NGOs call on parties to agree to remove Armier squatters
The Environmental groups Ramblers' Association, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Friends of the Earth, Din l-Art Helwa, Nature Trust have welcomed the decision by MEPA to turn down an application by Enemalta for a substation to be built in Armier which, they said, was intended to serve the squatter community there.
"We now urge the two main political parties to unite behind the move for the demolition of Armier's illegal township and to prove that they are able to place national before party interests. Environmental concerns cannot be dissociated from political ones especially in pre-election periods. The issue of usurped public land is of grave national importance and politicians who close their eyes to the misappropriation of public property are not working in the interest of their country but of their party."
The NGOs said the refusal of the Enemalta application for the Armier substation by the Mepa Board does not mean that the Armier problem has been solved.
"The squatters will now almost certainly intensify efforts to retain their illegal occupation of land which rightly belongs to all Maltese, by trying to hold politicians to ransom through the power of their voting numbers, as they did before the last general election.
"If the abuse committed at Armier is legalised, MEPA will lose the hard-earned credibility it has gained. Certainly MEPA will set a precedent which could render it unable to prevent or penalise any misappropriation of land that takes place anywhere else on the Maltese Islands."
The NGOs said continued control over the correct and legal use of property is crucial to the stability and prosperity of Malta and its people.
"In the prevailing circumstances political parties that put their interest above the national one cannot expect to enjoy the trust of environmental groups and their followers."
hear hear - let no political party sanction illegalities for the sake of a few more votes !