Labour MEP Alfred Sant has warned against Malta’s use of EU funds, stating that most of the money has gone into road infrastructure without factoring in environmental consequences.
In a statement uploaded to his social media, Sant stated that the EU funds could have gone to much better use, such as educational or health infrastructure in Malta.
“Much of the EU project money to which Malta was entitled over the years flowed into the roads infrastructure,” Sant stated.
“So the fiction was devised by which building ‘highways’ on an island could be classified as feeding into a transcontinental transport system. They thus acquired a ‘European’ dimension and could be approved for EU funding,” he explained.
The result of this, he wrote, was “monies that could have gone into educational or health infrastructure went into more road building; the negative environmental consequences that ensued were never factored into the equation”.
Some of the environmental consequences that he mentioned were the increase in traffic, the depletion of agricultural and undeveloped land, along with environmental degradation.
Sant also warned that in turn, secondary roads and streets were neglected in the remaining infrastructural spending on mobility, with many roads in Malta that are often used remaining in a pitiful state.
Over the last few years, many activists and environmentalists in Malta have warned against the short-sighted approach that the government is adopting when it comes to road projects.
This was also one of the main arguments made when the Central Link project had piqued national interest, warning of the ramifications such projects bring for the environment.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
What do you make of Sant’s comments?