A total of nine NGOs have called for the removal of ERA chairman Victor Axiak, citing “a spate of abysmal decisions” taken on his behalf.
In an open letter to Minister Aaron Farrugia, the NGOs expressed concerns that Axiak had allied himself with developers and road builders at the expense of the environment.
“This request stems from the fact that Prof Axiak has, repeatedly and unashamedly during the last few years, acted and voted against the environmental well-being of this country,” the letter read.
❗NGOs DEMAND REMOVAL OF ERA CHAIR❗⚠️ Axiak “consistently allied” to developers and roadbuilders, regulator taken over…
The coalition of NGOs made reference to Axiak’s decision regarding a number of projects, including the controversial Central Link project, roadworks in both Dingli and Burmarrad, the redevelopment of an abandoned fireworks factory, and the refusal to commission an EIA for the Msida Creek project, among others.
“It is only natural for us to wonder aloud whether ERA has been secretly taken over by the above-mentioned ministry,” the letter said, referring to the Transport Ministry.
The coalition also expressed its displeasure with Axiak’s treatment of residents at a particular sitting regarding a proposed Marsaskala water polo pitch, in which he “blamed residents for the way their town has been developed over the last thirty years.”
“We consider this to be repeated, dishonest behaviour from a person in such a position, and we have no choice but to ask you to remove Axiak from this role as chair of the ERA,” the letter continued.
In addition to Axiak’s removal, the nine NGOs suggested that all appointees who voted against the environmental interest of the country be deemed “unfit” to sit on the regulator’s board and that all ERA board meeting should be made open to the public to make way for transparency and accountability.
The nine signatories of the letter are:
- Extinction Rebellion Malta
- Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar
- Friends of the Earth Malta
- Malta Youth in Agriculture (MaYA) Foundation
- Moviment Graffitti
- Nature Trust Malta
- Ramblers’ Association Malta
- The Archaeological Society Malta
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