 years. He said that he feels that he did the best he could with the party's limited resources. He urged the party
to remain true to its ideals and said that AD was the only party courageous enough to bring progressive and ecological issues on the political agenda. He said that the party is not hostage to any financially strong lobby. Big applause!

Dr. Vassallo said that he was not "slamming the door and leaving" as some opinion writers
were saying. He said that he wants to see a strong and effective party and urged everyone to give a helping hand.

The members present then approved by secret ballot the nominees for the
executive committee. According to AD's current statute when posts are uncontested the
nominees have to be approved by two-thirds (2/3) of party members attending a
general meeting.

Arnold Cassola was approved unanimously as the new party leader.

I thanked Dr. Harry Vassallo for his services to the party. I tried to explain that Dr. Vassallo had worked selflessly and untiringly at the helm of AD for the past years. A gift to Dr. Vassallo and his wife was presented on behalf of AD as a sign of appreciation and augured that Dr. Vassallo will continue offering his insight and expertise to the party. I'm sure he will.

In his address at the close of the extraordinary general meeting AD's new Chairperson Prof. Arnold Cassola said that AD will continue making its voice herad, expressing its agreement if it agrees with policies and proposals but also criticizing and offering different solutions where necessary.

It was a moving morning. It was nice also to have met new faces.

I'm also happy with the choice of our new leader. Arnold knows that a smile costs nothing and he knows how to be friendly. He never ignores people and is able to make people feel important and special. He is not a brag. His honesty appeals people.

Cassola's experience as a politician, parliamentarian and his vast experience in all the EU countries as a secretary general of the European Greens is an asset which none of the other political parties in Malta can boast about.

Above all Arnold is a listener and encourager. He never ignores people. Write to him and he will surely reply.

Here is a test: Copy this E-mail address and e-mail Arnold on
Will he reply to you? I bet he will!