Thursday, 9 October 2008

Good news from the EU Petitions Committee

I was one of the petitioners to the EU petitions commitee regarding the Ramla l-Hamra villas and pools development. The other petitioners are Michael Bajada, another AD member on the Gozo Regional Committee of Alternattiva Demokratika and the other one was by a good friend of ours who resides in Malta. On Tuesday the Petitions' Committee of the European Parliament met to examine our three different petitions against the building proposal of villas and pools at Ramla l-Hamra in Gozo

The Green Party Chairperson Arnold Cassola in a statement issued today said that Alternattiva Demokratika is delighted at the fact that the Ramla l-Hamra project has been shelved by the Maltese government.

At the hearing, the EU Commission announced that the Maltese government had stated that the project has been abandoned and MEP Simon Busuttil who sits on the Petitions Committee confirmed this. We are elated at this success in stopping such an unsustainable project from materializing.

It seems too good to be true, but bat least we can confirm this news from Brussles. What is actually happening here in Malta is another story of course.

Mepa should truly safeguard the environment around Ramla l-Hamra by including the whole
area in the EU-funded and protected programme of Natura 2000. Heritage trusts and NGOs should be supported in obtaining EU funds to transform the whole Ramla area into an international heritage site and protecting its archaeological remains. We now expect that Ramla bay be promoted to Blue Flag bay status.

In the light of the government's electoral promise to transform Gozo into an eco-island, the state should claim back the land from the Ulysses Lodge proprietors in order to remove the abandoned building, restore the partially concreted-over Roman pathway and restore the whole area. Gozo needs new, modern sustainable jobs which would ensure the protection of the environment whilst promoting high quality tourism.