Friday, 1 February 2013

Both leaders pledge to solve Armier problem

The boathouses on public land in Armier. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi
The boathouses on public land in Armier. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi
The leaders of the two main political parties yesterday said they were committed to finding a solution to the boathouses’ occupation of public land in Armier.
The injustice is there – how can you talk about a just solution when the injustice is there?
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said a Nationalist government would strive to find a solution, which had not been found during the past legislature.
When asked specifically about the subject during a press conference yesterday morning, Dr Gonzi said the PN would not go back on its word and commitment given to the boathouse owners, even in writing, in 2003 and again in 2008. He did not specify what that commitment was.
He said the Government had tried to find a solution through the Malta Environment and Planning Authority but none had been found. He pledged that the Government would continue trying to find a solution.
Alternattiva Demokratika is, so far, the only political party saying that the Armier boathouses should go. As a result of his position, chairman Michael Briguglio has received a written threat at his former address which is being investigated by the police.
Later yesterday, Labour Leader Joseph Muscat was also quizzed about the boathouses during a meeting he had with environmental organisations who pushed him to clearly explain what decisions he would take over the Armier issue.
“We believe there could be a fair solution for all,” he replied.
He referred to Dr Gonzi’s statement about honouring commitments. “I hope I’m misquoting him – there might be an agreement we don’t know about so we need to see what the Prime Minister was referring to and what commitments there are,” he said.
Angelo Camilleri, from Friends of the Earth, and Alex Vella, from Ramblers Association insisted that the Armier case was an injustice.
“We want to know how you will tackle the problem when you are in government. The injustice is there – how can you talk about a just solution when the injustice is there?” Mr Vella said.
“How can it be fair for me who never took anything?” he told Dr Muscat.
The NGOs also expressed solidarity with Dr Briguglio over the threat he had received.

Reply to D Fenech
GL Calleja
Today, 17:01
That is why this government has to fix the present before they promise the future. Are people that gullible or are we really a bunch of CWIEC.
Reply to GL Calleja
Reply to Steve M. Engerer
Reply to James Tyrrell
Reply to Joseph Bartolo
Reply to A. MICALLEF
Franco Attard Trevisan
Today, 14:02
i couldn't have said it any better!
GL Calleja
Today, 14:24
Mr Micallef I think you might have the better idea because neither government or any of the two leading parties has the cahunas to do anything about the situation. The government is the one that granted permission for the boathouses in the first place when they gave them utilities. I think that makes these boathouses legal and only a court could decide their fate and not a political party.
Reply to Kevin Grixti
Reply to Raymond Sammut
Reply to R. Caruana
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Reply to Ms Borg
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Reply to Charles Cremona
Reply to Jay Oatmon
GL Calleja
Today, 14:28
Mr Oatman as they say" Don't believe anything you hear and only believe half of what you see" especially when it come to politics and politicians. True or false?
Reply to John Grech
Reply to Mr Tony Gatt
Charles Cremona
Today, 14:12
No politician in Malta has the guts to say truthfully what should be done, you are right Tony they should bulldoze the lot , this is stolen land, if this happened anywhere else in Europe especially in the UK that's what they will do, bulldoze the lot, with no arguments, but it will never happen in Malta because all politicians of all parties don't want to upset anyone.
Reply to E. Azzopardi
Reply to Michael Camileri
Reply to Paul Camilleri
Reply to M Formosa
T Farrugia
Today, 11:39
Just For your information M Formosa, Only 30% of the Maltese Islands Land is built on. So dont over exaggerate by saying the few country side we have. If you look around there's plenty of coutry side one can enjoy, you just have to know how to appreciate our island.
Raymond Sammut
Today, 12:49
@T Farrugia

One only has to Google Map Malta to find how very little is left for a population of 410K+ to enjoy the outdoors.

Much of the land which isn't built has roads running through it, or is leased, or is simply inaccessible to the average Maltese family. Your 30%, therefore, is simplistic and misleading.

The topic here is about pristine land adjacent to a lagoon and seized by bullies.
Reply to Richard Caruana
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Reply to Joseph Mifsud
Franco Farrugia
Today, 11:15
Bring the area back to its quasi-original state!
Reply to Peter Murray
Reply to Joe Grech
Peter Zahra
Today, 08:30
Before you leap into making sweeping statements, I suggest that you check the facts for who first signed written agreements with the Armier boathouse owners. For you info, it was Joe Mizzi and Alfred Sant that gave their assurances that these boathouses are there to stand. This agreement was signed in Nov 2002 and reconfirmed again in writing by Dr Alfred Sant in 29th May 2007 !!!