A ‘green manifesto’ launched by PN MEP Roberta Metsola has been welcomed with a large degree of skepticism by Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Farrugia warned that while Metsola’s ‘manifesto’ sounds nice on paper, it lacks concrete proposals.
“I expect politicians to play realpolitik, not fairytale politics,” he said. “Roberta Metsola likes playing fairytale politics, be it on migration, planning, the environment or governance… she stays in Brussels and talks generically so that everyone claps for her but doesn’t take decisions.”
Earlier this month, Metsola, who has often been touted as a potential future PN leader, launched a seven-point plan to make Malta’s economy more environment friendly.
These are the seven points she mentioned.
1. Instead of tearing down our houses, let’s incentivise restoration and address the issue of empty residences.
2. Instead of chopping down our trees, let’s understand that our children deserve clean air as a right.
3. Instead of funnelling traffic from one corner to the other, let’s look at real alternatives and match our commitment with proper public investment.
4. Instead of filling up every other corner with construction waste, let’s invest in a truly circular economy that creates new green industries that re-use & recycle waste material.
5. Instead of ensuring we are left in permanent shade, let’s fix our planning system and harness solar energy.
6. Instead of pricing our youth out of the property ladder, let’s ensure that the system allows them the same opportunities previous generations had to own a home.
7. Instead of repeating the same mistakes that are still being made in Malta let’s stop forcing Gozo down the same road of bad decisions and short-termism.
Farrugia asked the PN whether it agrees with Metsola’s statement, and if so whether it will revise the 2006 local plans. He also asked whether it wants to reduce the height limitation policies, and if so in which localities, and whether it wants to give ERA and local councils a veto on planning permits or not.
Similar questions were recently aired by planning law lecturer and consultant Robert Musumeci.
“Let’s move out of fairytale politics and move into prose. It’s easy to criticise but we’re living the realities of decisions that were taken years ago; the Opposition can say we could have changed things so my question is whether they want to change them.”
Do you think Malta should update its planning laws?