Saturday, 7 February 2009

Are you 'Joe Citizen'?

I am sure that unless you are not 'Joe citizen' and you read this news, you might feel quite angry and upset. I assume that the reason being is that if you are a common citizen and filled-in an appeal to the MEPA Appeals Board without paying all the necessary fees up to the last Euro cent, the Appeals Board would have rejected your application there and then.

But not in the case of the developers behind the proposed villas and swimming pools at Ramla l-Hamra Bay in Gozo!

Read the report on the Ramla appeal given the go ahead….yet again by clicking HERE.

In this Republic of ours, some people are more lucky than others. But I don't mind being with the unlucky ones unless I stick to my 'green' principles of justice and fairness.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Active Citizens

This week I felt happy that a number of Gozitans felt at ease to express their opinions on the Pjazza l-Assedju proposed buildings in Victoria. Yes, this is a breakthrough since as one of the
writers (Francies Spiteri) said:

"All the neighbours that we have spoken to seem to share the same opinion but a lot of them don't want to write their names in the newspaper etc, because they are afraid of being blacklisted. Are we back to the early 80's? After all, as European citizens we have to learn that expressing a concern or opinion is a fundamental human right."

Read Spiteri's contribution by clicking HERE.

Mr. Carmel Scicluna, another Gozitan, also freely expressed himself on this issue. Like many locals and ex-pat residents in Gozo he puts doubts on MEPA and said:

"I have my doubts about MEPA, but I wonder if MEPA will accept such proposals without the necessary studies concerning the impact of this development on this residential area. Can we residents have access to any studies that have been done or is everything going to be kept secret?"

Read Scicluna's contribution by clicking HERE.

Another contributor, Joe Borg, also from Victoria had the courage to challenge not only the Gozo minister but also the Gozo Curia! He said:

"We invested in our property since the land has been passed from the church to the joint office with the aim of remaining an open space. No wonder the Church also remains silent on such issues. Is the Gozo Curia also going to benefit financially if this open space is turned into a building site?"

Read Borg's contribution by clicking HERE.

I would like to give a big congratulations to these active citizens and others who are woirking to safeguard Gozo and its characteristics from greed and speculation.